GET ME A TAMBOURINE by Mary Jane Chambers


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This is the true story of how the author, mother of two boys and a member of the Methodist church, weathered the effects of the whirlwind conversion of her son Craig at age thirteen to a Fundamentalist glossolalia-and-tambourine sect. Craig's new near-fanaticism presented all sorts of upsetting problems: he gave it his all from public evangelizing in supermarkets to frontal attacks of Bible-quoting and sermonettes levied at guests; the Kid also exhibited unbearable self-righteousness and a contempt for the unsaved (including, it seemed, his own mother) and a lack of interest in anything beyond Bible study and scripture dialectic. Mrs. Chambers was skeptical of the Pentecostal religion which she compared to the tambourine Craig requested for his birthday: "". . . it lacks both depth and scope. However, it is a simple, joyful thing--and very little training is required to play it."" Craig is now seventeen and has added his own commentary throughout; now he is seeking a happy medium between ""over-evangelism"" and what his mother calls the ""empty well-polished mansion"" which could be the Protestant church. Mrs. Chambers, who admits to having learned much from her son's adventures, writes simply and with humor (""Serving a shriveled up hot dog to a fourteen-year-old Bible scholar on a Sunday afternoon [because food for the body is not important] ruined my whole day""). As for lip-service, Sundays-only Protestants, this may point up some telltale symptoms of malaise in the ailing established church.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Hawthorn