Fellowship and Recreation
Fred E. Dennis
The two words that stand at the head of this article are certainly being bandied about with reckless abandon in these days. T h e word "fellowship" is being used without any regard to its connotation in the Bible. One preacher said it was getting so that w h e n he heard the word "fellowship" he could smell the coffee! If you use it in a Bible sense you will "smell no coffee." Brethren will provide for a recreation hall and call it a "fellowship" hall." Why not call it what it is?
Don't worry about fellowship. Just preach and teach the gospel and get people to walk in this light and the fellowship will take care of itself. We have "full fellowship" when thus we walk. Maybe we had better read it: "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another" (1 John 1:7). Dear brethren, that is the "fellowship" that all Christians are interested in.
I can't find anything in the Bible about "recreation" or I would write a little on that. I suppose that folks need a little recreation, but this I know that the church is not in the recreation and entertainment business. The great business of the church is to preach the gospel and care for worthy poor. This "recreation business" should have no connection with the church in any way either by public announcements, through church bulletins, gospel radio programs, etc. Providing recreation belongs to the home and to individuals and not to the church as such. It seems to me that some brethren have gone almost "stark crazy" and "hog wild" over these adjuncts that belong to the home. Let us keep them where they belong. And we hear much about our "youth problems" and 'youth programs" and "youth meetings." Did they have any youth in the early days of the church? Folks back there were more prolific than they rare now, but it seems that the brethren were so busy going everywhere preaching the gospel that the "youth" created no special "problem." It is my candid judgment that one of the greatest "problems" facing the "youth" of our day is the way that the "adults" behave in the church of God. In some places elders and preachers are leading the "parade" with their skating rinks, ball clubs, swimming parties, etc. Shame and more shame! Brethren, let the church be the church. These are perilous times. May the good Lord help us to keep our feet on solid ground. Get busy with the old sword of the Spirit. Bible Herald, August 15, 1956.
TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 10, p. 18 July 1966