Sunday, January 8, 2012


Part V:
  The mainenance of a top-down structure, with emphasis placed on respect for and obedience to the leadership, has left NTCC largely drained of imagination, and choked with the residue of opportunistic emulators. One obvious manifestation of this problem is the accumulation of a lexicon of “in-house” jargon and pet phraseology that you can expect to hear if you attend for any length of time. Many of these terms are mere copies of the lingo spoken by RW Davis. Others are a result of inside humor or exclusive doctrines. Some examples are included in this section.
  As For Me and My House… This is a reference to the words of Joshua, who declared to the people of Israel that they ought to choose “this day” whom they would serve, “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” This phrase is used as a weapon against disagreement. If one were to cherish a peculiar opinion, such as an aversion to French Onion soup, one might intone from the pulpit, “You may think it’s alright to eat French Onion soup, but as for me and my house…” at which many listeners would instantly shout approval, knowing that the rest of the unfinished sentence is “…we will serve the Lord.” Therefore the eating of French Onion soup is characterized as an act of disobedience to God, the preacher (as the leader of his family) as a man of great godliness for upholding an opinion, pet doctrine or taboo, the congregation as obedient followers of “the man of God”, and those who disagree as rebels against the Lord. Notice that no proof is needed to substantiate the actual statement or opinion. The jargon alone is sufficient to produce the desired effect.
  As the Sin of Witchcraft… The scriptures compare rebellion to witchcraft in such a way that the reader gets the message rather clearly without need of assistance. But NTCC preachers add liberally to what is actually said. They are fond of this concept because they have learned to use it as leverage against those who would question their words and/or actions. Since they have elevated the position of spiritual leadership out of all proportion to real Christianity, they identify all doubt or disagreement as rebellion, and then indict the “rebel” as guilty of a sin equivalent to idolatry, voodoo, black magic, trafficking with familiar spirits, necromancy, et al.
  Bless Your Thumpin’ Gizzard… This is a rather picturesque way in which RW Davis renders the common term “bless your heart”. It has a country flavor, which is always offensive in the mouth of a Northerner, which is why most NTCC preachers who utilize the phrase sound foolish when they say it. It is not intended as a term of comfort, as in “Bless your heart! I heard about what happened to your mother!” but rather as a threatening interjection intended to convey the meaning: “I don’t care what you think, I’m gonna say this whether you like it or not!” Down-home terms like this one are abundantly sprinkled into the preaching of many pastors and ministers within New Testament Christian Church because their crudely forthright manner gives a certain perceived weight to the words of the speaker. “You might let your wife wear pants, buddy…but bless yer thumpin’ gizzard…as for me and my house…!!” It can be funny and entertaining in person as long as you are not the one being targeted, but viewed in retrospect and with objectivity, it is just another example of the lame tactics employed by an exclusive hillbilly church culture.
  Come on Now… This crops up periodically in addition to an array of alternative terms used to solicit participation from the congregation. Many NTCC preachers are in the habit of verbally arm-twisting their hearers for audible confirmation of their preaching. It is, in fact, an enormously important part of the NTCC culture that RW Davis personally promoted for many years, and has recently attempted to curtail, but without success. Pulpiteers of New Testament Christian Church are known to place a hand or finger behind one ear as if to say “I can’t hear you!” a cue that ordinarily results in hearty cooperation. Sometimes the simple raising of an open hand combined with a blank stare is sufficient to produce similar results. NTCC ministers also make use of “Can somebody say amen?!” along with most other frequently used pentecostal prompts.
  Compromise… Anything the pastor does not like.
  Dinglebobs… A word that refers to earrings, this somewhat insulting term is designed to mock the person wearing them. Somehow the use of the term “earrings” does not have the desired impact, since the discussion would take on the characteristics of a serious inquiry into the supposed sinfulness of wearing them. Since NTCC preachers are incapable of defending their pet doctrines seriously, they must displace scrutiny in the direction of the wearer, making fun of their adornments by calling them dinglebobs. Once the ridiculous nature of dinglebobs is established in the collective mind of the audience, anything said about them from the pulpit is fair game.
  Everything’s Gonna Be Alright… Based upon a favorite song in which the exhortation “I’ve got a feelin’ everything’s gonna be alright” is repeated over and over, this line is frequently employed to prompt in the minds of the congregation the urge to shout agreement that, in spite of all their problems, the ecclesiastical obligations under which they are laid, the financial and time demands of this authority-obsessed church, and the difficulties they experience at home due to the push for attendance and the overall performance pressure, they are actually quite happy, content, and ready for more.
  Genuinely Saved… Pronounced “jen-yoo-WINE-lee saved”, this applies only to those who conform to the requirements of NTCC.
  Get in the Boat… A euphemism that depicts total dedication, soul-winning activity, tithing, heavy giving, and perfect attendance (but only in NTCC, which is apparently the only way that an individual can be blessed).
  God Will Bless You For It… Be very alert for this oft-used terminology. Preachers use these words almost ceaselessly to get you to increase your giving and your sacrifice of time. When an NTCC preacher says this to you, please consider the source and realize that it has only one meaning: “You’d better cooperate, or else.”
  God’s Elite Special Forces… Culled from military lingo, NTCC bestows this title upon itself. It is pure, preening self-deception, with no basis in reality.
  God’s Gonna Get His… NTCC wants you to think that, if you do not pay tithes or give offerings to the church sufficiently, something terrible is going to happen to you.
  Having Church… NTCC likes to think that God operates primarily in the assembly through the agency of the preacher. Their preachers are attention-loving performers, and their behavior in the pulpit is calculated to convince their listeners that they are under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, they often define “church” not as a gathering, a body or a place, but as an event. This is why they use the verbal phrase “to have church”, as in “let’s have church”. Despite its nonsensical nature, they enjoy using the term because it lays stress upon the event, drawing the requisite attention to the performance of the preacher, who serves as the chief drawing card and master of ceremonies. They also enjoy setting themselves apart as unique and superior in their forceful and hyper-excited manner of worship and preaching. They know the term is strictly incorrect, but they like to use it because of its pentecostal flavor, openly defying what they consider to
be staid intellectualism.
  Holiness or Hell… The writer of the book of Hebrews said that one must “follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”. This is a fairly straighforward statement that nevertheless suffers violence at the hands of NTCC, who re-define holiness in terms of their own man-made standards of dress, etc. In this manner they condemn all Christians who do not adhere to their peculiar pet doctrines. When the pastor says “God’s still God, the Bible is still the Bible, and it’s still holiness or hell!” he is simply trying to enforce conformity through fear and intimidation.
  Holy Ghost… Said with a southern accent, or an affectation of a hillbilly drawl, this term embodies the old-time pentecostal image projected by NTCC. The term itself is primarily a product of King James English, and reflects the KJV-only mentality of New Testament Christian Church. There is a convincing argument that the KJV, being translated from superior source documents, has yet to be surpassed for accuracy. At least this argument possesses a degree of scholarly support. Yet this is not the reason for NTCC’s love affair with the 1611 Authorized Version. This organization insists that all other English translations represent an attempt to “compromise” the truth and to corrupt the scriptures. In typically pseudo-intellectual logic, NTCC generally assumes that the lofty Jacobean vocabulary of the KJV shows the mark of inspiration that other versions lack. The phrase “Holy Spirit” is perfectly acceptable, and more properly conveys the idea that He is an unseen personal being, rather than a visible, disembodied spectre, which is what we generally mean when we say “Ghost”. NTCC preachers have two answers for all of life’s questions: 1) get saved, and 2) get “the HOE-le-ghost”.
  Ichabod… Literally, “There Is No Glory”, from an Old Testament narrative. NTCC believes that this term is invisibly scrawled by the finger of God over the doorways of all other churches. The glory has evidently departed from them because they do not conform to the NTCC dress code.
  If It Harelips the Queen… A euphemism used in defiance, it depicts an unsavory response from a high-ranking dignitary as a result of “holiness preaching”. An NTCC preacher who attempts to get women to stop wearing pants might claim “I’m still gonna preach it, and I don’t care if it harelips the Queen!” He is arrogantly comparing himself to John the Baptist, who really did harelip the Queen and suffered actual persecution (death, if memory serves) as a result.
  Jezebel… The spirit of whoredom that incites women to wear make-up, according to NTCC in its ignorance of the scripture.
  Organization, God is a God of… NTCC presents its followers and prospects with a false choice between absolute top-down authority and unimaginable chaos. To suggest a relaxation of pastoral power or the “chain-of-command” administrative structure is, in the collective mind of NTCC, tantamount to inviting insanity into the work of the Lord. In the spirit of this false dichotomy, they often repeat the assertion that “God is a God of organization.” This is intended to conjur visions of the alternative, which would supposedly consist of complete disorganization and resulting mayhem. Unwilling to allow such a circumstance to emerge, the audience is reminded once again how much they appreciate being under spiritual bondage, believing that to escape would plunge their spiritual lives into an unbridled maelstrom of “anything goes”-style disorganization.
  Split Hell Wide Open… To perish eternally, as though blasted into the abyss from the barrel of a cannon, ostensibly the doom of those who disobey the pastor of NTCC.
  Stay in the Boat… Stolen from the Apostle Paul and removed from its context, this jargon is often used by NTCC ministers to browbeat the members into complete loyalty. They promote the idea that the only reason anyone attends their church in the first place is because of God’s personal seal of approval and determination. “God sent you here, so this is where you belong”, and therefore this is the only place of safety, etc., etc.
  The Worker is More Important than His Work… The philosophy of RW Davis, this phrase reflects the need for program pushers and attendance gatherers, and is the reason why local ministers are insulated from the effects of their abuse of the congregation. If you as a member have an issue with the leadership, rest assured that there is no real court of appeal to which you may apply for a redress of grievances.
  We are Winning… NTCC depends in large measure upon the seige mentality to engender enthusiasm among the ranks. If they have no enemy, if they are not under attack, if they are not set apart as superior to and hated by all other churches, they lose a great deal of motive power. To simply shout “We are winning” will usually prompt a chorus of cheers, but not a soul would dare to ask “Winning what, how, and against whom?”

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