(TULSA, OK) During the shooting of an independent film in a dark nightclub in Tulsa’s historic Brookside District this week, a strange man with a salt-and-pepper gotee claimed to have received a revelation of spiritual truth.
The man, who would only identify himself as “Jeff McQ” and outrageously claimed to be the father of The Director of the short film, was frequently observed on the set wearing headphones, blogging on his laptop, and barking orders at the teenager holding the boom mike, all in-between handfuls of dark chocolate M&Ms.
“I simply can’t believe that a guy like THAT could get a revelation from God, let alone during a film shoot,” an unnamed source told reporters on condition of anonymity. “I mean, he was eating M&Ms and yelling at that poor innocent kid holding the mike. And he wasn’t in a church; he was in a nightclub, for crying out loud! Everyone knows God doesn’t go into places like that.”
On Sunday, several days after the alleged epiphany, Jeff McQ spoke with Asphyxiated Press about his experience.
“I didn’t really realize I was getting a revelation until after it was all over,” he said. “Then it was like, DUH. It was like, WHAM! It was really weird, man. Want an M&M?”
When asked to elaborate, Jeff McQ made the following statement to the press:
Well, I’ve done the church thing all my life, you know? I’m a pastor, even. Well, sort of; I do the house church thing now, and lots of people don’t think that’s a for-real kind of church. But anyway.
I’ve gotten lots of revelations before, from reading the Bible and praying and stuff. Lots of it was me just wanting the Bible to say what I wanted it to say, but some of it was for real. But now that I’ve stopped just looking for God in the religious stuff, but looking for Him in everyday life, I’m realizing that He’s showing me stuff through some of the craziest stuff, you know? Movies, U2 songs, conversations here and there…and now this film shoot.
I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about how the church ought to be doing things outside the walls, you know? How the church can show Jesus to people without adding on all the extra religious stuff, how we can form relationships within communities, instead of trying to get people to join our religious type communities, and how God shows up when we least expect it. Crazy stuff like that.
When you go on a film set, or create a film set out of a nightclub or something, there’s a special type of community that forms there. It’s like the everyday world stops for everyone involved, and for those three days, or however long it is, you are all part of something extraordinary–a little world all its own. People working together to accomplish something–people acting, people directing, people moving lights and equipment, and people sitting around on their butts eating M&Ms while wearing headphones while yelling at teenagers–it’s all working together toward the goal of getting that movie made. Stuff goes wrong, and people have to get creative and solve problems and think on their feet. And you form a bond with the others in that room, because you are in a shared experience with a shared sense of purpose. It’s community, and it’s a place where God can show up.
There was this one guy, for example, who claims he’s a Christian, but between some hurtful church experiences and stuff from his past, he’s kind of leery of authority figures. He seemed real intimidated and would barely talk to us at first, maybe because he knew we were pastors. But as things moved along and he saw how people were working together, joking and laughing, and how we pastors weren’t doing all the spooky spiritual stuff, but just being there…he started to warm up to us. There’s some profanity during the intense scenes of the movie, and he was somehow impressed that we weren’t all freaked out over that. And just being present, available, and not judging him, but showing honest acceptance–it won him over. By the end, he was talking up a storm. Completely disarmed.
We never preached at him, you know? We never opened with prayer. We never even talked about God, although this guy knew what we stood for. We just showed love and acceptance on a movie set, and participated in the process. So now we have a relationship we could never have had with him by doing the religious stuff. This is a guy who would never have come into a church building, or even into our house church. Instead, we went to where he was, and whether he realizes it or not just yet…Jesus came to see him, too. And it softened his heart.
And thinking about all this afterward, that’s when it hit me, you know? This is what it looks like when church is outside the walls. There were Christians on the set, and non-Christians, doing something together, forming relationships…and God was there with us, in that nightclub. We didn’t need to preach or get religious to make a difference. We could just be ourselves, and act natural and eat M&Ms, and watch Jesus work. Pretty cool, huh? I want to do more of this kind of stuff.
The Director could not be immediately reached for comment, but his office emailed the following statement: “I will neither confirm nor deny that this strange man is my father. But he did buy me some pretty nice clothes for my birthday.”
When asked what he thought of the incident, the Reverend I. M. Superior of the First Untidy Methodist Church said: “I never heard of this McQ character, and he’s not a real pastor if all he does is a so-called ‘house church’; but this certainly sounds like heresy to me.”
Jeff McQ, still claiming to be The Director’s father, has refused to submit to psychiatric evaluation.
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