Vol.IX No.IV Pg.8
June 1972

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

When a California church bought a building from a denomination that was moving to different quarters, they gained two new members in the process. It seems two Methodist joined the Church of Christ rather than leave the building they loved. The Methodist didnt lose any one, and the church of the Lord did not gain any one. The two were converted to the building, and they remained true to their first love.

It happens quite often with varied details. People are bound to external forms, places or other people, and these material ties are stronger by far than their convictions concerning the worship and service of God. They do not love the Lord; they like the suit He chanced to wear. We would surely be startled if we could borrow Gods X-Ray and see why people maintain their various religious affiliations. Or see our own heart — One says, I put hard-earned money into this building and they are not about to run me off. Another, I was married in this building, and Ill have my funeral here. Family and social ties account for many. Some have been Church of Christers or Baptist for many generations, and consider it a sort of family obligation, at least while they are at home. When they move to another state they have no ties whatsoever.

Within a community when differences arise among brethren, such folk are left without chart or compass. It is so sad to hear people who we sup­posed to have scriptural convictions say, I just dont know what to do— I like people on both sides. Having never really been converted to Christ the teachings of Christ on the issues move them not. So they usually, stay with the building.

Later they may become disgusted by the antics of their brethren, but by now they have been so prejudiced against the anti's or the liberals that they would cease all pretense of worship rather than change buildings.

I do not believe the situation would be measurably helped by aban­doning all buildings and meeting under a tree. It is the heart that must be changed— in each individual, in each generation. Cant you just hear some old fellow say, My pappy worshipped under this oak, and I aint about to change to some modernistic fruitless mulberry.