I have talked about The Unofficial United Methodist Handbook for Pastors before. But I recently obtained The Unofficial United Methodist Handbook. This one is for members of a UMC, the laity. It if full of good stuff that every member should know. For example, how to receive communion, what baptism is about, how to memorize a Bible verse, or how to avoid getting burned at the stake. The book contains lots of practical advise, with humor, and serious spiritual issues as well.
One thing I found in this book is the five grossest Bible stories and tell me if you agree with their list or which ones would round out a top 10 list. (below is quoted from page 165 of the book)
- Eglon and Ehud (Judges 3:12-30) – Before kings reigned over Israel, judges ruled the people. At that time, a very overweight king named Eglon conquered Israel and demanded money. A man named Ehud brought the payment to Eglon while he was perched in his ‘cool roof chamber’ (probably a euphemism meaning ‘toilet’). Along with the money, Ehud handed over a little something extra – his sword, which he buried so far in Eglon’s belly that the sword disappeared into the king’s fat and, as the Bible says, ‘the dirt came out’ (v.22).
- Job’s sores (Job 2:1-10) – Job lived a righteous life yet he suffered anyway. He had oozing sores from the bald spot on top of his head clear down to the soft spot on the bottom of his foot. Job used a broken piece of pottery to scrape away the puss that leaded from his sores.
- The naked prophet (Isaiah 20) – God’s prophets went to great lengths to get God’s message across to the people. Isaiah was no exception. God’s people planned a war, but God have it the thumbs down. Isaiah marched around Jerusalem naked for three years as a sign of what would happen if the people went to war.
- The almost-naked prophet (Jeremiah 13:1-11) – God sent Jeremiah to announce that God could no longer be proud of the people. To make the point, Jeremiah bought a new pair of underclothes, wore them every day without washing them, then buried them in the wet river sand. Later, he dug them up, strapped them on, and shouted that this is what has happened to the people who were God’s pride!
- Spilling your guts (Matthew 27:1-8, Acts 1:16-19) – Judas betrayed Jesus and sold him out for 30 pieces of silver. He bought a field with the ill-gotten loot. Guilt-stricken, Judas walked out to the field, his belly swelled up until it burst, and his intestines spilled out on to the ground. [I thought he hung himself and when he fell his belly burst?]