I found a place where you can get some cool audio books for FREE (yes, they are legal!). The site is called ChristianAudio.com and it is a cool website that, while they normally sell their products, gives away a free audio book each month.
It is thru one of these promotions that I found Matthew Paul Turner’s book “Churched: One kids’s Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess.” (hmm..I should probably tell you that you can still download it for free).
Liking the price (who wouldn’t?!) and knowing that a good friend of mine really, really enjoyed MPT’s books (MPT = Matthew Paul Turner); I decide to give it a listen.
So I did…(as you have probably already guessed…)
Sadly enough, I did not understand or really enjoy the book… which is odd see how I just recommended that you to go download it…
Allow me to unpack this jumbled mess… MPT grew up in a Christian fundamentalist household in which the primary focus was on looking and acting good so that everyone thought you were a good ‘Christian.’ The church he grew up in focused on this so much they actually had all the males in the church get the same hair cut (short on the top, tapered on the sides – just like Jesus) and pastor was known to let loose with the hellfire and brimstone most weeks.
At one point in MPT’s early life, his Sunday school teacher burned a Barbie doll in front of the class to emphasis the need for them to repeat and be ‘saved’ (unfortunately the teacher forgot that burning things in a closed room had…umm…other repercussions).
To my relief, I did not grow up in such a church (Thank you dad and mom!!!) so I really can not relate to MPT’s stories. To me 95% of his story is just plain nuts – I mean, who in their right mind burns a Barbie doll as an illustrated lesson or thinks that Jesus, a 1st century Jewish guy, went to a barber every week! Hello? Scissors were not even invented until 1760 AD!!!!
But, as a good friend’s book reviewed showed, there are a lot of people out there who grew up in a similar church as MPT – and it is to those people that I recommend reading “Churched” as I hope that it will help you laugh through that nutty fundamentalist background. (for all it oddness, it is a funny book – if not cringe-worthy).
Oh, and in case you are wondering, MPT is not picking on or lasing out at folks – his stories do have a point. A good point in fact. One about following Jesus instead of trying to create a nice little box were everything is black or while.
So yes, I am recommending because some of you may need to laugh your way to healing (hmm…is that a trademarked phrase?)