I Had a Terrible Dream
Garreth L. Clair
This is a dream concerning a disturbed body of Christians in a local congregation, and of problems that seem destined to destroy it. This short article is presented for those who might find s u c h existing where they worship. Perhaps a revelation of the congregation of my dream will serve as a warning to others that they might be alert to the dangers of those evils in their areas and check them before they reach the degree of that congregation of my nightmare.
The problems: (1) JEALOUSY! Brethren guilty of jealousy, one of another, of ability, appearance, education, etc. The result was distant and hypocritical attitudes and actions. (2) This resulted in FACTIONS, each pulling against the other. This in turn caused different and distinct bodies within the church. From this attitude there came a (3) COMPROMISING ATTITUDE. This attitude resulted in the selection of a preacher (?) for each faction, each one taking his turn, week after week. Suddenly factions began to work for the success of their preacher. They began to seek after (4) STATUS in the eyes of their counterparts.
Alas, five years have now passed and there have been no additions to the church of my dream. There are members leaving, but there are none to take their places. I see the contribution slowly going down, down, down. I see the building sold to a denomination. I see those who have been in this terrible dream Oh No! They are placing their membership in the congregation where I am worshipping. God! Help us.
No congregation can long exist in an atmosphere of jealousy, envy, greed, etc. These are those evils of the heart and soul which are not easily detected, which reach an advanced state of corruption before they are recognized. This state when reached often affects many, creating an insurmountable crisis within a congregation.
This often results in an open rupture or the final, complete destruction of that congregation. The effects of such can be devastating. It destroys the future prospects of the work in that area, to say nothing of the damage to those involved in such unholy activity.
Brethren, let us always be aware of the possibility of such occurring in the congregation where we are members. Let us do all possible to eliminate its growth and perpetration.
TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 9, p. 20 June 1966