The first who came up to him as he stood by the double doors was Mrs. Pilski with her husband in tow and judging by the look on her face, a compliment would not be forthcoming! “Young man, excuse me, Reverend Prescott” she began, ” I must once again remind you that we hired you to maintain the traditions of the past and to maintain the principles of the modern church and by reiterating archaic laws that have no bearing in today’s society, you are ignoring the boards wishes!” Her husband, standing somewhat behind her nodded several times as a visible sign of agreement without so much as blinking an eye. “And furthermore, we insist that you cease the demeaning attacks on other faiths, which by the way, all lead to God!”
The Preacher noticed that a sizeable group had now pressed around them and only a few were passing through the double doors which led outside and so he spoke, saying, “Mrs. Pilski, I was hired by the committee to preach the Word of God as taught in the Scriptures and the Words of God are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And what you hold as ‘archaic’ is indeed very relevant for today and because the Word is no longer being taught in truth, we are succumbing to lies, even as we witness the foundations crumble beneath our feet!”
“What do you mean by lies?” asked a young mother in black jeans and wearing a light colored knitted sweater who was holding her child in her arms and standing a few feet back. The Preacher replied, “By lies, I mean that any argument that stands against the Bible and attempts to replace its precepts and doctrines with man-made formulations and philosophical reasonings in trying to explain the works and interpret the words of God.”
“But I read that the Bible was written by man and is open to a wide variety of interpretations because it contradicts itself,” she said as she shifted the child onto the other arm. The Preacher replied, “It is true that men wrote the Bible over a period of time but as the Spirit of God gave them the words. Many people have over the centuries tried to prove the Bible wrong and in the process have only revealed the truths contained within to be accurate. The Bible does not contradict itself in any form or fashion, it is the man who lacks the wisdom and knowledge to discern its truths through the lack of faith.”
“Well that being said, we still insist that you act as we expect you to do!” exclaimed Mrs. Pilski and a few others standing around also murmured their agreement.
“Mrs. Pilski, “I am called a Minister or Reverend or even Preacher of the Good News, that is of the Bible and of the Son of God and I am held accountable for what I say and do to him. I have been hired by this church to teach the oracles of the Father and Son and to bring as many as is possible back into the fold and the only way is through the Son of God. Therefore, to teach the truth about the Father and His laws and commandments is absolutely imperative in the church today because they have been neglected for so many years.”
“I resent that statement!” a voice boomed out as the Preacher recognized Mr. Barkley’s presence as he pushed his way forward until he stood face to face with the Preacher. “I take it as a personal insult to myself and to the others in this Congregation that you insult us in such a miserable fashion by stating that we have been neglecting the words of God these past years!”
Now Mr. Barkely was a man of normal height and weight, by this I mean about 5’7″ and 170 pounds and his age was approaching that of the late sixties, but it was his voice that made him seem much larger than he actually was! He had a deep baritone which immediately silenced all others around him, and he wasn’t shy about using it to his advantage as such was the case today.
Mr. Barkely continued, “We have been faithfully served by men and women of God who did their best to keep our interests at heart and their work was very much appreciated! This congregation has been a voice for the poor, a strength for the minorities, and we have always been here for the downtrodden! This church proudly supports the right of women, to include abortion and we also recognize that God loves the LGBT community as much as he does us! We also proudly support our fellow believers in other religions! Therefore, your sermon does not fit our interpretation of the modern church!” And as he finished, he crossed his arms and remained fixed in place with glaring eyes at the young Preacher.
The Preacher looked at him for a long moment before replying as Mr. Barkely received murmuring words of support from a few followers around him, seemingly satisfied that he’d put the Preacher in his place.
Then spoke the Preacher, saying, “This body of believers claims by virtue of its existence to be Christian in nature, that is, to be disciples of the risen Christ, the Son of God. And as such, we have the Bible as the written word of God. And if we are as we claim to be, then the Bible is the standard by which we must apply ourselves to. The written word, which is the Bible, makes it very clear as to how we are to conduct our affairs in this life and what pleases God and what angers Him. It describes sin as rebellion against Him and His laws and commandments and shows us the end results of a rebellious life. Now, knowing that we are to be held accountable for our actions and especially as Christians, then we are beholden to live in faith and obedience to His word and to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and minds, notwithstanding the modern interpretations of man.
God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and He does not change His mind to follow the newest trends or thoughts of the modern man and will not set aside His commandments to accommodate man! It is we who have set aside His laws and commandments because we cannot bear to walk in the light of His truths but prefer the murky waters of self-indulgence and religious pride.”
A man whom the Preacher recognized as a father of one of the younger families then asked if he felt that the liberal trends within the church were incompatible with the Scriptures or were they just a natural procession within societal norms.
The Preacher answered, saying, “Any movement or teaching that is contrary to Scripture must be rejected regardless of opinions, and new teachings recently discovered or any ‘lost gospels” such as Thomas or the book of Enoch or even a supposedly written letter of Judas Iscariot! These secret teachings serve only to sow confusion and discord within the body.
The word of God also blesses the fruit of the womb and declares the hand of God at work in forming the child within, annulling, therefore, the act of purposeful destruction of life at the hand of man. Also, the word makes it very clear that sexual perversion is not accepted by Him at any time because He created first the man and then the woman and brought them together to be as one and throughout the entire Bible, acts of perversion are strongly condemned right through to the Book of Revelation. Furthermore, the demand to accept other religions and to respect them is in direct conflict with the word of God as you have already heard, for He will not receive you when you bow down to other ‘gods.”
The young mother holding the child said; “God loves everybody and accepts them the way they are regardless of sexual or religious orientation!” to which the Preacher replied, “Again, that is contrary to Scripture! Your faith is in vain when you believe that you are accepted the way you are for He meets you where you’re at and calls you to follow Him. He has called you to take up your cross, denying yourself and all that you are. When you asked Him for forgiveness, what were you asking Him to forgive if He accepts you the way you are? Which of the Disciples remained as they were after becoming His followers?
Receiving faith in Jesus is a gift that is offered freely to all, but the price is high. You are no longer lord of your life, but rather, He becomes the Lord of your life, and as a result, you are beholden to uphold Him in your life and to place yourself behind Him in all things. He brings you to the cross where your burdens of sin and despair are removed, and He clothes you in a robe of righteousness, and then you take up your cross of self-denial and follow Him wherever He may lead you. Your life is now hidden in Christ through obedience to the Word which is able to keep you pure if you remain in Him!”
There were exclamations of surprise as he spoke for no one had talked as he did for a long time and the confused looks on many faces told him that the words he spoke were falling on good soil. Mrs. Pilski, however, was determined to kick back and so she said, “We are very proud of our service to this town and enjoy a well-deserved reputation for looking after the poor. We have provided free homes to those who couldn’t afford it and we often host bake and yard sales and the proceeds go to the poor and needy! Also, we have had services led by those who you declare to be perverted and have been richly blessed with their teachings and impressed by their great love for the brethren! I would strongly encourage you to rethink your position in this church and your attitude to those whom God loves!” and with that that she turned on her heel and marched out the double doors with her husband stoically following behind!
And so it continued for a while; still, the people asking questions and he attempting to answer them all. It was a labor of patience and love because they were hungry for the words of God, seemingly having not been fed with solid food for a long time and after an hour when the last one was gone, he sat down and closed his eyes. He was tired but at the same time refreshed in his heart, knowing that seed had been planted and praying that it would take root.
The harvest was indeed great, and the laborers were few which is why he accepted the call, and he knew that the road would not be an easy one and that many obstacles awaited him, of that he was sure. But the love for the people whom God was seeking had been given to him through faith in the Son of God, and the hope that awaited them all was eternal life if they continued in the call and remained obedient in Christ.