By Lewis Willis
In the modem denominational world, about anything people decide they want to do is graced with the identity of a ministry. Nothing seems to be exempt. Nothing is too wild or too far out to be denied as a ministry. This fact was vividly re-enforced by an event at a denominational church in our area last week.
A Virginia-based ministry, through a brochure mailed to numbers of churches, was invited to the Green Valley United Methodist Church here in Green, Ohio. And a wonderful time was had by all who attended the presentation.
Three 18-wheel tractor-trailers arrived bearing all manner of wild and tame beasts. Under the direction of a “ringmaster with a message,” there was Bubba the lion, Lucky the lamb, Siberian tigers, a panther, a leopard, a mountain lion, a camel named Sadie, and a baby bear named Pauly which presented the Bible message that “Love bears all things.” The Akron Beacon Journal, July 20, 1997, reported the great event.
The local church paid $2000 to bring the show to Green. The local preacher, Rev. Jonathan Reese, reported, “The animals make the Bible come alive . . . I think it’s a creative way to show (children) God’s love.” The good “Reverend” was roped into kissing Sadie the camel during Friday night’s show, so I don’t know if his assessment came before or after “the kiss!” Now I know where Paul, Peter, and John went wrong in the first century. They didn’t have a creative mind, or possibly they didn’t have the money, to take a circus on the road in their ministry. What a shame these folks were not around to inform them on how to make the Bible come alive to people in their day. Oh, it was a wonderful and exciting time for all who gathered at the feet of these ministers.
But What Can Follow This Act?
Of course, whatever it is, it must be biblical. You can’t have a ministry by just grabbing any ole idea that comes along. Furthermore, one has to recognize the restraints of money; you can’t get carried away. The cost has to be justified, you know. This party cost $2000, so that would be a pretty good benchmark for expenses. However, paying for three 18-wheelers and caring for so many circus animals probably ate up much of that $2000.
By now you’re probably thinking that Ole Lewis has an idea brewing to use as a follow-up to the circus, and you’re right! I know the perfect Bible-based ministry to follow the circus. Next summer they can use my idea.
My idea? Yes, a Bug Ministry! Now, before you object, let me advise you on the Scripture supporting this ministry. In Proverbs 6:6-8 we read about ants. In Exodus 8:16, 21 we read about lice and flies. In Exodus 10:4 we read of locusts. In Leviticus 11:22 we find crickets or beetles. In 1 Samuel 24:14 there are fleas, and in Matthew 23:24 there are gnats. Moths are mentioned in Job 27:18, and we read about grasshoppers in Ecclesiastes 12:5. Folks, you can’t get any more biblical than that. Can’t you see a ministry in that list of Scriptures?
One of the big advantages in my Bug Ministry is the relatively low travel cost involved. You could transport a rather considerable Bug Ministry in a rather small box. A small car would replace those big tractor-trailers. Anybody who has ever bought fuel for an I8-wheeler can already see that my Bug Ministry is a better, more economical ministry than this Virginia circus.
However, what could possibly replace that camel kiss on the lips of the local Reverend, you ask? I have the perfect answer! Have the poor Youth Minister eat a bug! (You probably saw that coming, didn’t you?)
Well, enough of this! These so-called reverends and pastors who think up such nonsense haven’t a clue about the ways of the Lord. Keep in mind, these are The Spiritual Leaders in these churches. No wonder hosts of people are lead astray by such false teachers as these. Do you still wonder what causes denominationalism? It’s faithless men and women using this kind of stuff instead of following the Lord’s plan for the saving of the world. What did God want us to use in reaching the lost, and edifying the saved?
We’ll just let the Bible give you the Lord’s view of the way to do this noble job. Here is the Scripture on the subject:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matt. 28:19).
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe (1 Cor. 1:21).
I believe that even children can see the difference between the way of God, and the silly ways of false religion. If they don’t, please take the time to teach them the difference. Otherwise, one of these days one of them might try to get the Lord’s blood-purchased church involved in something like that referred to in this article. If we do not teach this truthnow, it will likely be too late to do the teaching once one of them decides something like a circus is a good idea to teach young people the Bible.
Some More Foolishness
A preacher friend of mine Olen Holderby, in Alameda, California wrote to me back in March of this year, telling me of a sign he saw in front of a church building as he walked one morning. The sign said:
New 8:45 AM Service
Light Rock Less Talk
My friend observed, “I can remember when even the Methodist Church made some claim to respecting and following the Scripture.” So can I. This is sad and tragic, but it illustrates how far human religion has departed from the Truth.
Guardian of Truth XLI: 18 p. 22-23
September 18, 1997