A Joke used to illustrate a point..

There is an old joke that uses a poor black farmer as its foil.  Why a black farmer; probably because a black farmer is even poorer than a poor white farmer. The farmer tells the preacher that he wants to be baptized so the preacher gives him the pre-baptism interview. “Do you believe in Adam and Eve he asks -yes,yes said the old farmer- Noah’s Ark? -yes – Moses?-yes – Daniel and the Lion’s den?  At Daniel a the old farmer hesitated and finally said he could not believe that those lions did not eat Daniel. The preacher told him he couldn’t be baptised. The old farmer got up to leave but before he did he said “you know preacher, I never believed any of that other stuff neither”.

I think this joke relies for its humor, on the idea that a poor person can not believe that a hungry animal would not eat when it had a chance. I tell that joke to tell you my own “poor farmer” moment. I recently went through Genesis as part of a group Bible study.  When we got to the Gen 20 story about Abimelech taking a 90 year old Sarah in to his harem I said to myself ‘no, I can’t believe it’.  I guess that just as the old farmer in the joke was very conscious of his stomach I’m very conscious of my ……

The joke is really on us evangelicals. It shows a preacher denying a person baptism because he could not believe part of the Bible. Just a reminder, we are Christians not Bible-ians.

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