Spying on Jesus and Paul!
I'm Glad I Attended Church Yesterday!

Give Me That Old Time Religion.....NOT!

Many, many years ago an old spiritual song was written, "Give Me That Old Time Religion."  The song may have had it roots in African spirituals.  I found that some group, in the early days of recordings, actually recorded it, in 1909.  Recording artists like Tennessee Ernie Ford, Johnny Cash and many others included it in their records.  The song is a catchy, fun song to sing.  If you have a chance Google it and listen to it and read the many variations of the verses.  Part of the fun of the song was that you can make up verses as you go and then sing the Chorus at the end of each made up verse. 

Here is the Chorus and one of the many verses:


        Give me that old time religion

        Give me that old time religion    

        Give me that old time religion

        It's good enough for me



        It was good for Paul and Silas

        It was good for Paul and Silas

        It was good for Paul and Silas

        It's good enough for me 


Of course, then the song could go on into many other verses, both written and added. 

Through the magic of the Blogisphere....I heard that Paul and Silas actually showed up in your town last Sunday morning.  Paul said to Silas, "Silas old buddy, we're here this morning so let's visit a local church and see what is going on."  Silas replied, "Wow, Paul...that's a great idea.  I'll pull out my cell phone and Google the local churches and see where we can go."  Then Paul said, "Google the most Fundamental/Evangelical churches cause they probably will have my message right on!"

Silas then found the First Bapticostal Charismatic Church of God Word of Faith Christian Center.  On their web-page it stated, "We use the KJV only; The Bible that Paul used!"  After Silas read this to Paul he said, "Wow!  We just have to check this church out!"  So, they made their way across town just in time for the service.  As they made their way up to the front door they were greeted by Brother Moe and Brother Curly, the long time ushers.  They were all dressed in flashy "zoot suits" and wore their best black patent leather shoes.  Of course Paul and Silas showed up in their two thousand year old robes.  The robes, from all of the wear and tear of the years, were a little thread bare at that.  The ushers took a quick glance at each other and Moe leaned over to Curly and said, "What are we gonna do with these Bozos?"  Curly whispered back, "I don't think Pastor Larry is gonna like this so lets make sure we seat them near the door."  (I couldn't resist the Pastor Larry bit... He's not me, but he's being used to complete the Three Stooges....lol)

So the two Stooges, I mean the ushers, manage to get Paul and Silas seated just in time for the "worship" to begin.  As soon as our visitors take their seat, the lights are dimmed, the  Worship Leader takes the mic and shouts at the top of his voice...."HALLELUJAH!!!  ARE YOU READY TO WORSHIP GOD?"  He hits the first chord on his Gibson guitar and the stained glass windows rattle to the point they are about to fall out of their frame.  Silas stands as he says, "What's all of this Paul....Is this really how we told people to gather together in their homes, each one bring a song to share, each one bring a word to share?"  The music roared for another hour.  Towards the end the strobe lights and fog machine were turned on and Paul and Silas looked at each other completely dumbfounded.

Finally, as Paul cleaned out his hurting ears, Pastor Larry came to the mic and told everyone that it was offering time.  He said, "OK you people....It's now time to pay your tithes and give until it hurts."  As he made this statement he was thinking to himself that his new Cadillac payment was due and boy did they need a huge offering this week.  Silas looked at Paul with questioning eyes and reached into his robe and found a shekel to put in the plate as it came by.  As he did so, he felt rather condemned because Pastor Larry, like the "offering lifter" that he was, really put the squeeze on the congregation.  

The ushers, Moe and Curly, passed the plates around the church, piled high with credit card receipts as Pastor Larry picked up his KJV Bible and began to speak.  He opened with, "OK, it's now time for the Word of God.  I feel that in order to please God, I'm gonna take you back to some "Old Time Religion" and really step all over your toes today!"  Paul leaned over to Silas and said, "I never taught Timothy to step all over people's toes.  I told him to bring comfort and edification to God's people."

Then Pastor Larry told his congregation, "It is time in this church for everyone to begin working hard at becoming holy and righteous.  This sin stuff has to end or I'll know the reason why!" While he made that statement, he was noticing his secretary, Sister Smith.  He thought to himself, "Wow! She looks so beautiful this morning.  I really wish my plain old looking wife would look as good as her!"  He then snapped back from his lustful thoughts and began to hammer how how unholy and sinful his people were. 

Paul whispered to Silas, "This isn't what I taught the churches!  I taught them that, "For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, NO LONGER COUNTING PEOPLE'S SINS AGAINST THEM!" (2 Cor. 5:19)  Then he said, I taught them all this,  "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right (righteousness of God) with God through Christ!" (2 Cor. 5:21) 

At that time Pastor Larry finished his message with the most powerful, compelling altar call that he had ever given.  He said, "OK...It's now time for all of you (thinking to himself, everyone but me) to come to this altar and get right with God!  It's time for you all to REPENT!"  As he said the  word, "repent" he was huffing and puffing like a steam engine!  The entire congregation ran forward, many of the women were weeping like babies.  They just knew that if they didn't get right with God at that very moment, they might have a car accident on the way home, die and go to hell.  Of course that's what Pastor Larry told them in his appeal for an altar call. 

Paul and Silas didn't go forward that morning.  Instead they, like little church mice, very quietly dodged out the door.  By this time they felt like the others in the congregation, totally condemned.  They knew that they should have gone forward to the altar so that God would be totally pleased with them. Paul, hanging his head low said to Silas, "I don't know about you, but I think I need to get right with God!"  Silas said, "Amen Brother!"  It was then that they left the scene, going back to heaven, but wondering if they would still be welcome there!

So.....I do want "The Old Time Religion."  However, I sure don't want the religion of Pastor Larry and ushers Moe and Curly.  I want the true religion that Paul and Silas taught.  By the way....I teach what they taught too.  I only hope that Moe, Larry and Curly find it too!

Grace and peace!