2007-07-12 / Opinions

Gunsmoke

By GARY TOOLE

This should bring back some fond memories. Back in the 1950s when the television program "Gunsmoke" started it was on Sunday night right about the time that most church services were ending. Some church members would miss church to watch it in its entirely. Some would rush home after church to catch what they could. Some didn't care if they saw it or not. They had rather be in church and didn't get in any hurry to get home -- that is, those who truly loved the Lord with all their heart; not just their lips.

This was back when of course Marshall Matt Dillon was played by James Arness and when the show was coming on he would pull that three foot long revolver and get the bad man. Then the limping deputy, Chester, played by Dennis Weaver, would get all excited running down the street hollering, "Mr. Dillon, Mr. Dillon."

Then there was Kitty the saloon owner. Of course they kept it subtle, but in fact she ran a brothel too. Then there was old Doc. I never did hear them call him anything but Doc. Well, I'm just reminiscing right now. Anyway, many times when my father would finish his sermon he would say, "Now, many of you are in a hurry to get home to watch Gunsmoke." And they were, but not the ones that loved the Lord.

Then my daddy would say, "Come to see me and bring me a ham and if you don't love me then I know who your pappy is." And for those young folks who don't know and don't have a normal sense of humor, he was talking about the devil. Let me throw this in for good measure. Speaking of the devil, I saw on a young man's T-shirt, "The devil is a nerd," meaning a goofy looking guy. Wrong. The Bible lets us know that the devil is beautiful and alluring.

Getting back to Gunsmoke. This medicine man was on a program and he and Doc had it out. This old boozer called himself a faith healer. He was really a shyster. He bottled up creek water and called it holy water like some crooked preachers do today. He amazed some with his healing feats.

It reminded me of a humorous story. This faith healer was laying on hands and folks were throwing their crutches over in the corner and she spotted an old gentleman and he leaned way over and said, "Oh, please don't pray for me! I'm on total disability and they will cut my check out." Like some that want things from God, but they want it their way.

Back to Gunsmoke. Let me tell you that satan has power and he gives special power to witch doctors to do things to show God up, but greater is he that is in us as Christians than he that is in this old world. God has greater power but let me tell you that He doesn't just give it to anyone. The devil will give his power to anybody and everybody but not God. You must qualify spiritually to get God's special power. Can you say amen?

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