Vol.XV No.IV Pg.1
June 1978

Hatched, Matched,- - -

Robert F. Turner

I once urged an unfaithful church member to resume his assembling with the saints, and he replied, "When I get straightened out I'll be there." And, sure enough, he was. When they straightened him out in his coffin he was brought to the church building for a "funeral service."

In Australia I heard the expression, "Hatched, Matched, and Dispatched" by the church. "The church" is official administrator of "sacraments" — baptism, marriage, extreme unction; and "requiem Mass" is for the dead. So the babe is brought to "the church" to be "christened" and duly enrolled as a church member. In about twenty years he or she comes again to be "matched" in a "church wedding." And finally, "the church" is called upon to "dispatch." Is it any wonder that "organized religion" is viewed as superstition and hypocrisy by vast numbers of people?

Of course "we" don't "hatch, match, and dispatch" We just "match and dispatch" — and the sacramental aspect is smothered beneath purely social and emotional developments. Although we know "marriage is ordained of God (like civil government, Rom. 13:) only a few argue that "the church" must be involved in either of these to assure their validity.

But many seem to be satisfied with being "faithful to the church" — and that can mean attendance barely sufficient to avoid being taken off of the mimeographed roster. There is yet much to be done in teaching the true nature of the church — the called out "people of God," faithful to Christ rather than to the "party" and its "program." Many are wedded to their dear friends, or to the building; and would forsake the Lord before they would forsake the "worship service."

We must not be content with large numbers — in attendance or contribution. "Peace" at any price is inflationary, breeding pride and promoting institutional church concepts. Our denominational friends followed this course, and degenerated to "hatched, matched, and dispatched." Let us work hard for genuine conversions to Jesus Christ, and worship that comes from a sincerely grateful heart.