Just an ordinary church building to most people, but not to me. For I learned a practical lesson here which has stayed with me for over 40 years. My wife and I worshipped here for several years and attended a Bible Study on Tuesdays in the parsonage as well. Needless to say, we made a lot of friends, especially the minister and his wife. Then a series of events occurred that changed everything. One Sunday, the minister (lets call him Tom) preached a scathing sermon on Masonry. Several of the church members were Masons and there was an angry response. Then came a board meeting and an ultimatum: recant or be let go. The following Sunday, Tom recanted, apologising for his previous sermon. He apologised for what the Bible said and was sorry for his remarks. This episode made me think a lot about The Word of God and eventually led me towards being a preacher myself. So, when I saw this picture today, I immediately thought of this passage.
Galatians 1:6-10 (WEB)
6) I marvel that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different “good news”;
7) and there isn’t another “good news.” Only there are some who trouble you, and want to pervert the Good News of Christ.
8) But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any “good news” other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed.
9) As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any “good news” other than that which you received, let him be cursed.
10) For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I wouldn’t be a servant of Christ.
Never apologise for what God has said, never back down from anyone, regardless of the cost. A good lesson, a good thing to remember and a better thing to put into practice. Sometimes even an unpleasant memory can have good consequences if we can learn from our experiences. I never did know what became of Tom, but I think of him time to time because he looks exactly like Richard Dryfus, the actor. I hope he has learned the lesson that Galatians teaches and has changed.