Delivered at ARK Community Church, Dalton MA, November 2, 2014.
In the early 1960’s, Paul T. Fuhrmann was a professor at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. He would often present the following list (which I’ve amended slightly) to students in his Church History courses, claiming it was from his grandmother…
Grannie’s Notion of Church History…
- The ancient world was a desert, such a wilderness that not even a chicken could be found there.
- In the year 1, a King James Bible in English, bound & printed in New York (by the American Bible Society) and sold at $1.00, falls to the ground in that desert.
- The Apostles Peter, John, and Paul run to grab that Bible & organize the Primitive church, which was exactly like our church. Things were marvelous because the Apostles did things exactly as we do.
- In the year 100 the Devil came in and upset and corrupted everything, then went on to set up the Pope and later (much later) the Tea Party. The Pope plays all sorts of dirty tricks to make money. The Tea Party spends all sorts of money to play dirty tricks.
- In 1520, Martin Luther finds a Bible in chains, translates it, and the Bible spreads like butter on bread. In his barn in Rome, the Pope gets mad and swears to get even.
- In 1536, John Calvin comes in and organizes the UCC. Since he was intelligent, he must have thought exactly as we do in everything, and so did everything just as we do. The evidence of this is found in his two volumes of Institutes.
Please join me in prayer…
Lord, let it be your voice that speaks through my mouth, and let our hearts and minds be open and receptive to hearing the Word you have for us here, today. Amen.
It’s all so easy when no one challenges your views. No arguments, no wasted time or energy in the discussion of technicalities, no need to build consensus, no need to defend what you believe, no need to educate others who have differing opinions. No dissension! You have time to get things get done! And, in today’s world, with things moving so fast, especially when one or more crises are brewing (as always seems to be the case), it’s easy to not even listen for any dissension, and easy to justify squelching those who do question or challenge what we have to say.