A cold church is like cold butter–never spreads very well.

The modernistic preacher had been preaching for some years, & as the preacher got ready to leave for another pastorate, his congregation were out at the train bidding him a fond farewell, his little sheep out there–most of them stray sheep because he’d led them astray as an unbelieving, modernistic preacher.
The elder was bidding the preacher goodbye, the modernistic preacher that he’d been studying under for years, & he had a nice little package all wrapped up as a parting gift for the departing preacher. He handed it rather solemnly to the preacher & the preacher took it & eagerly started unwrapping it.
He said, “Oh my, my leading elder of my church all these years, you’re such a faithful student & listener! What kind of a gift could you have given me? It must be something very special!” And he unwrapped it, & you know what he found inside? He found nothing in the World but just the covers of the old Bible he’d been using, just the bare leather covers, nothing else, not a page! The preacher looked at it shocked & said, “What is this? What do you mean by this, elder?”
He said, “Well, preacher, you know when I sat in your sermons & Bible classes & so on, every time you said this was a myth & this was a legend & this was an allegory & this was just a tale, this was only a parable, this wasn’t for you, this was for the Gentiles, this was for the Jews, this was for the Apostles, this was for the past, this is for the future, this does not really mean what it says, this is just poetry–I tore it out! I figured if it wasn’t for me, why should I keep it? And I tore out everything related to it!
“Everything you said was a myth I tore out, I tore all the legends out, & all the things you said were allegories & parables, & if it was for the Jews I tore that out because I’m not a Jew. And I kept tearing everything out that you said wasn’t for today & it wasn’t for me, so I tore it out, & I tore out everything relating to it. By the time you got through, preacher, this was all I had left, & I thought you might just as well have these too, the covers, all the rest is gone, you destroyed it, & my faith in it–that’s all I’ve got left, just the covers.”–

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  1. Yes, this is extremely true what you are saying here. They have taken away the Lord and people know not where to find him, that’s what Mary said when she was looking for Jesus in the garden. There is another story that I remember about an African woman who was a member of a church congregation. I can’t remember exactly how the story went but I do remember the meaning so I’m not trying to sound any cleverer than I am but as I remember the story, it was about an African woman who wanted to make some ice cream, the main problem that she had was not the ingredients but the lack of a fridge. She finally found the solution and the pastor of her church said to her, “how did you manage to find a fridge out here where it’s always hot.” She said, “I took it to your church and placed it in there and it frizz just right.” So yes, it’s very true what you are saying here, the love of many has waxed cold. There is a form of godliness out there that is denying the power thereof.

    I remember once having a buckled wheel on my bike. To fix a buckled wheel, you have to tighten the spokes and the tension pulls the buckle out. The problem with this buckle that I had was that there were some spokes missing so I couldn’t tighten the spokes that weren’t there and so I couldn’t fix the buckle. I have to go to the bike shop and purchase some new spokes, I fixed these back into the wheel, tightened them up and made the tension real strong and sure enough, the buckle came out and I was back to whizzing along! So well said Michael, there is a massive problem these days with imbalance in us all and there are also a lot of wounded souls out there, people are burrowing in for fear of being hurt. I think it’s best to have the view that none of us are perfect and it is best that we all remember the great humility of Jesus Himself. There is one thing that people fear the most and that is humility. Jesus showed great humility in washing the disciples feet, this proving that even the disciples had plenty of mud on their feet. They were frequently lacking in faith and they all ran off when Jesus needed them most. Jesus was unceremoniously dragged away, humiliated and spat upon, he unceremoniously carried His cross and unceremoniously broke under the strain whereby a foreigner called Simeon helped Him. Jesus was unceremoniously nailed to a cross, unlike what you see in the movies, it was total humiliation and every time Jesus forgives us, to this day, it is done out of pure humiliation. Do we deserve His forgiveness? Hasn’t He forgiven us millions of times? Isn’t He always there for us when we are always running off and letting Him down? Aren’t we all as unclean things and don’t all of our righteousness’s stink? Aren’t we all as filthy monstrous rags? Haven’t we all gone down to the bottom of the pit, to the very depths of our hollow empty hearts? Haven’t we all beaten the wind with our own strength and our own trying? Haven’t we all partied with the prodigal son and been the prodigal son ourselves? Haven’t we all looked in the mirror and straight away forgen what manner of man we are? Do we all reserve special places at the table for the special ones?

    All being said, we are all a hell of a mess, we should all unconventionally and unceremoniously at least have our hands out to each other. It doesn’t have to be Christmas to put your hand out, it doesn’t have to be a birthday, it doesn’t have to be any other special time. It should purely be out of humility that we reach out to another and confess that you get lonely, they get lonely, you’re a mess, you’re messing up, they’re messing up, we’re all messing up and we all need the humility of Jesus – Jesus who never messed up – Jesus who came to help people who were messing up and who had seriously messed up. He came to die for the worst of the worst, for the lowest of the low and the highest of the so-called highest. Let’s all step out of the mess that we’re all in and put our hand in the hand of Jesus in each other. I wouldn’t want you to take my hand, all I can ever offer you is His hand. The arm of flesh will fail you, the arm of my flesh will fail you. It’s only Jesus! Terry


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