May 1981

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Our brother was in a debate with a Methodist, affirming that the church of which he was a member was established in Jerusalem, 33 A.D. He identified the church of the New Testament, and showed how people of the first century became members of that church. He then affirmed that he had believed in the same Lord, had obeyed the same commandments of the Lord; and challenged his opponent to prove otherwise. Since the Lord added to His church "day by day" such as were being saved (Acts 2:47), and 2,000 years were but a continuation of such days, he concluded the Lord had added him to the same church established in Jerusalem, 33 A.D. Sounds good to me!

But his opponent said the Baptist church began about 100 years before the Methodist, and had a head-start on growth and development. He called attention to the large Baptist church in that community, with their magnificent church building.

Then he gave the date for the Methodist beginning, some 1,700 years after Pentecost, and reminded the audience of their growth, and of their large brick building, fancy organ, and other commodious equipment. "But this so-called Church of Christ," he said, "has barely enough members to make a ball team. The Lord is with them, we are told, but they meet in a little frame chicken coop on the wrong side of the tracks. They have no modern heating plant, no recreational facilities, no kitchen. We are told they began nearly 2,000 yrs. ago, but to this day their parking lot is unpaved and there are no sidewalks to their front door."

Many godly teachers had tried to stir this church to spiritual life. They had necessary finances. The need for teaching facilities, and the need to send gospel preachers into a lost world had been clearly demonstrated. Yet cries for action in the name of Jesus had fallen on deaf ears.

But this was different! They were "seeing themselves" — not as God saw them, but as the world saw them — and that was important. So now you know, dear Reader, how the church at Podunk came to have a beautiful stone building, fellowship hall, paved parking lot, and equipment second to none.