May 28, 2017

Dangers Facing the Church!

From an Old Preacher’s Journal

The beginning of the congregation was most unusual. It had its beginning about 1850. It was in a sleepy little town of about 100 people. They had a general store, a school, and a “Baptist Church.” One day a preacher rode into town on horseback. He asked if he could preach a few nights in the local church building. Permission was granted and the preacher preached nightly for about two weeks. The night the “Revival” came to an end, the congregation came out of the building and tore the sign, “Baptist Church” off the building. A day or two later a new sign went up which read, “Church Of Christ.” All other details of the event have been lost in time.

My association with the church began a little over 100 years later. However, when I rode in, I was riding a “Ford” not a horse. One hundred years later the town still numbered about 100 people. But, they had grown! At that point, they had added another grocery store and a feed mill. And, the church had also grown, averaging about 200 for Sunday morning services. 

By the time I arrived the church was in its second building. Originally it had been a typical one room auditorium. It was larger than most rural buildings with a seating capacity of well over 200. A few years before my arrival they had added a baptistry, two dressing rooms that doubled as classrooms and a furnace. However, two well built out houses still served as “rest rooms!” Cold in winter and hot in summer!

With the increased attendance, it was time to enlarge the building again. Plans were drawn up to add a basement with two class rooms and a ground level section with a cry room and two rest rooms. Yes, by that time the community was served by a rural water system, but we would have to put in our own septic.

The men had met several times to discuss the matter and they would carry the details home to their wives and children. Workmen were brought in and the addition began to take shape.

In the congregation there were two “old maids.” They had inherited their parents farm and had farmed the place as if they were men. They never owned an automobile and so they would walk the mile or two into town from time to time to get supplies. Since the church building was on the road into town, when they would walk by, they stopped to observe the construction work. During the basement construction little comments were made. Then it was time to frame the upper section. The carpenters laid off the rooms and the plumbers began to install the sewer pipes. That was the day the old sisters stopped by for another look. They were well into their 60s and had never known anything but outdoor toilets! When it dawned on them that there would be indoor rest rooms in the church building they were shocked! With anguish they discussed the matter at length and then wondered off down the road with the lament. “The next thing you know they will bring in the piano!” As they saw it, indoor rest rooms were the beginning of apostasy.

Truth Magazine Vol. XLIV: 11 p5  June 1, 2000
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