book for Sabbatarians pokes fun at antinomianism
By Mac Overton
BIG SANDY, Texas--The
late, great science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein had one of his
characters, Lazarus Long, say in one of his excellent novels something
to the effect that any religion that cannot occasionally laugh at
itself is, frankly, not worth the trouble.
It is in that
vein that this reviewer suggests that those from a Sabbatarian Church
of God tradition may want to buy Rev. Twistruth & His Disciples,
a comic book, and laugh their insides out at the religious humor
Daniel Botkin of East Peoria, Ill., approaches religious subjects
from a Messianic Jewish point of view. Often his scenarios are hilarious.
Mr. Botkin says
on an introductory page that "some of the stories you are about
to read are based on real events, which have been only slightly
exaggerated and embellished ..."
cartoon panel, "Antinomian Antics," introduces the main
characters in the strip, including the Rev. Everett Twistruth, whose
shiny new convertible makes him "the only topless preacher
in town"; his aunt, Torah B. Gone, also known as Auntie Torah;
and Ms. Grace Lawless, a liberated woman who exclaims: "Isn't
it great to be free to do what we please? Praise God!"
Then there is
Chester Yesman, a disciple who invariably agrees with Mr. Twistruth,
and Newton Newconvert, who irritates Mr. Twistruth when he challenges
him to explain himself.
The Rev. Twistruth
reassures her: "There's a simple explanation, Grace! God wouldn't
give His Son the authority to abolish the law, but He did give Paul
The book's only
defect (in my opinion) is that, in line with its Messianic Jewish
perspective, it seems to go a little overboard in advocating the
appropriateness of dressing like Orthodox Jews.
But the book is
a fun read, especially in certain scenarios. For example, a panel
shows Newton Newconvert perusing a notice on a bulletin board announcing
a "Messianic Passover celebration."
Ms. Lawless tells
him: "Oh, Newton! We've been freed from that! Haven't you ever
you mean?" Newton Newconvert asks her.
bondage!" Miss Lawless tells him. "We're not supposed
to observe all that manmade tradition!
we've gotta be at church that evening to get things ready for the
Easter sunrise service, the Easter ham dinner, and the Easter-egg
The rest of the
80-page magazine-sized volume contains similar wit, with which maybe
95 percent of Sabbatarian Christians can agree and get chuckles
The 80-page Rev.
Twistruth is available for a "suggested donation" of $10
from Giving & Sharing, P.O. Box 100, Neck City, Mo. 64849, U.S.A.
See also "'Mad' for Sabbatarians Available From G&S," The Journal, Sept. 30, 2001.
© The Journal: News of the Churches of God