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Doctrine in dialogue format



Mort 'n Elmer

The Just Talkin' Show


Playing with another fella's words is like throwing lighted matches at dynamite.

"Hello folks. You're tuned in to the Just Talking show where we tells you like it is and not what you wants to hear. Today we're going to talk about... Uh, just what are we going to talk about Elmer?"

"I don't know Mort. Let's just start out and see where we ends up."

"Elmer, you done gone an' did it again. How many times I got to tell you to stop sayin' I said what I ain't done said?"

"I ain't said you said nothin' Mort? Not that I knows of I ain't nohow. Did somebody tell you I said somethin' I said that I ain't said? I bet it was that old gossipy monger Wid'r Pry. She's al'as twistin' a fella's words around ta' mean what ain't been said. That ol' noseybody nohow."

"It weren't Widow Pry this time Elmer, it was you. I got it right here in black and ink. See? Right there's your signyture. Why'd you go an' sign a paper what says we'd buy an old boat anyhow? What do you want with no leaky old boat? Has you gone and got tetched in the head in your old age?"

"That boat ain't f'r me Mort, it's f'r you I was gettin' it."

"For me?! I don't want that old boat Elmer. What gived you the notion I wanted a rotten old boat?"

"You said you wanted a boat Mort. Just the other day it was, standin' right there where you is a standin' now. I heard you plain and clear, you said you wished you had a boat. So I done gone an' got you one."

"You're getting' screwy in the head Elmer. Firstly, I didn't say I wanted a boat, sure not this old thing you gone an signed f'r. Secondly I sho're wouldn't tender this here radio station up f'r the thing. An' thirdly, I didn't mean I wanted no boat. All I said was on overly rainy days like we done had that day it'd be good to have a boat in case the valley floods like it done did before."


"I wish you'd check with me before you go runnin' off and gettin' us in dutch like you al'as do Elmer. Think on it next time you gets a wild idea up y'r nose. An' don't never go puttin' words in my mouth that I ain't said plain an' clear."

"There ain't no harm done Mort. All you gots ta' do is not sign that there piece a paper an' the deal is reniggerated. My name ain't no good without yours. That's why I put that there piece a' paper on your chair so's you'd see it. Just don't sign the thing."

"I ain't goin'a sign it Elmer. And you can 'xplain ta' the man by your own self why the deal is squelched."

"Ok Mort, I'll do it. Now, who we got to be on the show today? I think it's about time to turn on the mic, don't you think?"

"Oh yeah, it is. I got us Reverend Deacon from the.... There he is now. Get ready to turn on the mic Elmer. Good day to you Reverend Deacon, have y'rself a sitdown in that chair an' we'll kick off the show. Folks out there in radio land, this here is Reverend Deacon from the... what was that there church you is the pastor of Reverend Deacon? Oh never mind. No one'll remember the name nohow."

"Thank you Mort, Elmer, for having me here in your...ahem delightful...station."

"Our pleasurability Reverend. I was thinkin' maybe to kick off this show you might tell me an' the folks out there what you have in mind f'r a sermon this comin' up Sunday. Would that be lettin' the cat out of the wool do you think?"

"Not at all Mort. My sermon will be in regards to the twelfth chapter of Matthew when Jesus' family came to take Him away and protect Him from the troubles they saw Him bringing down upon Himself."

"You don't say so. Is that why they wanted to see Jesus? I do declare I never knowed that. Did you know that Elmer? Elmer?"

"Uh, what? Say again? I must've drifted f'r a bit. What did you say to me?"

"The Reverend here done said Jesus' folks comed after Him to take Him away, not just to talk to Him. Did you know that Elmer?"

"No, guess not. Why'd they want to do that you suppose?"

"Well, Elmer, you have to understand the background of the times. There was no mental institutions in those days, and when a person lost their mind or in some other way became dysfunctional in normal society it fell upon the family to care for them and keep them out of trouble. I'm sure you understand that."

"Come again Reverend? Is you tellin' Elmer an' me that Jesus was crazy? I thought...."

"No Mort, I'm not saying Jesus was crazy, but the leaders of the Jews believed Jesus to be a rabble-rouser and a potential danger to them and to the nation as a whole. Jesus was saying and doing things not understood by those in charge of the church of the day. There were people out to kill Jesus because He was breaking the Sabbath, so it stands to reason that Mary and her children would want to keep Him quiet for His own good."

"Um, ok, I guess, if you done said so."

"Does I hear you rightly Reverend Deacon? Did you get all that there information out of just the little bitty verse I sees here? If I reads this correct it says: '46While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.' All I sees is His folks wantin' to talk with Jesus. I reckon with Him off gallivanting' around the country like He done did they didn't get ta' see Him much an' they was lonesome f'r Him a tad. Leastwise that's the way I reads this here verse. You say it says more than it says here? Has you got Bible f'r such thinkin' Rev?"

"You don't understand Elmer. The Bible is much more than the words you read. There are spiritual applications that must be made. You have to understand the languages used at that time. You have to understand the customs of the day. If you had a better knowledge of these important elements the implications of this apparently simple incident would be made manifestly clear. Do you understand now Elmer?"

"It's clear as mud Rev. Fact is, I understood it a heap better before you 'xplained it then I done did after you made it manufactured clear like you said. Does I hear you sayin' that plain folks like Mort an' me has got to learn from folks like you, ones with that there special learnin', what Jesus is actual saying? We can't fig're it out by our lonesome? Is that what you is sayin'?"

"That's rather a blunt way of expressing it Elmer, but I suppose it boils down to that nugget of truth. There's much more being said in the Bible then what we read in the Bible. I'm sure you understand that."


"Yeah Elmer? What you want?"

"Mort, I think I knows what you was saying about puttin' words in your mouth that you ain't said. It can be dangerous."

1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (1Tim 4:)

1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS, BUT DENYING THE POWER THEREOF: from such turn away. 6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2Tim 3:)

6If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. 12One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. (Titus 1:)

1Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 2For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear ["endure, put up with, suffer"] with him. (2Cor 11:)

3But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain ["No purpose, folly, to manipulate"] they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Mat 15:)

4And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 6As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (Col 2:)

14Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. 15And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? 16Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 17IF ANY MAN WILL DO HIS WILL, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. 18He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. 19Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? (John 7:)

5And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. 6Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 7And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (Mat 16:)

17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Rev 22:)

[ Footnote: It's all too easy for us to look for hidden messages in the Bible, such as trying to figure out how God held back the water in order that the Hebrew children may pass; if Jesus had prearranged the use of the donkey He rode into Jerusalem on, or the upper room where He kept the Passover; whether there is a Trinity or if Jesus was fully God or born of a virgin. It's not our job to question God, His methods or His motives. Our job is to do His will to the utmost of our ability. We strain at a gnat and swallow a camel as Jesus expressed it. And I'm afraid there's going to be much judgement called down upon us for having ignored the commandments we've been given while playing with the words we've chosen to ignore.]




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