BUSHWHACK, Texas — Like in most towns across America fighting to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, life has changed for just about everyone in Bushwhack. Everyone that is except for local street evangelist and fifth member of the Bushwhack Baptist Quartet, Charlie Ton.
Known for his theatrical and often controversial approach to evangelism, Charlie sees the Coronavirus outbreak as more than just a deadly, highly contagious pathogen. For him, it’s an opportunity to try out a whole new method of winning souls.
Donning a hazmat suit and toting two, over-sized Ikea bags filled with toilet paper, Charlie has been hitting the street corners of Bushwhack every Saturday morning since the quarantine began with one simple message:
“This virus might have wiped all the toilet paper off the shelves but it can’t wipe away your sins! Only Jesus can do that. So, accept Jesus today and uh…get some toilet paper too. You see what I did there? I wasn’t sure if it was uh… if it was clear. It’s a uh… it’s a play on words…because you use toilet paper to […].”
Though lacking basic oratory skills, Charlie’s new method is so effective, he has anywhere between 25 to 50 people lined up at any given time ready to accept Jesus and receive their complimentary roll.
“See, the trick is…what all these pastors and evangelicals have been doing wrong is they come at people too strong with all the Biblical jargon. You’ve got to meet people where they are. You’ve got to meet the need that’s right in front of you and right now people need toilet paper.” Charlie Ton told The Dirge.
This is true. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, store shelves have been wiped clean (not a play on words) of essentials like hand sanitizer, Lysol products, and toilet paper.
But Charlie’s unconventional method is rubbing both Christians and non-Christians alike the wrong way.
One pastor in particular had choice words for Mr. Ton.
“I’m tired of seeing people cheapening Christ’s work on the cross with gimmicks and stunts. As if the gospel isn’t enough–like we need to sweeten the pot a little. Where’s the gospel Mr. Ton? All I see is one ply!”
Charlie Ton remains unphased by the critics, seeing his work as a calling from the Lord.
“I’m leading anywhere between 150-300 people to Christ every month! These pastors are leading what…maybe two or three people? Now you tell me who’s doing what wrong.”
Despite Mr Ton’s rebuttals, the pastor’s admonishment alludes to an even deeper question which is, how does Mr. Ton know that people are actually accepting Jesus and not just trying to get free toilet paper?
“That’s like asking how we know his eye is actually on the sparrow. It just is!” Charlie Ton responded when questioned.
We’re still not sure what this means.
With the COVID-19 quarantine scheduled to end on April 30th, we caught up with Mr. Ton after he finished evangelizing for the day (he actually ran out of toilet paper pretty quickly and couldn’t get people to accept Jesus anymore) to ask him his plans moving forward.
“Oh! I’ve got a whole schedule written out! May 4th I’m dressing like a Jedi and giving out light sabers. Cinco de Mayo? Free tacos. Halloween? Candy, obviously. Thanksgiving…”
Mr. Ton continued in this manner ending with Easter 2021 where he plans on hiding in a giant egg filled with candy and popping out at random moments to say, “He is risen!”