Gimme That Old-Time Religion
my children were babies, I placed them on their stomachs to sleep. The
thinking at that time was that lying that way would prevent a baby from
strangling on its own vomit. But doctors no longer tell parents that.
Now they say that a baby should sleep on its back because it helps
prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Who knows?
When my mother
was a young woman, a doctor told her she should smoke cigarettes to
help her breathe. We now know, of course, that his was very poor advice.
sister used to give her children baby aspirins any time they were
fretful. Nobody thought back in the '60s when she was rearing her
children than an aspirin could cause Reye's Syndrome.
knowledge grows and changes. We learn more and more through research
and technology. As we learn we change our practices to conform to the
Some people think that religion works the same
way. They excuse any innovation that comes down the pike by saying, "Times have changed, people are different, we have to try new things to
attract the younger generation, we must be progressive."
conservative Christians know better. We seek the religion that was "...good for Paul and Silas, and it's good enough for me." Or do we?
we stand for the truth. I will grant that. But what about the spirit?
Do we have the spirit of the religion of Paul and Silas? If we were
captured and put in prison because of our faith in Christ Jesus, would
we be singing songs of praise at midnight, or would we be whining and
complaining and wondering why God had forsaken us? Are we fair-weather
Christians who serve God in times of plenty and then fall away from Him
when times are rough and persecutions come knocking at our door?
we have the love for spreading the Word the way Paul and Silas and
other early Christians did? Do we go about daily talking with our
neighbors, seeking lost souls? Do we love lost souls? Do we care that
they are lost? Do we study the Word diligently so that we will have
the knowledge to convict the gainsayers? Are we people of the Book?
we have the love for our fellow Christians that the early Christians
possessed? Would we sell our houses and lands to be able to provide
for their needs? Would we sell a car? Maybe a television set? Or are
we just too busy collecting these material possessions even to think of
selling any of them for the benefit of someone else?
growing in the Lord? Or are we standing still, or worse, going
backward? The story is told of a young boy who fell out of bed. When
he woke up, he said, "I guess I stayed too close to where I got in at."
Are we too close to where we got in? Are we still babes, when we should
be full-grown men and women of the Lord?
"But also for this very
reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue
knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to
perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to
brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you
will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord
Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to
blindness, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins" (II
If we would seek to be pleasing to our heavenly
Father, then let us examine ourselves to see whether we are putting
Peter's words into practice in our lives. Let us be growing in the
knowledge of our Lord. Let us not stay too close to where we got in.
Let us truly seek to exhibit in our lives the religion of Paul and
Silas, Mark and Luke, and Peter, Andrew, James, and John.
That "old-time religion"--is it good enough for you?
from What About Brian
, Chapter 1