Hell-Fire and Ice Cream



 Bill Murphy © April 1997

There’s one food that I would ‘slap my grandma’ for – delicious Pineapple Whip Ice Cream that can only be found at the state fair. Believe me, if it were to be found anywhere else, I would know! One fair night during jr. hi days, my friend Buddy Gorday and I each bought a Foot-Long Hot Dog and TWO cones of Pineapple Whip Ice Cream just as we were leaving the fair – and rode the bus home! (True story!)

Wouldn’t you know it? The state fair was ‘off limits’ to the good folks of our local pentecostal assembly. But not to the folks of every assembly in our state. But it was strictly verboten to our church – which unfortunately included me.

The reason: The loud worldly music, crowds of people smoking, drinking using profanity, people in immodest attire – and everything was overpriced.

Friends visiting from out of town who were free to go to the fair could enjoy that good Pineapple Whip Ice Cream – and still be in favor with God and man. On the other hand – if I (shudder) went to the state fair, I would be guilty of disobeying ‘those who had the rule over me’ (Hebrews 13:17). Even if I stopped only at the Pineapple Whip Ice Cream stand and promptly left – I would still be ‘in rebellion,’ and therefore in conflict with God. The net result of state fair attendance was that I would be placing my soul in jeopardy over something as trivial as a cone of ice cream!

It all seemed like a tempest in a teapot to me. Ice cream? Really?

But from ministry’s viewpoint, my desire to attend the fair bordered on spiritual suicide! The choice was clear: the wonderfully delicious temporary taste of cooling Pineapple Whip Ice Cream – or eternal agony in the fires of hell. So… we didn’t go to the fair. We went to church.

Then after church on Sunday night, everyone piled into their cars and went to Bennigans – Where there was loud worldly music, crowds of people smoking, drinking and using profanity, people in immodest attire – and everything was overpriced. They had everything but my Pineapple Whip Ice Cream! Go figure.



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