Billy Sunday Evangelism Hits The Fan

This following story is based on an event that took place at a Southern Baptist Church in Missouri in 2003.

Two teenagers walked down the steps of the church gymnasium complex. The seventeen-year-old girl asked her younger brother, “What do you think about the message tonight?”

“I don’t know. ... Did the youth pastor mean suicide when he said ‘you can even take your own life and not lose your salvation?’”

“Yeah, that’s what he meant. I’ve got a really bad feeling about this. I’m going to tell Dad.”

As they drove into the driveway, their mother and father were sitting on the front porch. The boy jumped out of the car and ran to his parents. Father stood up and smiled. “So, how was the youth meeting? ... What was the sermon about?”

“Suicide!” the boy blurted out before his sister could get there. She looked at her brother with a pained expression, grabbed her father’s arm and pushed him back into the chair.

“Dad, sit down; I’ve got to talk to you.”

“What happened?”

“The youth pastor said it was OK to kill yourself. I mean, he said God wouldn’t hold it against you–that God would still let you into heaven even if you killed yourself.”

“Whoa ... hold on ... slow down ... he told you this, or did he tell the whole group?”

“It was in his sermon dad. Everybody heard it.”

The father sat silently for a moment.


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