DO 1938 6/85—There's No Excuse!
1. BESIDES THE TIME I ALMOST DIED OF PNEUMONIA IN THE ARMY, THERE'S ONLY ONE OTHER TIME THAT I CAN EVER REMEMBER IN MY EXPERIENCE THAT I SAID "NO" TO GOD. You heard the story about how I was in that little trailer & the Lord showed me what a ministry I could have in Miami, Florida, by setting up a Soul Clinic there & a mission station for the Caribbean, & what a marvellous ministry we could have. But I'd never done anything like that in my life. Yes‚ I'd taught school, I taught Sunday School, I taught high school, but I'd never run a Soul Clinic or a Bible school.—Besides, that required buildings & money & students & advertising. I could think of all kinds of things I didn't have.
2. I THOUGHT IT WAS A GREAT IDEA! "Yes, Lord, that's a great idea, Miami's just the place for a missionary headquarters & border base for the Caribbean‚ tremendous, Lord! I'll write Fred Jordan & I'll tell him to get Gordon Swanson to do it!—Because he is that flashy kind of personality, tremendous on the platform, good-looking & strong, let him do it, Lord, not me! I haven't got the faith for it‚ I haven't got the personality for it‚ I'm not a very good speaker‚ my wife has already convinced me that I can't preach & I can't do much to serve the Lord, so I'm just letting her & the kids serve the Lord & I just drive'm." That's about all it amounted to. I just quit preachin' & went to teachin' my children.—But as a result, look what happened!
3. ALL THOSE YEARS I THOUGHT I WAS A FAILURE & I WAS DEFEATED & I HAD MISSED MY CALLING, whatever it was, I didn't know, because it hadn't even started yet! For one thing, there weren't any hippies yet! So I virtually gave up. I got kicked out of my church‚ I tried everything to serve the Lord & everything seemed to be a failure. I was no good as a Pastor, it seemed like I wasn't much good as a teacher, although I did last in that almost longer than anything. And I didn't have the flare & the talent of an evangelist. I could lead the singing, that was about all, but I hadn't even begun preaching yet. My Mother did all the preaching & when I did try to preach I always was too long–winded & blasted them too hard & nobody liked it, all those stuffy old church people, because I just told them off, I told them what I really thought!
4. I USED TO WALK DOWN THE AISLE & PUT MY FINGER RIGHT IN THEIR FACES & SAY, "You vile, filthy sinner, you think you're so good & churchy & so self-righteous‚ but you're such a hypocrite!"—Because I knew'm.—"God says even the drunks & the harlots & the publicans & sinners are going to get into Heaven before you!" Can you imagine how popular I was?—How popular that message was? Because they weren't witnessing, they weren't getting out doing anything for the Lord, they weren't litnessing, they weren't doing a thing‚ just sitting there listening to pretty little sermons & putting their few little pennies in the wastebasket! So I knew'm!
5. I'D GET UP BEFORE A HUNDRED PEOPLE & SAY, "I KNOW YOU GUYS ARE NOT WITNESSES FOR THE LORD, I know you're not soul-winners, I know you're not obeying God! I'll bet there aren't two or three people in this whole congregation that really love the Lord & love sinners enough to get out & witness & win souls! I can prove it to you right now! I've got the goods on you!" And they'd sit there thinking, "Huh! He doesn't know anything about me, how can he tell? This wise guy thinks he knows me, he's never even been here before, never saw me before, how can he tell?" Some of you remember how I found out, the test that I gave.
6. I SAID‚ "ANYBODY WHO LOVES THE LORD & LOVES SOULS ENOUGH TO WANT TO WITNESS & WIN SOULS‚ HAS RIGHT THIS MINUTE SITTING HERE GOT SOME GOSPEL TRACTS IN YOUR POCKET OR YOUR PURSE, & WHOEVER HAS, STAND UP!"—And about two or three little old ladies or old men would stand up‚ some of them shabby, some of them a little crazy, & of which the congregation was almost ashamed because they went down to bars on Saturday night & passed out tracts, or to Skid Row & passed out tracts to the whores & the bums, & the church was actually ashamed of them!
7. THEY'D PASS THEM BY & ALMOST DRAW THEIR SKIRTS ASIDE for fear they'd touched an unclean thing, this person that went down to those filthy places & passed out cheap little Gospel tracts with print so small you could hardly read'm & said‚ "Jesus loves you, God loves you! Here's good news for you! Would you like to have Jesus?"—Or they'd stand on the street corner & preach, even without a Salvation Army Band, & just talk there. They almost looked like some of the other bums & whores, & maybe they had been, maybe that's why they had sympathy & concern & love for them. Almost every real good Gospel church, at least that I ever went to, usually had one or two or three out of a hundred or two hundred who were that kind of queer, odd, peculiar, screwy people who went out on the street & passed out tracts & tried to witness & win souls, & the rest of the church was usually ashamed of them!
8. DO YOU KNOW WHY THEY WERE ASHAMED OF THEM & DIDN'T LIKE THEM?—BECAUSE THEY WERE A FINGER POINTING AT THEM, literally, accusing them of not doing the same thing! They didn't actually accuse'm, but they made them ashamed of themselves & to feel guilty themselves because they didn't do it & knew they should! So they tried to say, "Well, that's not for every Christian." Even the preacher would say, "Well now‚ don't worry about that."—Right after I would get through telling the people that every single Christian ought to be a witness, that that's virtually a condition of Salvation: Everyone that believes in his heart & confesses with his mouth Christ as Lord shall be saved! (Rom.10:9,10)
9. DON'T TELL ME YOU CAN BELIEVE & RECEIVE JESUS & NOT CONFESS HIM & STILL BE SAVED! Think of how many times the Lord said‚ "If you don't confess Me before men, if you're ashamed of Me before others, I'm going to be ashamed of you before the Heavenly Father!" So the Baptists figure as long as they do it once, walk down & shake the preacher's hand, that that's all they ever need to do, that settles it for the rest of their life! They've confessed Him once & that's it. All they have to do is come to church every Sunday, & that's another confession. If people just see you in church, it shows you're confessing Jesus, if you just carry your Bible to Sunday School you're confessing Jesus. You don't have to say a word, you don't have to go down on filthy Skid Row with bars & bums & whorehouses & love those people & put your arm around them & get their fleas & God knows what kind of germs! But I have seen people that had that much love. I must confess‚ I had a hard time doing it‚ but I've done it!—But that wasn't to be my ministry. I'd never been a bum of that kind so I didn't have the empathy others had who had been.
10. BUT I KNEW THOSE CHRISTIANS & I COULD POINT MY FINGER IN THEIR FACES! I knew'm like a book, because I'd been with'm all my life, sick of'm most of my life, because of their hypocritical, self-righteous, holier-than-thou‚ pompous piety & unwillingness to save the lost, unwillingness to witness, unwillingness to get out & witness & litness & sacrifice to tell others that Jesus loved them, & certainly most of all unwilling to go to the mission field! That was the rarest thing. Missionaries were just very very special & of course not everybody could be a missionary.
11. AND RIGHT AFTER I'D GIVEN THESE TALKS THAT EVERY CHRISTIAN HAS TO CONFESS CHRIST, every Christian has to get out & witness & win souls, however you do it, litnessing or whatever you're doing, the preacher would get up right after me, time & again I'd have preachers do it, & say‚ "Well, that was great & that certainly is a marvellous ministry for some people & some Christians, but of course not all of you can do it & not all of you are able or talented or know how to talk or how to do these things. We understand that you can't do it, but thank God for the few of you who can. That's all right‚ you go ahead, we'll let you‚ we'll tolerate it, we'll put up with it."—That sort of an attitude. They didn't say it in so many words, but that's what they meant.
12. HE'D SAY, "BUT THE REST OF YOU‚ ALL YOU REALLY HAVE TO DO IS COME TO CHURCH & PUT YOUR MONEY IN THE WASTEBASKET & I'LL DO THE PREACHING & THE SOUL-WINNING FOR YOU! You bring those sinners to church & I'll save'm‚ officially! After all, how can you save them out there on the street or in their homes or someplace else? You're not a preacher! You can't officially perform the ceremony, the hocus-pocus-dominicus-abracadabra & get'm in, I have to do that! I've got the college education, I've been to cemetery, I'm the one that can do it! You don't know how to do it, that's what you pay me for! Don't try it or you might make a mistake! Don't say it, don't witness, you don't know the Bible well enough!"—Preachers actually taught their people that! "You just bring'm to church & I'll get'm saved!"—Because they wanted to fill up the building.
13. THEN IF ONE OF THESE DEAR OLD SISTERS OR RAGGEDY OLD MEN who witnessed every Saturday night or every chance they got, & always had tracts in their pocket or purse, would haul one of these bums or drunks or whores into church, the whole congregation would be absolutely horrified & avoid'm like the plague! "They might have diseases or slobber or vomit that'll rub off on me, or I might get some horrible vile filthy blood disease from these terrible stinking people!" They wouldn't even give them a chance. They'd only come due to the pleas of this dear old soul that won'm to the Lord, "Come on to church, please come to church with me!"—Just as the Preacher told'm to!
14. THEY USED TO TELL ME, "I DON'T WANT TO GO TO THAT CHURCH, I KNOW THOSE PEOPLE! I know people out here in the World who don't even know Jesus, that are better people than them, who don't love Jesus & don't go to church, but are more honest than some of those crooked people on that church board that have gypped me & a few others like that! They don't want me there!" "Come on, now, come on!" "No, no‚ brother‚ they don't want Indians in that church. No, no, no, I can't go there, I'm a Mexican. You'll see, they don't want me in your church." I said‚ "Come on now, they're Christians‚ they'll love you, they'll be so glad to see you coming!"—Boy, little did I know!
15. I BROUGHT'M TO CHURCH, & BECAUSE I WAS SO PROUD OF THEM & THANKFUL FOR THEM‚ I SAT THEM RIGHT UP FRONT! That's usually the only place there was enough room anyway‚ because in churches you've got to come early to get a back seat, did you ever notice that? They always start filling up from the back & they only go forward if they have to.—Because the further they can stay from the preacher & the pulpit, the better they like it, so he'll not be able to see them & their sins & look'm right so close in the eye. I didn't even stay in the pulpit, I walked down the aisle & would stick my finger in their faces! Some of them would actually get scared to death & thought I was a mad man!—I was mad! I was very angry with Christians! You can imagine how popular I was!
16. I WAS REALLY A ONE-NIGHTER, MINE WERE ALL ONE-NIGHT STANDS!—Ha! That's all they could take it, & I was on my way! "Oh, brother, we'd love to have you for Sunday evening service, it might help us get a crowd. You can show your movies & pictures & give your little talk, whatever it is, & have your children sing! Ah, we'll advertise & we'll do it! Park your trailer in our church yard & use the bathroom, that's great, & we'll get you a little offering." So Mother Eve would get up on the platform & play the piano while our precious little kids would get up there & sing away‚ & everybody was all smiles, everybody was happy‚ wonderful! "This is great entertainment, this guy is going to show us colour slides & movies, & oh boy, this is a great show! I'm sure glad we came tonight!"
17. AND THEN BEFORE I'D SHOW MY PICTURES I'D SAY, "WELL NOW, I WANT TO GIVE JUST A LITTLE WEE WORD OF INTRODUCTION."—And I'd start preaching to'm, preaching at'm, & telling them about their sins. I'd start out by telling them what we do & how we do it: "Our family & our children go out on the street & we do this & do that", & I'd tell'm how wonderful it is & how many souls get saved. Did they look happy?—Their faces began to fall! You know why? They thought, "What kind of nuts are these, anyhow?—Some kind of weirdos off the streets that go down to Skid Row & preach to the bums & the whores & the drunks & pass out tracts! That's some kind of a quirk, people that pass out tracts!"—And they'd begin to get embarrassed for us.
18. AND THEN I'D BEGIN TO SOCK IT TO'M! I'd walk right out of that pulpit & point my finger in their face & say, "You ought to do the same thing, it's wonderful! You ought to always have some tracts in your pocket or your purse!" I know you folks in Selah Homes can't do that, so you of course don't have tracts in your pockets or purses. For one thing‚ you're here in Class & you don't have any purses, & for another thing‚ we don't have to carry tracts in our pockets here to class, much less go out & litness! We can't because we're a Selah Home. I'm talking about the people that can. In our regular witnessing Homes there shouldn't be a person there that doesn't always have a tract on'm!—Maybe not when they're in the house or stripped in hot climates, but certainly when they put on their System clothes to go outside, they should never go without lit.—Do they? Did you ever?
19. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE THOUGHT OF GOING OUT YOUR DOOR WITHOUT LIT, RIGHT? For years I thought I was an awful downright dirty sinner if I walked out the door without tracts in my pocket & my wife without tracts in her purse, & we always gave tracts to everybody—the elevator boy, the bell boy, the waiter, everybody‚ & talked to them about the Lord. That was our main job‚ our main pleasure, our avocation & our vocation, to witness & talk to people about Jesus & love'm for the Lord. It was wonderful‚ we loved it! Thank God my Mother loved it too‚ she was a wonderful personal witness, not just a pulpit evangelist! She always talked to everybody about the Lord wherever she went. She wasn't always much on tracts, she just was great on personal soul-winning. She'd nail'm right on the spot, talk to'm & get'm saved! We didn't always have a chance or time, a lot of times we did, but we'd always carry tracts.
20. AND EVEN AFTER WE STARTED THE FAMILY, WHEN I WAS IN LONDON I WOULD GIVE OUT TRACTS. Maria wouldn't let me openly witness to most people because we were beginning to have bitter enemies even in Parliament & whatnot who were trying to eradicate us, so we had to be a little more sort of underground & anonymous & be a little quieter about it. But I figured, "Well, I'll slip a tract under the dish & they won't see it until I'm out & gone & away. I'll be free & safe at some distance before the waiter or the waitress comes & picks it up & finds it, & by that time I'm gone & they can't catch up with me in case they don't like me or figure out who I am. We were still doing that even in France where Techi was born, but Maria finally convinced me that even that was dangerous, especially in some communities where we might get away for the moment, but they might see us again & catch us & identify us.
21. SO NOW WHEN WE SELAH PEOPLE GO OUT IN PUBLIC—usually only on business or shopping—we don't dare even act like anything but a pure Systemite! But I've told even Selah people that they can act like a Systemite Christian, they're pretty generally accepted. They won't be surprised to hear you say "God bless you" or maybe quote a Bible verse to them or tell them "Jesus saves! God bless you!"
22. BUT WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL TO PROTECT THE HEAD & THE LIGHT SO THAT YOUR LIGHTS CAN KEEP SHINING & you can keep getting the lit with the Light so you can shine it for me, & as a result we've got thousands of people shining for me‚ although I have to kind of hide my own light under a bushel. Well‚ when you consider all these Posters & the millions of pieces of lit that have gone out, I wouldn't exactly call that hiding my light under a bushel, would you?—Only you have to shine it for me. And now the people out there have to shine it for you, because you have to help me furnish the lights. Praise God?
23. BUT WHAT A BLESSING EVEN TO HAVE BEEN THERE, WHERE THEY ARE NOW, & SYMPATHISE WITH THEM & TELL THEM HOW MUCH THE LORD DID FOR YOU!—Amen? (To one of the girls:) Are you all right? Are you happy? (Fam: Yes, Sir.) PTL! Are you sick?—On your period? (Fam: No.) PTL! Well, that ought to make you happy. Hallelujah! If some of you girls are feeling a little down because I don't make love to you every day, I'm sorry. I haven't been in shape to do much of that lately. I've been a little under the weather myself.
24. BUT DON'T WORRY IF I CAN'T MAKE LOVE TO YOU EVERY DAY, AFTER ALL, I'M ONLY HUMAN, I'M ONLY ONE MAN! I've got a few other guys here to help me out on that. Please, boys, help me! Even if my hand never gets tired, I get tired!—Especially if it takes a little time & I'm not up to it. I love you just the same. Even if I can't make love to you every day, I still love you. PTL?—Amen?—Boys too! Just think, girls, I never make love to them, why should you feel bad? Poor boys! That's why I have you girls here, so you can make love to them for me!—And I've got the boys here so they can make love to you girls for me & help relieve me a little bit. After all, I don't want to get the heebie–jeebies & never be able to stop, or St. Vitus's dance or palsy or whatever they want to call it! Some of you who have seen my hand in action know what I'm talking about! Sometimes I think it can go faster than a jackhammer! Even if I'm not always successful, at least I try.
25. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, DEAR MAMA EVE WAS THE FIRST ONE I EVER HEARD QUOTE THIS: "IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED, KEEP ON SUCKING TILL YOU DO!" You guys that understand American ought to be able to understand that pun: "If at first you don't suck-seed, keep on sucking till you do!" Succeed is a word meaning success, to succeed is to attain, to arrive, to accomplish what you tried to do, to have success, so it's a little play on words. That's what they call a pun, a word that can mean two different things. So if at first you don't suck-seed‚ girls, keep on sucking till you do!—Get it? How many of you get that joke?—Thank God! I won't have to explain it to you all.
26. WELL, THANK YOU JESUS! I SOMETIMES WONDER WHY THE LORD MADE ME SO SEXY, but I guess He knew that you were so sexy & I'd have to be sexy to keep up with you & minister to you & understand you.—And besides that, if you weren't sexy, so I could make you sexy! Praise God? Look at the results we've had! Look at all the children we've got! If I hadn't promoted sex, what would have happened? We would have died out like the Quakers or the Dunkards or the Shakers or some of those dying religions who didn't believe in sex. Some of'm died out, it was genocide! Imagine what a horrible horrible kind of religion it is that doesn't promote sex! We've promoted it, & like the old Methodist said‚ "We believe in backsliding & we practice it too!"—Only we don't think sex is evil. We believe in sex & we practice it too! Hallelujah? TYJ! PTL!
27. WELL AS YOU KNOW, I'M GETTING KIND OF WORN–OUT, GIRLS, BUT NOT THAT OLD HAND! HALLELUJAH! "AT THE KING'S RIGHT HAND THERE ARE PLEASURES FOR EVERMORE!" (Ps.16:11) So thank God I've still got that! Well‚ I woke up hard & stiff this morning too‚ but poor Mama was sick & I didn't want to bother her. That's why she's not here, she's sick, so pray for her. It's a good thing I said that's why I didn't fuck her this morning, even though I got up hard, because it reminded me to tell you to pray for her. Too bad one of you other girls weren't there. If the telephone was just on my side of the bed, then I could call you! But we've got it on her side because she's the one that needs it the most.
28. WELL ANYWAY, PRAISE THE LORD! I'M GETTING TO BE AN OLD MAN & I SHOULDN'T BE INVOLVED IN SUCH FOOLISHNESS. That's what the church would say, "No fool like an old fool! That old fool, why is he still talking about sex at his age? He's got one foot in the grave & the other one on a banana peel, & the banana peel is sex! He oughtta lay off so he can live a little longer!" Well, I think sex helps make you healthy & gives you another thing to live for, amen? Praise God? Hallelujah?—Amen!—I love it!
29. BOY, IF YOU AREN'T SEXY, YOU DON'T BELONG HERE! Look at all these people nodding their heads & saying "amen" & looking bright & excited & happy! That's one of the things that keeps us happy, amen? You're a sexy bunch & I'm amazed at how much sex some of you people can stand! Hallelujah! GBY! Well, I used to do better than that when I was your age! But that's okay‚ you're about normal‚ average, not too bad.—After all, I wouldn't expect everybody to want to fuck two or three or four times a day—although some of you just about make it.
30. HOW DID I GET ONTO THAT, ANYWAY?—CHURCH PEOPLE, SEX, SUCK-SEED, KEEP ON TRYING TILL YOU DO! What was the point to that illustration?—(Fam: Witnessing, church stories, how Grandmother used to talk about Paul's thorn in the flesh.)—Yes. So there's no excuse! But the preacher would get up & explain away everything I told the people & why they didn't have to do it & why they shouldn't do it & why they should let him do it. Can you beat that? Sometimes I'd look around at him sitting in his pulpit–throne there for encouragement, thinking he's going to say‚ "Sic'm, that's what they need!"—Instead of that, he was sliding further down in his chair & practically hiding behind his hymnbook, almost ashamed to see the people because he knew he didn't do it either! He didn't carry tracts, he didn't witness, he didn't litness on the street.
31. OH, THAT WAS BENEATH HIS DIGNITY AS A MINISTER & AS A PREACHER! "Preachers don't do that sort of thing‚ they confine their preaching to the place where you should preach the Gospel‚ in the church! That's the place for preaching‚ not out on the dirty streets with those dirty people! Confine the Holy Gospel to the nice clean church & the holy people!" That's their attitude & that's what they preach & teach & practice. But Jesus went out where the people were, where the sinners were, & consorted with the drunks & the harlots, the publicans & the sinners‚ where He was needed, & He loved them, healed them & saved them! Praise God? Amen?—GBAKY winning souls for Jesus!—In Jesus' name, amen!—ILY!—D.