11 April 2023 Anno domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”
(Ephesians 5:17-18, KJV)
I will herein relate another account of my young childhood that I hope will carry a message and warning to each of us.
When at the age of eight years, a tent revival was advertised to be on a vacant lot not far from our house. I was curious and wanted to go, but my mother would hear none of it. I do not know her reason for objecting, but I could see nothing wrong with going to a Christian revival service that labelled itself “Holiness Revival.”
Sometime after the revival began, I was allowed to visit a neighbor friend and classmate in the same neighborhood. He invited me to attend the second night of the revival with him and his parents. Even though it would be disobedient to my mother, I felt justified in accepting the invitation from other parents, and my curiosity prevailed.
We went to the well-attended tent-revival (the first I had ever seen) and found a seat among the many wooden folding chairs. One minister after another would take the pulpit and conduct his sermon in ways that were totally strange to my conservative worship experience. In some ways, it was quite entertaining; and, in others, very baffling. I had never heard a minister scream and shout as if God could not hear him, nor had I seen such jumping about and vigorous gesticulation in my whole life. I was somewhat fascinated as the gathering shouted “AMEN!” and “Hallelujah” at every point emphasized so vociferously by the minister.
Finally, a man ascended the pulpit and continued the thunderous exhortations just as his predecessors had done. But his words were hard to understand for my young ears. He almost fell down a few times as he clung to the microphone and waved randomly as he preached. His words were slurred and his comments disjointed.
Suddenly, my friend’s parents began to get up, along with most others, and leave. As we left, I asked them why we were leaving. The father asked, “Can’t you see – the preacher is dead drunk.” Well, I could well see that he was DIFFERENT, but I had never seen a drunk man before – and this was in a worship service of all places. We may be shocked by the sinners we see in church, but of the pulpit!??
Since that day, I have come to realize that there are different categories of drunkenness – pride, greed, social acceptance, etc., that drives some men to usurp the pulpits of the church. It is far more common today than when I was a lad of eight. We see it every Sunday being evidenced by some TV evangelists who not only look like crooks, but whose profound greed and pride annul every thought of virtue in their preaching.
Unfortunately, the spirit of mammon has infiltrated the mainline churches of America themselves. No longer does the biblical truth and Gospel hope dominate the music program and sermon, but the world’s values have taken the place of Godly preaching. The worldly music, and sensual singing – the luke-warm preaching that compromises the great truths of God, predominate to the detriment of both young and older ears. No wonder the church no longer takes a stand against the wickedness and vice that permeates modern society – they have become one with it.
The problems facing America today are not material objects such as guns, axes, and knives – these have always been part of our possessions – but wanton immorality and a failure of love and compassion that has been nurtured through ungodly school subjects and unprincipled government that has ruined our lives. But in America, we have no justification to blame bad government or the Marxist indoctrination of our children, for in America, we, the people, are Caesar. It is we who elect our leaders and foot the bill for whatever evil ensues from government and education. Why do we tolerate it?
“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:13-14, KJV)