Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 27, 1952

Why So Much Foolishness?

Robert C. Ewell, Mathis, Texas

In the order of God's planning we never find any room for the ideas of men. When it comes to our soul's salvation, God has designed and built the perfect way. He is the Architect of all we do in Christ.

In the Hebrew letter (Heb. 8:5) the writer teaches us to build all things according to the pattern. The church must be built according to God's prescribed pattern and how then can man be so foolish as to think that he can add his way to it and still be accepted.

It is being asked on nearly every hand, "Why so much foolishness in the church?" and "Why so much trying to please man, instead of God?" After all, it is God whom we are to please, if we hope to get to heaven.

It is hard to understand, even after Christ has proved to us that it doesn't pay to try to feed people into righteousness (John 6), why some brethren still persist in thinking that it does. Not only is such a practice prevalent at home, but in our foreign works it has been noted that the feeding of ice cream to people of Germany has been used to get people started to coming to church. (This from the testimony of a German convert, in a sermon on the work in his country.) Sad, and true, but why be so foolish?

The Word of God is silent also on some things that the church is to do, and being silent it certainly doesn't allow them to be. For instance in some cities, the church is beginning to send cards out for just about everything a member can do — from babies to having an anniversary or birthday. This writer has seen in the offices of some of our churches and in their shelves are box after box of "Get-well, birthday-anniversary we-missed you, hope you missed us type of cards." Since when must time be taken to send this kind of card to the members by a church secretary, and what if she misses some poor, unknown in the congregation, don't you reckon that their feelings would be hurt? Or is it just for those who are the most prominent Pharisees coming? You answer it, but why should we be so foolish?

Another thing is the practice of having a piano present at all times somewhere in the building under the pretext of "we have to have it for a wedding" idea. Since when are we teaching our children such doings as that? If they want a "church wedding", then let them have respect enough for the church, to have it without denominational trimmings. If they want it so bad — let them go where it is. Why burden the church with something foreign to its make-up and so spare her the embarrassment of such newspaper reports as: "the pianist played so and so wedding march, etc. at the such and such church of Christ. Is it fair to what we teach and what we stand for to have some congregation have that report made about them? No! and it is certainly foolishness when the church engages in such doings.

Another thing is in some of our singings the overemphasis of having quartets and choruses up entertaining the brethren. Deny it if you will, but without that emphasis on the competitive and entertainment side of things, many of our gatherings would cease to be.

Some more foolishness, and perhaps the most dangerous, is the spirit of compromise that is prevalent in the church. We have brethren who get themselves mixed up with "Alliances" and "Fellowships" of the denominations and still try to hold onto the church. If brethren weren't so "soft and easy" and "afraid", they could take care of this denominational "Fellowshipping" by doing some Christian "disfellowshipping" of those engaging in it. What are we coming to, and where are we heading with such a course of action? You tell me — no, let Paul tell us. "For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? or am I striving to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ. Gal. 1:10.

Are we pleasing God or man, you answer friend — and if we are pleasing God — then why are there so many foolish things tacked on to the church? Are any of these things necessary to serve God? When we remember that God can have the "Cattle on a thousand hills" if he wants them, it seems so futile to add foolish things of men to his law and love. Let us then, come home to a sensible and sane service of God, before we drift too far from Him.