"Show me a picture-show-going, ball-game-attending, checker and domino playing, Sabbath breaking membership, and I will show you a cold, lifeless church. These things do not lead to the cross of our Master. They do not excite a spirit of prayer, and humble devotion to him who has done much for us; and without these things we cannot have a live church."
The Baptist Trumpet
Copied from PB-History / David Montgomery
A Brother asked what the trouble was with religion. The various denominations were all mentioned and a great felling away was noticed by all of them. Here is the answer at least in part that was given. First of all, we have become selfish, sensual, covetous, lovers of worldly pleasures more than lovers of God and his service. Sunday amusements hold a tight grip upon us. We are prayerless, seldom read the Bible and more seldom ever practice what it teaches. Frankly, as I view the matter, our peopleís condition is serious.
There were but a few of our members present today. The day was a little blustery, but a long ways from being a bad day. After we dismissed, some of the brethren asked how many did some of us suppose would have been there if there had been as much as five dollars at stake. I suspect about all of us would have been there Jesus says where our treasures are there will we be also.
Not long ago a gentleman began to tell me something about some legal proceedings that were likely to come up in court. After listening a while, I told him he could save it all and tell it to the judge. (I was not personally involved). Some times I think of telling some of our excuse-making non-attending members to do the same thing.
Nine times out of ten we can be at our meetings if we really want to.
It is a painful thing to rebuke our own brethren. Many suggestions come to our mind how we may avoid it but nothing will take its place. First of all we try to indicate the cause and here is usually the answer. I am a poor preacher. My inability to preach had caused the brethren to lose interest. They have tired of hearing my stammering and poor way of preaching and I really canít blame them for not wanting to come. The need a better pastor and then they would be more interested, etc. But what about it when a good preacherís brethren and churches get that way? Surely in that case the brethren are at least somewhat to blame. Then we must reprove rebuke with all long-suffering and doctrine and we must do this in love.
Show me a picture-show-going, ball-game-attending, checker and domino playing, Sabbath breaking membership, and I will show you a cold, lifeless church. These things do not lead to the cross of our Master. They do not excite a spirit of prayer, and humble devotion to him who has done much for us; and without these things we cannot have a live church.
I am willing to call God to witness this day that I have begged, pleaded and tried to warn my brethren all along about such things and I am willing for him to punish as he sees both myself and them. Whatever it takes to make us stop and know that he is God and besides him there is no other, I pray he may give it. It is a fearful thing to full into the hands of the living God.
Lord help me to consider my ways, repent and seek thee with all my heart.
E. C. Mahurin