Monday, May 15, 2006

chuck smith, c.s.s.

let me begin by thanking you, my internet fellowship, for continuing to walk with me as i follow Christ. although i find it incredibly hard to let my light shine in this god-forsaken secular environment, your prayers and encouragement always give me the extra spiritual wattage that i need. my intent in sharing these stories is not to mock either my co-workers or the SS, but to provide you with grist for prayer.

tuesday, may 2, 2:15 p.m.

donna: "great save jean! every sale that we save takes us one step closer to our goal."

jean: "that's right! all hail, jean, jean the sex machine."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "jean, can you please refrain from such filthy talk. even though you are way past your prime, you can still cause a brother to stumble."

jean: "cause you to stumble? what the hell does that mean?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "into sexual sin of course or porneia to be more specific. to slightly paraphrase the words of my Lord, 'it is better for a woman to have a millstone tied around her neck and thrown into the sea than to cause one of my men to stumble.'"

jean: "and who the hell are you to say that i'm past my prime? you sexually repressed little fu…"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "let me stop this edifying discussion right here. i have a call. 'thank you for calling the SS, where everything is possible! this is chuck.'"

customer: "good afternoon chuck, this is nancy at the baptist hospital of oklahoma."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "praise the Lord! i cannot tell you how encouraging it is to talk to a fellow baptist from the Bible belt. every time i think i'm going to drown in this secular swamp the Lord extends a hand."

nancy: "actually, i'm not a baptist. i attend crosswinds community church in edmond."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "close enough, nancy. close enough. how can i help you?"

nancy: "well i just received a shipment of product from your encouraging crosses series, and almost every cross is marred."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "i'm sorry, every cross is what?"

nancy: "it's marred. there are little scratches on the silver plates that read "bless you boy" and "god's with you girl."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "well of course, it's marred nancy. the cross was stained with our sin and strained by our disobedience."

nancy: "listen, chuck, i'm not looking for theologically correct product, i just want crosses that sell. can you send me a return label for these items?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "i don't think so nancy. if i let you return a perfectly good cross today, i'm afraid that tomorrow you'll be tacking Christ back on the cross just like our "friends" at baptist st. anthony's have. in the end, rejecting these crosses wouldn't just be bad for business, it would be bad for your faith."

nancy: "chuck, quite frankly, i find your line of reasoning insulting. can i speak with your supervisor."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "i'll do you one better sister. i'll talk to him myself. for one moment."

"ronnie, this is chuck. i have a customer on the line who wants to return $800 worth of encouraging crosses product because she says they are marred."

ronnie: "chuck, they aren't marred. they're perfect product. just this week silver dollar city in branson purchased four skids of the 'god's with you girl' sku."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "i think the cross is perfect too, ronnie! perhaps later we can talk a little more about the price Christ paid for our sins."

ronnie: "whatever chuck. just tell little miss thang that we aren't taking those crosses back."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "nancy, thank you for holding. unfortunately we cannot allow you to reject the cross. however, I would be willing to offer you a 10% credit to help you mark down and market this product.

nancy…you there?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.

occasionally I hear things about how poorly things are proceeding at i've heard the departments are understaffed, morale is low and a number of people are moving onto greener pastures.

however, since i am no longer a part of that particular flock, i am in no position to judge. to paraphrase st. paul, what business is it of mine to judge those outside my company? but, i do have a responsibility to judge those inside my company and that is a task I take very seriously.

i was reminded of my divine responsibility last week when i told kerrie, our office's administrative assistant, that our fax machine was short on toner. since my department constantly uses the fax to correspond with customers and various shipping agents, the effective maintenance of the machine is of utmost importance. i have provided an abbreviated transcript of our conversation below in hopes that it will help you judge properly within your particular professional context.

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "hi kerrie, i'm glad you finally got back from lunch. the fax machine is short on toner. if you could replace that as soon as possible, i'd really appreciate it."

kerrie: "oh, it's short on toner, again? chuck, let me show you where i keep the toner, so that you can replace it in the future."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "i'm sorry kerrie. i didn't know that your job was so demanding that you needed to start delegating your responsibilities. don't take this the wrong way, but perhaps if you cut down on your personal calls and potty breaks you could actually complete your assigned tasks. i'd love to help you with the toner, but i've got more significant things to do."

kerrie: "you are an absolute jerk. who made you God around here?"

chuck smith: "careful there, kerrie. i'm not God, only his humble servant. if you stop moving your mouth and start using your brain, you'll find your tasks much easier to fulfill. thank you in advance for taking care of this."

i hope that those of you who shy away from conflict and find it hard to apply the principles of the faith at work find this helpful. remember that a properly ordered workplace pleases God!

chuck smith, c.s.s.

i'm finally starting to fall into step with the SS, so i guess it's time to continue sharing my experiences and practical wisdom with the world. initially, i must admit that i was afraid of the company flinching at my candor and perhaps even firing me for continuing to speak with you. however, after a season of diligent consideration and prayer the Lord has reminded me that i must not let my light be held under a bushel. moreover, if the SS authorities ever call me to account i can rest assured that in that moment the Spirit will give me words to speak. so, where to start…

okay, i don't think i'm sharing any state secrets when i admit that the gifts industry is rife with feminists and flaming homosexuals. i mention this not to accuse any particular person, but to state an obvious truth. i'm beginning to suspect that he Lord has put me here to remind the women of the benevolent, patriarchal order of God's creation and to steer the queers straight by reminding them that that celibacy and innovative onanism are much better options than sodomy. since i've shared my opinions on the corruptive influence of feminism on a couple of occasions, today i would like to share an encounter i recently had with a homosexual. again, i do not share this story to merely chastise or condemn. rather, since i have yet to learn how to interact with homos in a edifying and God glorifying way, i am hoping that you can offer some insight.

below, i have provided a complete transcript of a call i just received this morning.

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "thank you for calling the SS, where everything is possible! my name is chuck, how can i help you?"

customer: "yesss, this is johnnie from the red fern in savannah. i was just sliced by one of your displays and i'm about to lose it!"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "i'm sorry sir, you were 'sliced' by a display? that must have been relatively hard wound for a spinning circular display to inflict!"

johnnie: "i don't think you understand, mister smith. the screws that came with this display are just too short. they constantly fail to penetrate the centerpiece!"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "i'm sorry johnnie, i think we have a bad connection. did you just say something that suggested screwing and penetrating. i might be a straight man in a squiggly industry, but the rules of sexual harassment still apply!"

johnnie: "well mister man, i want you to listen a little better. the screws on YOUR display, are too short to penetrate through the strong wood. make sense so far?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "about as much sense as anything you've said so far johnnie."

johnnie: "uh-huh! when the screws failed to do their job, the rounded edge of the centerpiece slashed me in three places."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "where you merely slashed in the hands or in a region that would be considered more vital?"

johnnie: "JUST in my hands. what are you suggesting mister smith? you are so inappropriate! i want to talk to ronnie, your manager, right this minute!"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "okay johnnie, as per your request. please wait for just one moment, while i try to put you through. and johnnie?"

johnnie: "what!?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "try not to injure yourself in the process."

ronnie: "hey chuck! what do you need this time?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "you remember johnnie? that whiny customer you pooh-poohed and placated on monday?"

ronnie: "of course."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "he claims he's been slashed by the rounded edge of one of our displays."

ronnie: "unn-uh! send that little queen right on over!"

chuck smith, c.s.s.

i am beginning to suspect that hell smells like potpourri. i am trying to honor God by enduring this immersion into the estrogen-infused environment of the SS, but i fear that i am failing. everyday i endure a fresh slate of cat fights, snippy commentary from our crotchety, overweight office assistant and constant atheistic assaults on my faith.

my prayer is that by persevering through this season of life i will procure another jewel for my crown.

fortunately, this barren season is not without its fruit. i would like to offer you a little taste of that fruit, by providing a few guidelines for other guys that are swimming in a sea of estrogen. my prayer is that my advice will help them persevere!

* when the “empowered women” in your office ask you to change the water bottle, politely refuse. in this manner they will be reminded that the weaknesses which proceed from their sinful nature cannot be resolved by any “equal rights amendment.”

* if you find yourself drowning in the cesspool of gossip that surrounds the secretary’s desk hum your favorite hymn, to guard your own ears from such filth, and seize the opportunity to share with the “girls” a potent proverb about an unrighteous tongue.

* regularly ask God to supernaturally sync the menstrual cycles of the weaker vessels in your office. when God acquiesces to your righteous prayer your work day will be immediately improved.

i hope that my embattled brothers throughout the world find this fruit tasty! expect to see further principles of perseverance in the future.

chuck smith, c.s.s.

life is a continual opportunity to praise God and to constantly be amazed. as of late, i've been doing plenty of the former, as you might expect. however, i've also been shaken to my core by the latter. for what reason, you ask? allow me to explain.

five weeks ago today, while i was driving out of the lightway parking lot, i was improperly and illegally cut-off by a squat 20 passenger bus. enraged by the bus driver's inconsiderate and illegal maneuver - in a moment of unsanctified fury - i let both of my birds fly. to be honest, i was surprised that i did not double down the wages of my sin at that moment by cussing up a blue streak. unfortunately, i was also surprised by the loving, yet slightly contorted faces of the members of the A.R.C. Workshop workers, who, along with their mean spirited driver, served as the only witnesses to my sin.

although i felt bad about flipping off the short bus, and so providing positive reinforcement for little annie's tourettes, i thought the wages of my sin would be rather straightforward. thus, i planned to meet my maker and repent of my sin by devoting a night to prayer, fasting and a marathon reading of my utmost for his highest. but unexpectedly, the wages of my sin multiplied exponentially overnight and, subsequently, at 8 a.m. on thursday morning bob townsend called me into his office, dressed me down and fired me on the spot.

i tend to think that bob's reaction was fueled as much by the fact that i “outed” him as a relapsed roman catholic as it had to do with my act, but that's a whole 'nother story altogether.

so over the previous four weeks i have been wandering through a wilderness. i've spent my days filling out resumes for companies both sacred and secular, i've worn out my knees in prayer and i've fasted from contemporary worship music - david crowder is just a bit too jovial for such a season - singing along only to classics by newton, crosby and watts. i'd love to tell you that that the last four weeks have been a wonderful time of spiritual development and growth, but in all honesty they've been some of the darkest days i've weathered thus far.

fortunately, last week, after hour upon hour of sending out resumes and praying for God's provision, i was blessed with two job offers. i could either provide my superior customer service skills and utilize secret service skills for superior plumbing supply or i could provide advanced-level, business to business customer service for sentimental somethings gift menagerie. although, to be quite frank, i was more interested in fulfilling orders for sloan royal urinal valves and helping middle class consumers determine what brand of toilet best defines them as a person, sentimental somethings - henceforth referred to simply as SS - offered me a salaried position, full benefits (including vision, which will surely benefit my myopic arse) and 2 full weeks of vacation. as a result, i now spend my days explaining to hallmark customers why their ceramic plaques - which feature an elderly woman with rather large mammaries and reads "my girls may be sagging, but my tail ain't dragging" - are on backorder and their purely decorative tea pots that are emblazoned with the witty phrase "it's time to t-t!" cannot be returned for a full merchandise refund. the SS hasn't let me put my secret service skills to good use yet, but i'm sure it's just a matter of time before they call on me.

over the past couple of days i've been doing my best to blend into this secular environment, but i've found it a bit difficult to do so. my hindrances, have been many, but i'll only take the time to share a few. for instance, within the first few hours of my employment one of my estrogen-oppressed co-workers, whose build was literally designed for the action and intensity of roller derby, accosted our entire row with the following question: "who's the jesus freak around here? my guess, chuck, is that it's you." when i politely asked her why she chose to persecute me she said, "your religion is as plain as the cross you're wearing on that ring." i reminded her that madonna regularly bears crosses, but still has a one-way ticket to hell, but she wouldn't relent. she asked me if i believed that women belonged in the kitchen as opposed to a customer service department and whether i thought gays should be allowed to marry. i responded forthrightly by telling her that ensuring that sinners stay outside the camp of jehovah and securing one's own righteousness was indeed part of the "fun" of fundamentalism. however, instead of appreciating my witty repartee, she simply said something unprintable about the "meaninglessness of all religions." after our, admittedly unsuccessful exchange, i have to admit that i felt a little discouraged about my ability to share the gospel with her. however, after a good time of prayer that evening, i remembered that hostility towards the gospel is often better than apathy. i have little doubt that this "hardest rock" will crack the easiest.

i am also a little concerned about the overly sappy sentimentalism that oozes through the hallways of SS. on my fourth day of employment i was provided with a quilted tote-bag emblazoned with the SS logo as well as a fanny pack that is emblazoned with the company mission statement ("gifts from best friends, for best friends." although i received the tote and fanny pack with a smile on my face, i was unsettled when my training manager instructed me to use our company stationary to write the C.E.O. a "thoughtful note that fully expressed our thankfulness for his generosity." i don't know how comfortable i am working for a man who allows "his right hand to know what his left hand is doing."

in sum, i am beginning to wonder if i can muster enough sentimentality to work and prosper in this fiefdom of femininity. i suppose only time will tell. i don't think john eldredge would approve of my current employment, but i suppose that a man has to pay the bills.

chuck smith, c.s.s.

to: bob townsend, director of c.s.s.
fr: chuck smith, c.s.s.
re: enemies at the gate


i had the most disconcerting call today about our "turn off the book of daniel and turn on to touched by an angel" e-cast. this customer, who allegedly loves our company because of our beth moore resources, is incredibly angry about our advocacy for decency and association with the afa. i could provide more commentary and condemnation of this customer's opinions, but i'll let her speak for herself.

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "thank you for calling lightway's constructive criticism line this chuck, how can i help you?"

customer: "my name is mrs. lanie adams and i live in little rock, arkansas. i wanted to call you because, hmph, because.."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "let it out mrs. adams, speak your mind and be reconciled so that you can once again approach god's altar."

mrs. adams: "i cannot believe that you have the nerve to tell me what not to watch on television! unlike your little fascist friends at the american fundamentalist family association. i actually watched the book of daniel on the wb last friday night and i thought it was heartwarming."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "on the wb? oh, that's right, you are fortunate to reside in the viewing areas of one of the few righteous nbc affiliates who refused to carry this reprehensible show. good for you!"

mrs. adams: "have you listened to a word i said? your are interfering in my personal life!"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "ma'am, it was not our intention to interfere. we only wanted to encourage you to watch a more biblical presentation of the christian life, wherein christians regularly encounter beautiful angels instead of a compromising "jesus." once you've settled down a bit, you'll realize that most pastors, well - those who reside safely outside of the unbiblical "priesthood" of the episcopalian church anyway - do not struggle with addictions, there is simply no such thing as gay republicans and jesus wouldn't dare utter advice like "life is hard." after all, his yoke is easy and his burden is light."

mrs. adams: oh yes, i forgot that the garden of gethsemanae was filled with fat cherubic angels and funny little garden gnomes instead of blood, sweat and tears. i also suppose you've never heard of the "log cabin republicans" or the addiction of the southern baptist convention's very own, lonnie latham, who left his growing congregation over in tulsa to seduce male oklahoma city police officers to have sex with him. you're right, mister smith, it's my understanding of the christian life that's unrealistic, not yours."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "all that aside, ma'am, if you'll forgive me for saying so, it sounds like you've surrendered to sin instead of finding victory over it. perhaps you need to re-read beth moore's penultimate book and learn how to break free from your low expectations of the christian life. moreover, if the themes and plots of touched by an angel don't connect with you or you're uncomfortable watching a show that features a black woman like della reese, perhaps you should purchase our specially priced dvd set of little house on the prairie. we think that you'll find the christian faith and life of the wilder family far more indicative of the christian experience than that damned - i'm speaking from god's perspective here, not cursing - book of daniel program."

mrs. adams: "uncomfortable watching black women? little house on the prairie? if y'all want to keep living the christian life of 1955 that's fine by me. but don't expect me to applaud your poorly disguised fundamentalism or purchase any more beth moore resources from your company. from now on, i'm moving over to amazon."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "mrs. adams, if you want to consort with the whore of babylon, that's your business. but as for us, we've come out of her and we're going to keep encouraging people to purchase righteous products and embrace biblical wisdom for godly men and women."

so there you go, bob, the chaff has once again separated itself from the wheat. i'm convinced that our stagnant profits won't start growing until we get rid of such unrighteous customers. i'm glad we're taking advantage of this opportunity to clearly communicate that lightway as well as the convention is no friend of sinners.

by the way, i've noticed that your company profile on our intranet site still says that you're a deacon at green meadows. i'm more than willing to communicate your resignation to the v.p., if you're uncomfortable doing so.

hope to see you at church this saturday for justice sunday III. can you believe that some liberals want to cast out alito simply because he's a catholic? what kind of people would discriminate against a candidate based on affiliation with the roman catholic church? i'm sure that our righteous advocacy will ultimately obliterate their objections!

yours and his,

chuck smith, c.s.s.

chuck smith, c.s.s.

to: bob townsend, director of c.s.s.
fr: chuck smith, c.s.s.
re: (yet another) narnia complaint


earlier this morning i had another complaint on the aslan line. as per your request, i have provided a transcription of the call below.

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "thank you for calling the narnia line. aslan is indeed on the move, how can i help you?"

customer: "can i ask you a question?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "yes ma'am, you most certainly can."

customer: "why are you people committed to turning c.s. lewis' classic into a crass commodity?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "well, ma'am, let me follow in the steps of our lord by answering a question with a question. we've proclaimed the gospel of jesus on life-changing ball caps, wristbands and t-shirts for years, so why would we hesitate to honor aslan the christlike lion with his own mega-bloks playset?"

customer: "you even have a play set!?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "indeed we do, and it's a wonderfully engaging toy. the aslan figure even features an enlarged post that enables lucy and susan to ride him."

customer: "do you people have no shame."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "no ma'am, we are as unashamed of the aslan plush toy as we are of the gospel."

customer: "what does madison avenue have to do with jerusalem?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "well ma'am, i don't intend to be coarse, but our lord jesus christ is the one who commissioned us to be salesmen of the gospel. if you have problems with either his methodology or the stratagems of those who are filled with his spirit, i encourage you to take it up with him."

customer: "how can you people light the way by using the methods of the beast?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "ma'am, i fail to see what iraq has to do with this. i hate to run, but i've got a number of additional customers who need assistance. don't fail to take advantage of the greatest evangelistic opportunity of our lives. God bless!"

i'm sure you find space for this transcript in your ever-growing file. we haven't had this kind of feedback since the "pc sbc" establishment launched their mindless protest of "rickshaw rally." i continue to pray that these deceived individuals come to their senses.

bob, i also noticed that you resigned from the deacon board and couldn't help but notice that your expedition has been parked outside of saint mary's for three consecutive sundays. i hope that after receiving the gospel of grace you aren't turning to a different gospel, which is really no gospel at all. if you'd like to talk or have something to confess, shoot me an email and we'll head out to 'bucks. i'm buying!

yours and his,

chuck smith, c.s.s.

chuck smith, c.s.s.

hello again. i'm sorry that i've been on the lam for a bit. ever since roulette rob, my hypocritical supervisor gave me a verbal warning for "fraternizing" with one of our seasonal employees*, i have been avoiding any conspicuous use of the information superhighway. however, now that i am a part of such an important initiative, i cannot help but share.

five weeks ago i, along with a small number of like-minded, sanctified subversives, launched a little campaign we like to call operation (anti) idolatry. our mission is to help our christian brothers and sisters separate themselves from the unchecked consumerism and credit card expenditures that are quickly transforming CHRISTmas into just another holiday. so far our sanctified subversives have succeeded in:

  • accidentally deleting 2,400 credit card orders before they charged. this will save untold numbers of customers from the doldrums of credit counseling and perhaps even bankruptcy.

  • replacing 5,000 copies of joel osteen's heretical your best life now with pastor piper's pious don't waste your life. as of late the sons and daughters of the King have exchanged sentimentality for truth! we're praying that pastor piper's book will be the mud that opens their eyes.
  • downgrading 1,113 orders from fed-x 2 day shipping to usps parcel post. this will ensure that families can focus their weekends on worship rather than either: reading subtle celebrations of witchcraft that parade as christian fantasy such as the chronicles of narnia and the lord of the rings or scheming about how they can return their items so that they can satiate their unsavory, illusory "needs."

  • shutting down our warehouse with an "accidental" chemical contamination. by over-heating up the foam packaging machine so that it released harmful, but not deadly, toxins into the air, our operatives have provided our customers with an opportunity to develop the virtues of patience and life-sustaining perseverance.

as we continue to risk our professional lives in service of this most important mission, i humbly ask for your prayers. if you experience an unexpected delay in your shipment from lightway or hear of a mysteriously deleted order, consider it an opportunity to grow in wisdom, stature and favor with God and men.

your customer secret servant,

chuck smith

*he was so out of line. her name is kerrie, she is a part of the college ministry that i oversee, and we were simply planning a christmas party over nice dinner at the outback, not fraternizing. management beware of the log in thine own eye!

chuck smith, c.s.s.

customer: "lemme ask you a question."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "ok."

customer: "do you have the ICC commentary set on the Torah?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "we do carry it, but it is currently on backorder until january."

customer: "lemme ask you a question: what's the price on that."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "$279.99."

customer: "yowza. you think the price will ever go down on that one."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "no, i don't."

customer: "why's that?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "this is not a particularly high volume item and the publisher doesn't give us a particularly strong price break on it."

customer: "then how do you suppose i can afford it."

chuck smith: "how should i know?"

customer: "suggestions. suggestions is what i'm looking for."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "you could buy a used set if you're willing to shop a secular retailer."

customer: "i dunno. i don't like it when people leave finger prints and notes in the margins."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "ok. well, the phones are ringin' like them bells, is there anything else i can help you with?"

customer: "maybe. do you guys have any damaged or dinged up editions?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "no sir.

customer: "not even in the corner of the warehouse? somewhere hidden, maybe...out of sight?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "no sir. and if we did, we would sell that edition at one of the warehouse sales we have four times a year. we would not put it back in stock."

customer: "so those sales. are they busy?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.

to: bob townsend, director of c.s.s.
fr: chuck smith, c.s.s.
re: customer complaint


what can i say, another day, another disgruntled customer. this lady had the nerve to slander dr. welch and dr. land and confound the gospel of grace with the so-called sacraments. i saved you the trouble of speaking with her and the required paperwork by suggesting that her business is no longer welcome.

please overlook my slip of the tongue. i would never have said something like "race traitor" if i hadn't been in the midst of a forty day fast. this period of fasting has been rife with temptation and struggling with the flesh. thus, under duress, i am not surprised by my slip of the tongue.

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "thank you for calling lightway this is chuck. how can i help you?"

customer: "my name is mrs. kirkpatrick and i am interested in purchasing in the name of jesus by henri nouwen."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "thank you mrs. kirkpatrick, let me see if we carry that title. i'm sorry, we do not carry that title at present."

mrs. kirkpatrick: "you don't carry in the name of jesus?!"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "no, we don't. why is that such a surprise?"

mrs. kirkpatrick: "henri nouwen was one of the most influential catholic authors and spiritual directors of the twentieth century."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "well there you go. we don't regularly carry books by authors who eat fish on friday."

mrs. kirkpatrick: "fish on friday? that is a horrible thing to say. the arrogance, the cultural snobbery, the horrible architecture...i cannot believe that i ever called myself a baptist!"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "ever called? why would you ever want to leave the largest christ-centered denomination in north

mrs. kirkpatrick: "christ-centered, huh? i guess that's why your leaders are so quick to eschew war and turn the other cheek!"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "say what you want about bobby welch and richard land, but at least they were converted by the gospel instead of good works. your so-called "conversion" makes me sick. who are you to question our godly leaders? next thing you know, you'll be voting for bill frist!"

mrs. kirkpatrick: "what does bill frist have to do with any of this?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "up in massachusetts, your conversion away from the gospel and your contempt towards the president might be acceptable. but down here in tennessee...well, let's just say that we would look at you like a race traitor."

mrs. kirkpatrick: "a race traitor? what is that?"

chuck smith, c.s.s. "i, uh, i didn't say that. i said instigator."

mrs. kirkpatrick: "no, you most definitely did say that. i would like to speak to your manager sir!"

chuck smith, c.s.s. "let me save you the time. i am the assistant to the manager and your business is no longer welcome with lightway. what does light have to do with darkness? good day, ma'am."

by the way, i hope your brother is close to singing "just another walk with thee." i trust that the time you've spent with him has been beneficial.

yours and His!

chuck smith
customer secret service

to: bob townsend, director of c.s.s.
fr: chuck smith, c.s.s.
re: blasphemy


in accordance with company policy, i have transcribed the following conversation with the reverend doctor ronald walker. for the record, i believe that revered doctor walker's blasphemous use of our lord's name was completely unintentional. for this reason, i do not think that he should be placed on the lightway "problem caller" list or restricted from entering our stores.

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "thank you for calling lightway this is chuck.

reverend doctor walker: "chuck? this is ronald walker."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "oh. it's good to hear from you again, reverend doctor."

revered doctor walker: "i don't suspect that sam is in today, is she?"

chuck smith, c.s.s. "no sir. samantha is on extended medical leave on account
of her schizophrenia. i don't usually divulge such personal information to customers, but i know the two of you are tight."

reverend doctor walker: "right."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "the customer service representative said you had a question about pastoral products, reverend doctor. how can i be of service?"

reverend doctor walker: "yeah, i'm lookin' for a preaching book. what you got?"

chuck smith, c.s.s. "we've got hundreds of preaching titles, sir. from our previous conversations, i would assume that you already have a number of preaching volumes. which volumes are currently on your shelf?"

reverend doctor walker: "oh jesus christ!"

dead air...

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "uh, lord of our life!"

reverend doctor walker: "he is indeed! i have plenty of preaching books, chuck. i guess i don't need no more."

chuck smith, c.s.s. "ok."

reverend doctor walker: "hey, what do you think i should preach next quarter?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "i think the gospels are always a good place to start."

reverend doctor walker: "un-uh. i already preached the gospels. my people know that stuff already."

chuck smith, c.s.s. "ok. well, if your congregation doesn't need spiritual milk, why don't you give them some meat? perhaps your congregation is prepared for 'apocalyptic autumn.' you could start with a sermon on the spinning wheels of judgment in ezekiel 10, follow with a sermon entitled "damn the man" on daniel 10 and then finish with a rousing sermon about that raunchy prostitute riding the beast in revelation 17. that's a broad outline, reverend doctor. i think you can fill it out from there."

reverend doctor walker: "yeah, chuck, yeah. my people needs some ezekiel. what commentary set do you carry that also includes ezekiel?"

chuck smith, c.s.s. "what commentary sets do you already own, reverend doctor?"

reverend doctor walker:
"oh, jesus christ!"

chuck smith, c.s.s. "lord of our life!"

our conversation continued, but no additional blasphies were uttered. for the record, the reverend doctor's order total was $288.28 with shipping. he's always been a spectacular customer.

i realize that we have stringent policies concerning blasphemy and i support those. however, i do not think that reverend doctor intended to blaspheme our lord. i would suggest instead, that he may have a touch of touretts. in any case, i hope that you choose to talk to his regional minister at the "apostolic church of the lion and lamb christ" before inflicting any form of censure upon him.

all of us at copper creek community have really missed seeing you lately. i know that sunday is the only time you can reach out to your long back-slidden brother, but your presence is missed nonetheless.

chuck smith, c.s.s.

chuck smith, c.s.s.

to: bob townsend, director of c.s.s.
fr: chuck smith, c.s.s.
re: sexual content

right before the management shut down the phones so that we could watch the roberts confirmation hearings i had a call that included sexual content. the conversation did not come close to violating our company's code of purity. nevertheless, as per lightway regulations, i am forwarding you a transcript of the conversation.

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "thank you for calling lightway, this is chuck. how can i help you?"

customer:: "oh, you're a man."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "that's correct. i cannot be numbered among those who craved the fruit. how can i help?"

customer:: "it's just that...i don't even know how to talk about this!"

poorly-muffled sobs, followed by silence

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "ma'am, i want you to know that i am a graduate of the criswell college in dallas and am currently the head deacon in my church. you can trust me."

customer:: "it's not that i don't trust you, it's just, well...this afternoon i came home early for my lunchbreak. as i walked down the hall towards the bathroom, i noticed christian's door was cracked. so i poked my head in to see if he was working on his switched on schoolhouse curriculum and...and there he was, doubled over himself, ex - exploring his sexuality. the strained look on his face mirrored the damage he was doing to his soul. i just don't know how to respond to this situation.

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "has christian been taking a lot of showers lately?"

customer: "yes, he has."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: has he been spending increased time in the bathroom every morning?"

customer: "yes, he has. i thought he was teaching himself how to shave!

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "perhaps he was ma'am, perhaps he was. but he probably spent some of that time expanding his educational curriculum, so to speak."

customer: "i don't know why he would engage in such activities. i have never allowed him to watch any television stations except for pax-tv, he doesn't listen to any secular, satanic music and he has been home schooled since kindergarten. i know that his sex education class did not cover, uh, this type of sexual exploration."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "i am glad that you have surrounded your child with the sounds and sights of righteousness, but even within the church there are fish that were meant to be kept and those who were meant to be thrown away. what kind of christian media has Christian been consuming lately?"

customer: well, he's always been addicted to the bibleman videos and he's been listening to more christian pop than alternative music as of late."

chuck smith, c.s.s. "christian pop? he hasn't been listening to
aly & a.j. has he?
customer: "actually, we just made a special trip to the local lightway store to pick up that album. while we were there he also picked up a new barlow girl poster."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "that's one source of his sin. aly and a.j. do for adolescent teen boys what the coors light twins do for, uh, secular men with cable. you need to dispose of that album immediately. did you notice where he put the barlow girl poster."

customer: "yeah, that's the oddest thing. he put the poster on the backside of his walk-in closet."

chuck smith, c.s.s. "that figures. you'll probably find it hard to find a match for his socks in the upcoming weeks. i'd encourage you to take that poster down as well."

customer "what do socks have to do with this?"

chuck smith, c.s.s. "nevermind. which bibleman videos has he been watching lately?"

customer: "i don't know the names of them or anything, but i know that he likes the ones with biblegirl. he says that biblegirl is to bibleman what bob the tomato is to larry the cucumber."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "well that analogy breaks down when you take a good look at her breastplate of righteousness."

customer: "breastplate of righteousness? what does Ephesians 6 have to do with the video?"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "well, in the language of song of solomon you one could say that her pomegranates are rather prodigious.

okay, here's the story: your son has entered into the greatest struggle that he will ever face. in order for him to win this battle you will need to replace the sin enticing products that he has been enjoying, with a number of edifying alternatives. in place of the ali & a.j. cd, i would encourage you to steer him towards less attractive female artists like rebecca st. james, who has made a commitment to talk about purity on at least fifty percent of her songs, kelli clarkson who is not the kind of girl that would incite a week long period of, um, i mean her posters probably wouldn't find a place on the closet door and male artists like phillips, craig and dean, who couldn't attract a female groupie if they tried.

i also think you should have your son read every young man's battle and watch focus on the family's excellent life on the edge video series. perhaps you could discuss the content of every young man's battle with your son over dinner and you could have a family night movie marathon of life on the edge episodes. fortunately, both of these products are currently on telephone special here at lightway. every young man's battle is currently available for $9.99 and a twelve-pack of life on the edge videos are on sale for $24. would you like to purchase these life-changing products for your son today?"

after that the call followed the standard order procedure. the customer wanted to buy the bibleman action as well, but i warned her once again of biblegirl's superpower to provoke her son's sin. if you have any suggestions concerning the way i handled this call, please let me know.

i would really like to get together with you for a caramel macchiato or chai tea at some point in the near future. i've noticed that you've been absent from church lately and your lovely wife pam broke into tears during the sermon last week. i'm not making any assumptions, brother. just want to make sure you are pursuing God’s pleasure!

yours and his,

chuck smith, c.s.s.

chuck smith, c.s.s.

to: bob townsend, director of c.s.s.
fr: chuck smith, c.s.s.
re: customer complaint


another day, another tremor of the tribulation to come. the following is a transcript of a call i took right before my coffee break this morning. this particular customer was so irate that she questioned my political affiliation. i was so offended that i almost told her to take her business to "amazon the whore of babylon." however, thanks in no small part to the beth moore prayer card i have taped on my monitor, i remembered that we are to bear with one another in love. however, all love aside, i still think you should start a case filed on mrs. weeks.

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "thank you for calling lightway, this is chuck. how can i serve you today?"

mrs. weeks: "my name is mrs. maryanne weeks and i am looking for a book by bill frist. i can't seem to remember the title, but i know that they spoke about it on rush today."

chuck smith, c.s.s. "the book you are looking for is "the healing of america" and we no longer carry it."

mrs. weeks: "you no longer carry it? why would the southern baptist convention offer such an affront to our grand old party?"

chuck smith, c.s.s. "because bill frist is a backslider. he said he was pro-life, but now he's in favor of unraveling human life in order to cure diseases. many of which, including aids, are just a foretaste of God's judgment anyway."

mrs. weeks: "a foretaste of God's judgment?"

chuck smith, c.s.s. "yes, a foretaste of God's judgment. i know that fire and brimstone was given short shrift in the purpose-driven life, but surely you have a basic understanding of the way that the world is going to end?"

mrs. weeks: "now you're questioning the orthodoxy of rick warren? how could something that was so simple and practical be wrong? you know what, forget it. who published the healing of america. i'll try to contact them directly."

chuck smith, c.s.s. "thomas nelson published it, ma'am."

mrs. weeks: "but isn't thomas nelson a southern baptist publisher?"

chuck smith: "yes they are. you would have thought they would have known better than to trust a Catholic."

mrs. weeks: "trust a catholic? now you're not only insulting the majority leader and rick warren, but you’re slandering the pope? don't you have any respect for anyone? weren't you touched by John Paul's ministry?"

chuck smith, c.s.s. "did you ever hear John Paul testify to his conversion? do you really think that Martin Luther and John Paul are going to play parlor games in heaven."

dead air...

chuck smith, c.s.s. "mrs. weeks, thank you for calling lightway, your source for Christian resources."

so, bob, as you can already tell we might have lost a customer on account of our decision to remainder our copies of "father frist's" book. but i think you'll agree that losing customers like mrs. weeks, who probably would have only used our products to pervert the truth anyway, isn't the end of the world (which, interestingly enough, i've really been looking forward to lately. if you haven't read darlene zscech's kiss of heaven get your hands on it as soon as possible. it will surely whet your thirst for things eternal).

we're still missing you at the men's breakfast, by the way. i heard that deacon jones saw you at harrah's in memphis last weekend, but i'm sure he was mistaken. no self-respecting member of our congregation, much less a leader at lightway such as yourself, would be seen at such a secular establishment. if you have any prayer requests, please feel free to send them over:)


chuck smith, c.s.s.

chuck smith, c.s.s.

to: bob townsend, director of c.s.s.
fr: chuck smith, c.s.s.
re: customer complaint


the following is a transcript of a call I took this morning. this customer was as irritable as an independent baptist. we might want to contact her pastor and explain the diversity of our product selection to him. we wouldn't want this little spark to set a whole congregation on fire. surely our sales of beth moore prayer cards and rickshaw rally curricula would suffer as a result!

chuck smith, c.s.s.:: "thank you for calling lightway christian stores, this is chuck, how can i help you?"

customer: "how can you call yourselves christian? you disgust me!"

chuck smith, c.s.s.:: "excuse me, ma'am. in case you were unaware, we are owned by the southern baptist convention, which we all know is the capital 'O' in orthodoxy."

customer:: "well, if you're so orthodoks"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "excuse me, that's or-tho-do-x."

customer: "whatever. if you are so, so darn right, why do you carry a heretical book like bertrand russell's why i am not a christian?

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "we carry it because many of our spectacular seminaries are now offering doctoral degrees in worldview studies and this book often serves as a case study in these programs. in case you hadn't heard, worldview analysis enables our world-class theologians to identify the errors in the major world religions and so convert nominal muslims, hindus and other pagans into bible-believing baptists."

customer:: "well my bible tells me to avoid even the smell of tainted flesh. so i would never allow such a heretical volume to lie side by side with my bible!"

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "we appreciate your convictions, ma'am and will be sure not to sell you a copy."

customer:: "not sell me a copy? is that all you have to say for yourselves? well, you're going to be lucky, mister, if i shop here anymore at all! i happen to believe, along with all true baptists, that the bible is all you need to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

chuck smith, c.s.s.: "we appreciate your convictions, ma'am. now, i don't want to keep you from your bible study, so i'm going to let you go."

customer: "now you wait just one minute! tell me about that featured item again, the faith of george w. bush. i just love our good, godly commander in chief!"

i tried to ensure that this transcript is as accurate as possible. i am sure that you will respond to this potential problem in a timely manner.

by the way, i've noticed that you haven't been attending our tuesday morning men's breakfasts lately. i hope that you aren't surrendering to the struggle and are keeping your ever growing passion for the titans submissive to your service of our Lord Jesus Christ. if you need to lean on me, brother, i'm always available!


chuck smith, c.s.s.

chuck smith, c.s.s.

the transcript of a call received on 8.9.05 at 9:38 p.m. e.s.t.

c.s.s.: "thank you for calling the homeschool resource center, my name is chuck, how can i help you?"

"yes, i need a third grade curriculum."

"ok. for what subject?"

"all of them."

"ok. have you homeschooled before or spoken with the homeschool legal defense association or a similar group about homeschooling?"

"no. but william bennett said that a mediocre homeschool teacher is far superior to an above average public school teacher."

"bingo! (laughter)"

"what's so funny?"

"it's just that william bennett, the man of virtue, apparently loves high stakes, er, nevermind. so, on to curricula. we've got the excellent switched on schoolhouse third grade pack which will provide a complete curricula on CD-Rom."

"i wouldn't let a computer in my house."

"ok. we have the excellent lifepac sets which provide thorough workbook curricula or each subjects."

"how much does that cost."

"about $54.95 per subject."

"ooh, no. that's too expensive!"

"ok. we've got the highly respected curriculum from bob jones university press as well."

"how much does that cost?"

"about $35 per subject."

"ooh, no. that's too expensive! i'm on a tight budget. you have any of those on sale?"

"curriculum? not really. but who can put a price on education?"

dead air........................

c.s.s.: "ma'am, why don't you put together an education budget and then call back early tomorrow morning. cindi works the morning shift. she is a delightful lady who would be more than willing to help you."

customer: "that sounds great! now tell me about those thomas kinkade coffee mugs you guys have on call-in special."

chuck smith, c.s.s.

To: Bob Townsend, Director of C.S.S.
Fr: Chuck Smith, C.S.S.
Re: Customer Complaint


We had a customer complaint filed today, 8.10.05 at 10:23 a.m. I took the call personally, so I can assure you that the information in this report is accurate. I have provided a transcript of the call below.

chuck smith: "this is chuck smith, how can i help you?"
customer: "my name is melanie johnson and i am the christian education director at first baptist in little rock."
chuck smith: "pleasure to make your aquaintance ms. smith, how can i help you?"
customer: "that's mrs. johnson. i would like you to know that i am married to a godly man."
chuck smith: "ok, mrs. johnson. i apologize for the mistake. i try not to be presumptous."
customer: "that's all right i suppose. i usually don't speak directly to men unless my husband is present, but i suppose this is safe."
chuck smith: "my ex-wife might disagree."
customer: "what? you're divorced and you work for lightway? what kind of example is that?"
chuck smith: "uh, i was young and still a pagan...anyway, how can i help you?"
customer: "i told the customer service woman, who sounded more like a snotty girl actually, that i am not paying shipping charges."
chuck smith: "is this a return order?"
customer: "no."
chuck smith: "ok, does your church have an account with us?"
customer: "no."
chuck smith: "then you will need to pay shipping charges."
customer: "but some of these products, such as the plastic samson figurines, are going to be used by our short term missions team! are you really going to charge us shipping for products that are being used to plant the seeds of the gospel?"
chuck smith: "yes, mrs. smith, we are. we have to keep our product margins in check if we are going to follow-up last year's rickshaw rally vbs curriculum with a real winner!"
customer: "but they wouldn't charge me shipping charges at or at amazon!"
chuck smith: "can you buy the authentic Jesus Saves sandals and the exclusive Samson: When Long Hair Was Acceptable figurines at either of these godless retailers?"
customer: "no."
chuck smith: "then i guess God has providentially directed your business to us."
customer: "did i mention that i'm a third cousin to s. truett cathy? does that merit a discount?"
chuck smith: "unfortunately no. but next time you see him, tell him that those cow commercials kill me every time."
customer: "is there anything that's free in this world!?"
chuck smith: "you're a Christian aren't you?"
customer: "of course."
chuck smith: "your salvation is free and the benefits are eternal. i can't believe that you overlooked that. i'll tell you what, i'll put a free gospel tract in your next order. that will help you understand the undeserved nature of your salvation and perhaps help you work through some additional issues. i know that i struggle with greed and bitterness as well."
customer: "what?"
chuck smith: "uh, please forgive that last part, sister. would you like to apply for chase's three crosses mastercard this afternoon? if you qualify, you'll receive ten percent off your total."

The rest of the conversation followed the script. If you would like for me to compile a record of this customer's previous customer service complaints or put her on our "problem customer," please let me know.

Your Brother in Christ,

Chuck Smith, C.S.S.

P.S. - I know it's been a while since we've spoken directly. I hope that both your quiet times and "the struggle" are going well. If you need additional accountability, don't be ashamed to call.

chuck smith, c.s.s.

if i’ve said it once, i’ve said it a thousand times: the southern baptist convention’s boycott against disney is done…over…finis…kaput. the end of the boycott means that individual christians can now attend, in good conscience, christian family night and our company can partner with disney in the promotion of the upcoming chronicles of narnia series. i, for one, am proud to work for a company that is willing to take a stand against “gomorrah day” at walt disney world, yet still realizes that the gross profits of narnia are too good to pass up.

so feel free to go to disney and delight in its attractions this summer. however, stay away from the pirates of the caribbean, lest that pansy-ass captain jack increase your tolerance of gays, abstain from the leaven of epcot center, lest it convince you that the cultures of other countries can either contribute to or compete with the good old U.S.A. and do not listen to the siren song of “it’s a small world,” lest you open your mind to interracial marriage (which none of us have a problem with biblically, but does concern us in regard to the children). so if you steer clear of those traps, and the little whores who run around hurricane harbor covered by nothing but string, you too can enjoy this spectacular attraction.

please note: if over the past three years you were lured by the story of the disobedient nemo to let your guard down or you attended one of the forbidden christian family nights and were encouraged by the penetrating, pulsating rhythms of kirk franklin to get your christian freak on, you can cast off the binds of your sin by working through beth moore’s breaking free. the book and study guide are specially priced at $14.99!

chuck smith, c.s.s.

earlier this morning i overheard one of our representatives offering a customer a full refund, just because the customer found out that the purpose-driven life was $2 cheaper at wal-mart. fortunately, i caught the representative in the midst of the act and staged an interdiction.

“if you want low prices” i told that ungrateful customer, “go on to wal-mart.” “but if you want the life of Christ…and i’m sure that’s what you want…then you need to walk with lifeway.” fortunately the customer stopped her grumbling right then and recommitted her life to Christ. so i upsold her a copy of beyond, beyond jabez: subdividing your expanded borders and promised to enclose a complimentary recommitment card in her next order.

saving the company money and saving our customers, one call at a time. that my friends, is the lightway!