‘Twas the Nightmare Before Corinth

The Church at Corinth had some major problems before it – nightmares, actually – and Paul addressed them in the severest of terms. He called the Corinthians out on their carnality, divisions, debaucheries, and sexual immorality. I Corinthians is a heavy book, made all the heavier by the realization that much of what Paul rebuked the church for then is
still all too common in the church today.

So when I taught this book for my Sunday School class as few years ago, I thought I’d lighten it all up a bit when we got to the Holiday Season, and penned this poem The Nightmare Before Corinth. It is, obviously, a crazy spin-off on The Night Before Christmas, and if you read this with that great old poem in mind, you’ll see where I tried to keep my
satire as close to the original as possible.

Please forgive me if you resent my tampering with such a beloved children’s Christmas story, but I guess I was in one of those moods when I wrote this. Hope you can enjoy it!

The Nightmare Before Corinth

‘Twas a nightmare in Corinth, and all through the church
Some believers were acting as monstrous as Lurch!
Some talking had caused poor St Paul so much care
And he hoped that some penitence soon would be there.
For according to what he was told they were erring
In ways that had this poor apostle despairing.

Divisions were thriving. Now that got him hot.
So he said “I guess Christ is divided, huh? Not!”
For some said “I’m of Peter”, some said “I’m of Paul”
But Paul said, You’re carnal. I’m ticked at you all!
You’re puffed up and prideful
Unbridled, unjust,
And don’t get me started on how some of you lust!

You stir up dissension, you generate strife
And one of you shacks with his own father’s wife!
You get drunk at communion, you’re abusing the gifts
You’re suing each other like heathens!
What gives?

Don’t you know that the nature you get when you’re saved
Is a new one that’s quenched when you act so depraved?
God is holy, unchanging,
And don’t think me mean
But the kingdom of God is not for the unclean.

No strip dancer, No prancer, No street corner vixen
No swinger, No harlot, No stealer who’s fixin’
To rip others off and deliberately sin,
Even Rudolph the red nosed old drunk won’t get in.
No reviler polluting the church with his leaven
No greedy soul robbing a 7-Eleven
Is going inherit the kingdom of heaven.

Now I know we all sin, falling short now and then
But to treat it as though it’s all trivial when
You should mourn it, disown it and turn from it, men
And you women, a new way has got to begin.

Let me see some humility, zeal and reform
Let me hear that true unity now is the norm.
Let me know you’ve abandoned this dead carnal rut
Lest I’m moved to come kick some Corinthian butt.

And he closed with a warning
Which was not taken light
“Salutations from Paul
And to all
Get it Right!”


Jocelyne | Dec 16, 2019

Wow..... I'm taking it personal.... that was so good. I think I - and some others, I'm sure - need to hear this. It's hilarious/serious all at the same time! Well done!

Harold Mast | Dec 17, 2019

Thanks Joe for sharing this again.

JeanV | Dec 17, 2019

Joe you are a trip. Still crazy after all these years and always to the point.

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