Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Better Path, Perhaps


I have seen this message several times and just wanted to share some thoughts...

I wish the old paths were before us instead of behind us.
THE OLD PATHS...I liked the old paths, when Moms were at home. Dads were at work. Brothers went into the army. And sisters got married BEFORE having children! Crime did not pay; Hard work did; And people knew the difference. Moms could cook; Dads would work; Children would behave. Husbands were loving; Wives were supportive; And children were polite. Women wore the jewelry; And Men wore the pants. Women looked like ladies; Men looked like gentlemen; And children looked decent. People loved the truth, And hated a lie; They came to church to get IN, Not to get OUT! Hymns sounded Godly; Sermons sounded helpful; Rejoicing sounded normal; And crying sounded sincere. Cursing was wicked; Drugs were for illness; And divorce was unthinkable. The flag was honored; America was beautiful; And God was welcome! We read the Bible in public; Prayed in school; And preached from house to house To be called an American was worth dying for; To be called a Christian was worth living for; To be called a traitor was a shame! Preachers preached because they had a message; And Christians rejoiced because they had the VICTORY! Preachers preached from the Bible; Singers sang from the heart; And sinners turned to the Lord to be SAVED! A new birth meant a new life; Salvation meant a changed life; Following Christ led to eternal life. Being a preacher meant you proclaimed the word of God; Being a deacon meant you would serve the Lord; Being a Christian meant you would live for Jesus; And being a sinner meant someone was praying for you! Laws were based on the Bible; Homes read the Bible; And churches taught the Bible. God was worshiped; Christ was exalted; And the Holy Spirit was respected. Church was where you found Christians on the Lord's day, rather than in the garden, on the creek bank, on the golf course, Or being entertained somewhere else. I still like the old paths the best!

“The Old Paths” was written by a retired Minister who lives in Tennessee.

Solomon says...Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such questions. (Eccl 7:10, NIV).

I understand the concern and the sentiment being made in "the Old Paths" message, but in my life and experience...I simply do not agree with it in many respects. This is a retiring as to say, nothing can be done to make today better in the church than yesterday; the church of yesterday will always be better, therefore why even try. At least this is how I have seen it work itself out in the lives of too many people that I love...senior saints and others that I have known and loved. The message appears to reflect that..."the Spirit did all of His best work then." I refuse to give in to this. If this was the case, why should we even be open to learning, or spiritual insight, because it doesn't really matter -- preaching and ministry were better then anyway. For example...why should I even be preaching today, because it will never measure up to what some individual was saying a generation ago. I do not believe that this is true. In fact, I believe that preaching could very well be better today in many respects...(although I cannot disprespect yesterday's or tomorrow's preaching). Today's preaching generally does a better job of trying to remain expository, that is, true to the context of what particular passage is being presented. I think we need to be very careful about what we say or think is "better" or "worser" in relationship to the church or life itself. I think that these judgments can and do trap us and do not permit us to grow and continue to be all that we can be for the Lord. We must remember that, in relationship to the subject at hand, in the Lord's hands all things can be a blessing and bless!

If we are overly compelled by or dwell on the past (or the future, for that matter), we may very well have very little to offer the present situation. The Thessalonians were admonished by Paul for being as overly concerned about the future as many today are about the past. The church and the world would be a much better place if people of all ages, races, social status, genders (that would be both :-)...would do their best to come together to be open to God's leading and be a blessing and try to understand what God's Spirit is doing today. In many respects, societal life was good a generation other ways it was not so good. In some ways life is better today...and in other ways it is worse. It is what we choose to make it! :-) Blessings,


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