Nothing like an old-fashion, small-town book burning to incinerate one’s respective sins.
Parishioners and clergy from several local churches are being urged to come together Saturday at the urging of a local pastor for what’s being called a public bonfire just prior to this year’s Passover observance.
Pastor Tony Falcone of Pahrump’s Mountain View Chapel said the public bonfire will allow attendees to actually incinerate just about anything that does not bring glory to God, including idols, satanic music, dirty magazines and various books.
He said the New Testament preached the news of God’s word to those who were practicing sorcery, or witchcraft, referencing Acts 19:19, “Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.”
“When they got saved, they took all of the stuff from their incantations and books or whatever they had and they had a public bonfire,” he said. “They publicly burned this stuff to say, I changed my life and that’s what started that.”
As a pastor, Falcone said he regularly meets people who have become Christians, but still have objects and effects around their home that go against the word of God.
Rather than throwing out the items, Falcone came together with other local clergy to put on the public bonfire.
“Some people who have become Christians may still have some things lingering in their home that they wished they had gotten rid of but don’t know how to do it,” he said. “It’s a way to clean up your life and clean up your house.”
Falcone also said something as simple as writing a message on a piece of paper, and tossing it into the bonfire can have a symbolic way of providing salvation in one’s life.
“If you go to Leviticus, Chapter 9, it talks about a sin offering and this is almost like that,” he said. “There’s a fire, where the people would throw stuff in and say they are through with the sin in their life. When the people did that, the glory of the lord came down to the place where they were at. Whether that’s going to happen? Who knows?”
Falcone said many of the local residents he’s spoken to about the bonfire, had a very positive reaction and expressed interest in attending, including at least one elected official.
“The word is out through the churches and every church is welcome to come out,” he said. “There’s a pretty good buzz going around the town about the bonfire. I have spoken to Commissioner Butch Borasky and he’s helping me do this. If I can get a hold of Assemblyman James Oscarson too, maybe he’ll come out.”
Falcone also said he’s aware of igniting any controversy or backlash that may arise as a result of the event, as book burnings are historically representative of censorship among some Americans.
“Some things can be controversial, but we’re just getting rid of stuff that doesn’t enhance life and I don’t have a problem with that,” he said. “I don’t want anybody bringing drugs or alcohol in glass containers. I don’t want any issues out there. I just want a nice, peaceful, event where we sing a few songs.”
Without knowing what kind of interest the event will draw, Falcone said he contacted the fire department to obtain a burn permit, as per town ordinance.
Fire Chief Scott Lewis said he will have crews on standby.
“It’s my understanding that they will be conducting such a burn under a single permit that was issued for a one-day event,” he said. “It was to be contained in a container where they place the materials, much like a burn barrel.”
Lewis also said only certain materials can be placed in the container for incineration.
“It’s supposed to be natural products only and nothing as far as plastics or anything like that,” he said. “It should be just paper products for this special event.”
Saturday’s public bonfire will take place at 3151 Manse Road from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The event coincides with Saturday’s Blood Moon, also known as a total lunar eclipse.
For more information, call Pastor Falcone at 775-253-5084.