Vol.XV No.X Pg.6
December 1978

Red Coats And Levis

Robert F. Turner

Now it came to pass that there arose a famine in the church; and it was not a famine of food, nor of fine clothes, nor of money, nor of well-appointed buildings, for these were had in abundance. But there arose a famine of great men; and messengers went hither and yon throughout the kingdom in search of great men, and behold, there were none. And there was great lamentation among the hosts of mediocrity, and worse.

And a proclamation went forth that research and development should be done so that the church might again have great men. And the price arose accordingly, as it is wont to do. And many of the mediocre and worse would fain have filled themselves with the glory and gain of greatness, but no one was great enough to recognize their greatness. Ain't it a shame!

Then schools of mediocre teachers, and churches with mediocre preachers and elders, sought to train great men. They gave them red coats, and fine cars, and they taught them to speak smooth sayings so as not to offend, and they pushed others into a lower position, so these would seem great — but behold, the famine continued.

And it came to pass that the mediocre began to judge themselves by themselves, and came to great conclusions. And they gave themselves dinners of testimony to their greatness; and they could not so much as speak of one-another except they use great swelling words: and they said, "Our highly esteemed Doctor, Defender of the Faith, and Savior of the Church." And things got worse.

Now in a certain community there dwelt an humble man having but one little ewe lamb, and he had no Cadillac, nor had he finished High School. And behold, this man knew not how to read between the lines, for he read on the lines with great difficulty; and he thought the church had a Savior of long time, to wit; Jesus. And it came to pass that when this man heard of the need for great men he wept bitterly, and was sore oppressed in his grief. And he thought of souls that would be lost for want of great men; and he prayed that the famine might soon be lifted.

And as he thought on these things he said to himself, while research and development is being done, and red coats are being made, and banquets are being prepared so that we may have great men, someone must mind the store and save these lost souls. And since red coats do not go well with my Levis, and I am never invited to banquets, I will try to save souls until some great men are made. And he said, I will arise and go unto my neighbor, and why didn't I think of this sooner.

So he arose, and he taught his neighbor the good news about Christ. And together they taught the man who came to sell fertilizer, and there was great rejoicing in their hearts.

And when the One Great Scorer came a host of red coats rushed out to meet him, and there was strife among them, who should be greatest. But He passed through the midst of them and sought a man who was in the field, caring for an ewe lamb, and the lost.