© 2012 Gene Cartwright

The God Wars
Highway to Heaven, or Road to Perdition?


Archer City, Texas—Sunday Morning

The room door was shut fast but Earl Freeny’s booming voice spilled past, reverberating into the narrow hallway and beyond. He was in usual form.
     “Now, just hear me out. If you’re waiting for me to apologize for what I’ve been sayin’ day in and day out…well, it’ ain’t coming. It ain’t never coming. Fact is I don’t owe anyone an apology for speakin’ the truth. That’s what I signed up to do. And I’m gonna keep on doin’ just that, as long as I draw breath. And one more thing: I could sure use some help in this…this truth-tellin’ journey I’m on.
     "Like a lot of us—who are few in number—I look around and see some of these these bible-toting prevaricators, whoremongers, and money-changers doin’ more prosperin’ than perishin’. There are a few who do serious harm to efforts to show the way to those who are lost.
     “Some of that judgment promised for the hereafter oughta’ be visited upon them in the here and now. I’m doing all I can to get by. I don’t require very much. But that ’72 pickup I drive has been doing more lying down than pickin’ up. Plus the mortgage on this place is so far in arrears I can’t even see it with the Hubble Telescope.
     “But I’m gonna keep on trying, keep on believing in the rightness of the cause, and trying to hold on to those few still willing to stand with me. I just need a little intervention here. Well, that’s ‘bout all I got to say, right now. I appreciate your listening. Get back to me, as soon as you can. In Jesus’ name I pray and give thanks to Almighty God, Amen."

With that, Pastor Earl B. Freeny, 65, a self-assured, never ex-Marine, self-described Robert Duvall look-alike, and hater of all things dishonest, opened the door to his closet-size Pastor’s study, and headed down the hallway to the Church sanctuary. There, the few dozen remaining faithful sat waiting for him.