Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Personally, I am more than a little worried about some trends in Christian society today. I'll explain.

Changes often come so slowly as to be almost imperceptible to the untrained eye. Perhaps our years of Pastoral work equipped us to notice subtle irregularities which hold portent of possible problems down the road a ways.

James Michener, in the book “MEXICO”, presented an interesting observation.

His story, tells us of Indian tribes which, at one time were poverty stricken, half starved and sickly, a very few in number. Their priests had a vision which they hoped would improve the situation. The plan was to move a little further toward a fertile valley each year, about twelve miles a year. They were to plant crops and harvest them; then move on a little farther.

They had no specific deity to worship, so life was without direction or purpose. Each year, in mid December, they would offer human sacrifices to the Sun god to entice him to return from his southward journey, so they could have crops the next year. They always were able to coax him back, or so they thought. This ceremony came only once a year. The priests then invented a variety of gods for them to worship. The one which
inspired the people most was the god of War.

Their spiritual leaders taught them that it was a high honor to go to "war", capture enemies", and bring them back to be sacrificed to the war god.

It took about two generations to bring about the complete change of worship and mind set, but they got the job done.


If a very gradual alteration of worship changed a peaceful people into head hunters in two generations, the possibilities for today are almost mind boggling.

If my grandfather, Samuel L. Fretwell, who died in 1915, could return from the grave, I wonder if he would recognize Christianity as we know it today? This is not to intimate that what he had was any better than what we have today. The DIFFERENCE is what would be shocking to him.

To be sure, there have been many illuminations of the Word since his time, and we are thankful for each one of them. Probably the first thing he would notice would be the lack of genuine fear of God, and the moral decay which so many of us take for granted now.

Hey! I am not talking about the conditions of the unregenerate people. I'm concerned about what is going on IN THE CHURCH. It would seem to me that much of the
clatter about what the outsiders are doing is little more than cap guns being shot off in an attempt to take attention away from glaring irregularities in the ranks of the believers.


Personally, I blame Christian Leadership more than any others for what I feel has become a general decline in Christian ranks. Pearl and I were Pastors for over thirty years, and we know first-hand the struggles and the temptations which befall leaders.

The greatest struggle is to hold the line of moral conduct in the face of the awful opposition which one encounters while trying to do so.

In this present time, many people are searching for something better than they are getting, yet they are not really ready to be taught more about how to conduct themselves in the "House of God." The end result is terrific pressure on Church leaders. People tend to bring their former ways along with them, and rather than being assimilated into their new surroundings, they often add a distinct flavor to the congregation that receives them.

One of the greatest temptations facing Leadership today is to try to please those who are moving about in search of food. Sort of like walking a "tight rope." It is next to impossible.

The end result has been a very gradual departure from the Spirit of Holiness, which is not a good thing.

I doubt that we are about to start sacrificing to the Sun, but our worship is definitely different from what its a few short years ago. Are we gradually losing our bearings in God? Are our new methods bringing us closer to God, or are we merely mixing in more of human ways?

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