CLOSE TO, ROUND ABOUT, OR NEARBY
One Sunday, a minister was illustrating his belief that baptism should take place by sprinkling, not by immersion. As examples, he said that when John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, and when Philip baptized the eunuch in some water, it didn’t mean, “in” – it meant, “close to, round about, or nearby.” After the service, a man came up to the minister and told him it was a great sermon, one of the best he had ever heard and that it cleared up a great many mysteries he had encountered in the Bible.
“For instance,” he said, “The story about Jonah getting swallowed by the whale has always bothered me. Now I know that Jonah wasn’t really in the whale, but close to, round about, or nearby, swimming in the water.”
“Then there is the story about the three young Hebrew boys who were thrown into the furious furnace, but were not burned. Now I see they were not really in the fire, just close to, round about, or nearby, just keeping warm.”
“But the hardest of all the stories for me to believe has always been the story of Daniel getting thrown into the lion’s den. But now I see that he wasn’t really in the lion’s den, but close to, roundabout, or nearby, like at the zoo.”
“The revealing of these mysteries has been a real comfort to me because I am a wicked man. Now I am gratified to know that I won’t be in hell, but close to, roundabout, or nearby. And next Sunday, I won’t have to be in church, just close to, round about, or nearby. Thanks. You have really put my mind at ease!”