Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 17, 1964
NUMBER 32, PAGE 3,6b,13b

The Organ Party

T. R. Burnett

(Editor's note: Seventy-five years ago the pen of T. R. Burnett was one of the most caustic, and at the same time, most widely read, among all the brotherhood. His "poetry" was widely circulated, bring smiles and chuckles to many — strings and irritation to others. Here is parody on "The Modern Church", a well known verse of that day. Next week we will print the "Wife's Response" to this bit of rhyme.)

Well, wife, I've found the modern church, And worshipped there to-day:

It made me think the good old times Had surely passed away.

The meeting-house was finer built Than they were years ago,

But then I found when I went in

'Twas mostly built for show.

The pews were luscious to behold, The cushions of the best,

For when they labored with their souls They gave their bodies rest.

The ,spires reached up to the sky, The pulpit was the boss,

And built in finest style of art, And hidden from the cross.

I went to take a vacant scat, The speaker's rostrum near,

You know that I am slightly deaf, And that I love to hear.

The janitor came rushing up:

"These pews are bought, you know, And paid for at a handsome price,

You must get up and go!"

He led me down that stylish aisle,

(He saw that I was poor,)

And found a plain, uncushioned seat Away back by the door.

I saw the people coming in, They did not come to worship God,

It was a dress parade!

I wish you'd heard the music, wife, It had the opera ring,

The preacher did not rise and say,

"Let all the people sing!"

No, no, dear wife, that's out of date, They've got away up higher,

They don't make music in their souls, But praise God with a choir.

There was an organ and a horn, A banjo and a flute,

And almost every kind of thing That's used to squeak or toot.

It made me think of younger days, When I attended ball:

They didn't sound the Savior's name, Nor "crown him Lord of all."

They had a Frenchman from Par-ee, Who held a little rod,

And waved it fiercely up and down To guide the praise of God.

They screamed and squalled an awful tune, From Vagner or Reuboff,

I think it made St. Peter blush, And scared the angels off!

The preacher raised his little hand, The people stood to pray,

They seemed to say we are too fine To kneel in prayer to-day.

It fairly made my hair stand up, To see a sight so odd,

Poor sinful souls, so big and grand, They could not bow to God!

The preacher rose and read some dates When ladies' clubs would meet,

And said a supper would be given With grand good-things to eat.

He said the Lord is in a tight, Expenses can't be met,

; And everybody ought to come, Eat him out of debt!

Dear wife, it made my old heart ache, To hear this news so sad,

That God is a financial wreck, And going to the bad.

And has to run an eating-house And like a peddler sell

His hot tamales and his cream To save poor souls from hell!

The Bible says that God is rich, Can do whate'er he wills,

And that he owns the flocks and herds Upon a thousand hills.

It was a slander on his name, The Lord is solvent yet,

He did not buy those trashy goods, He did not make the debt.

I wish you'd heard the sermon, wife,

'Twas not the old-time truth, It did not suit old men like me,

Nor help the giddy youth It did not speak of dying love,

Nor yet of rising power, Nor of the Father's watchful care,

Extended every hour, He did not speak of church or creed

The gospel's power to save, Or whether we should pour or cross,

Or dip beneath the wave.

He did not say confess your sins, That needed aught that day.

He spoke of the "esthetic taste"

Of this "progressive age,"

And said each plays a brilliant part On life's theatric stage.

We live upon a "higher plane"

Than did apostles old, And we should not becloud our minds

With ghostly tales they told.

Dear wife, a long three — score-and-ten The old highway we've trod,

That leads to Canaan's happy home, The city of our God.

But they've put in new-fangled styles To sing, to preach, to pray,

And changed God's order here below, I fear they've changed the way!

And when we reach the other side,

(Our eyes are growing dim,)

We'll not find Peter at the gate, For they've gone back on him!

They'll have a Frenchman from Paree, With fierce look and a rod,

And red tape on his stylish coat, To scare the saints of God!

And when within the jasper walls, We hear the harps of gold,

Well find that heaven is not the place That we have read of old.

For they will take our lovely crowns And pull out all the stars,

And change the angels' golden harps To banjos and guitars!

And they won't let us sing the song Of Moses and the Lamb,

But have a select modem choir To praise the Great I Am.

And they'll dig up the tree of life, And drain the river dry,

And alter all God's plans and ways In that Sweet By and By!