February 22, 2013 by jmar198013
—Calvin Luther Edwards, III: Contributing editor for The Phinehas Page—
Here’s something you good brothers and sisters ought to know about Brother Snipes’ lecture–there are major discrepancies between what you’ll find printed in the lectureship book and what he actually preached that day. I just happened to have brought a small tape recorder with me to the lecture, and have taken the liberty of transcribing the bulk of his tirade, leaving out only the parts printed in the lectureship book. Enjoy.
“Now, I have been assigned the task of teaching on Jude 7, namely about the eternality of Hell, because of some strange and uncertain noises that have come from three brethren out in California. It is worth noting that all three are lawyers and not Bible scholars, and that all of them have come from the so-called ‘Non-Kitchen’ faction of our brotherhood. First, in 1994 a certain Brother Burl Coffee published a book entitled The All-Consuming Fire. In that book, he claimed that Hell is a place where wicked souls are annihilated, and denied the biblical doctrine that Hell is a place where the damned suffer conscious torment forever. Now, most brethren just ignored this book, since we all know that Brother Coffee is slightly kooky from breathing too much California air. His father, Brother Melvin Coffee, was a faithful Gospel Preacher in Alabama for all his adult life, and we expected great things for his son, too–especially after Brother Burl’s first two books were such staunch defenses of the faith. Those were, of course, A Ten-Year-Old Refutes Amish Foolishness, and his much-lauded sophomoric effort, A High-School Sophomore Proves That He Knows the Bible Better Than Karl Barth. I still heartily endorse those books. But after Brother Coffee went to law school in that den of sodomites at Berkeley, his books started getting stranger and stranger. After he published A Survey of North American Communion Breads (By Region), we had all pretty much marked him as unsound, both in teaching and in mind.
“But then in 1998 we were all stunned by the publication of what turned out to be the lamented Brother Elmo Ellis’ final book, Stuff I Bet You Didn’t Know About the Bible’s Teaching on Hell. In that book Brother Ellis, a preacher and former District Attorney in Stockton, CA, said that we should not believe that Hell is really worms and fire and gnashing of teeth any more than we believe that Heaven is literally pearly gates and streets of gold. What shocked us so badly is that Brother Ellis had always been so sound. But we chalked it up to senility and decided to forgive him. The man was 93 years old, after all! Other brethren, noting that the book had been put out by a rinky-dink outfit none of us had ever heard of, called Religious Publications, Inc., decided that the book was a forgery, put out after Brother Ellis had entered a nursing home by those who wanted to discredit his legacy–probably digressive brethren. I am not ruling out that possibility, myself. Whatever the case, Stuff I Bet You Didn’t Know About the Bible’s Teaching on Hell should not be regarded as canonical Elmo Ellis.
“But it wasn’t until last year that the state of Hell scholarship in our Brotherhood reached a crisis point, with the publication of P. Beauregard Jones’ Do the Souls in Hell Really Have Teeth to Gnash, Anyway? Brother Jones, you know, teaches Law at the digressive Almondine University in Malibu, and was for quite some time regarded among us as the one untainted Brother in that den of apostate vipers. But with the publication of this book, he has betrayed our trust, brothers and sisters. He is indeed an asp as well, and ought to be marked as the Second Coming of Judas Iscariot! This book is the reason I was asked to lecture on Jude 7’s unequivocal insistence upon a genuinely eternal Hell, because of Brother Jones’ status as a popular speaker and writer. Many brethren have already been deceived by this atrocity of a book, but I want to show you how you can indeed judge a book by its cover.
“Just look at the logo on the dust jacket. This book was published by the once-sound, now apostate Harlan Publishing House. Let me give you a brief list of titles, so you can see what other heretics they are harboring. They’ve put out My Mama Sang Tenor, Too by the weepy story-teller Buddy Silver. They published the downright odd volume, Jesus and the Art of Volkswagen Repair by the so-called “Hippie Preacher,” Archie Klein. And they also released an awful book called Lessons I’ve Learned About Christian Living From Playing Texas Hold ‘Em, by Francis Spicoli. That Harlan Publishing released this book from Brother Jones is very telling–it means that none of our faithful publishing companies like Banner of Love or Full Armor Press will touch it with a thirty-foot pole!
“Next, let’s just see who endorsed the book. First, the sweater-wearing phony Mack Baldato says, ‘This is the hottest book about the lake of fire I’ve read this year!’ Next, Strudel Harrison, whose apostasy is so well-documented I’m sure I won’t even mention it, writes: ‘Hell as we have known it is now a moot point.’ Clive O’Riordan, an Irish preacher in his dotage, writes sycophantically: ‘This is a pretty neat book.’ And perhaps worst of all, John Thomas Keen —a First United Primitive Christian Church minister-turned-Methodist!–says, ‘Beauregard Jones makes a lot of sense.’ So you see, the only folks that Harlan could scrounge up to say nice things about this stupid book were two sweater-wearing sissy preachers, an old and senile European, and a Methodist backslider! When you see that, you know that you ought to just put this book down and not read it, because it’s dumb and probably dangerous to your spiritual health! You’d do only a little worse reading Penthouse! But just suppose you were brave or foolish enough to read this book–what would you find?
“In this silly book, Brother Jones essentially regurgitates the points made by Burl Coffee and Elmo Ellis. But then he adds a new twist: an emotional appeal to our sense of justice! For he asserts that it would be unjust of God to send a man to Hell to be punished eternally for sin committed in the temporal sphere, especially if that sin was inadvertent. So it would be, he says, for instance, unjust of God to torture somebody forever for playing a piano in worship, even though they didn’t know any better. Well, I say: IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE, MR LAWYER MAN! A law is a law is a law! [audience applause] If God says its a sin to play a piano, and somebody foolishly plays a piano, let them fry! Is it not grossly presumptuous of Brother Jones to tell God what is just and what is not? God, by his very definition, is inscrutable. As it is written in Isaiah 55.9, ‘my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts!’
“And so, beloved brethren, I am here today to rebuke, reprove, and correct the demented ramblings of those twice-damned deceivers with the inspired Word of God, and to tear them limb from limb with the living and active sword of the Spirit, just like old Elijah did to the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel in the long ago! Now, it is probably too late to save these Balaams who have come to curse us–we have repeatedly warned them of the danger they are in, asses though we be, but they have whipped those asses every time! Well, these asses are not going to be whipped any more, brethren! We will speak no more to these heathens. But it is not too late to warn all of you. I have come to speak in defense of Hell, brethren, and to admonish all that Hell is ETERNAL!”