Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Many years ago … in a church …far … far … away … OK, enough of the “Star Wars” Introduction.  Anyway being very young in the ministry I just assumed that if you said you believed the Bible then you tried to live by the Bible.  Alas, I soon discovered that you really do live what you really believe, all the rest is just religious talk. 

It seems that there was a controversy in the church between an uncle and a niece.  It had gotten to the point of going to court to settle the dispute.  As a young pastor I thought I remembered that Paul had something to say on this issue.  Sure enough he did.  Paul says it in 1 Corinthians 6:1-6 in the New Century Translation:

1 When you have something against another Christian, how can you bring yourself to go before judges who are not right with God? Why do you not let God's people decide who is right?  2 Surely you know that God's people will judge the world. So if you are to judge the world, are you not able to judge small cases as well?  3 You know that in the future we will judge angels, so surely we can judge the ordinary things of this life.  4 If you have ordinary cases that must be judged, are you going to appoint people as judges who mean nothing to the church?  5 I say this to shame you. Surely there is someone among you wise enough to judge a complaint between believers.  6 But now one believer goes to court against another believer—and you do this in front of unbelievers!

Determined to be a good pastor I felt that the woman involved, the niece, probably did not remember that part of the Bible, and so I decided to call on her and do some basic pastoral teaching.  I should have known I was treading on thin ice, when after knowing the purpose of my visit she told me very clearly that it would be more appropriate to visit her estranged uncle.  But on I went, treading where even angels would have been afraid.  After reading to her the above passage, she said to me in a defiant voice, “Well, that may have worked for Paul, but it doesn’t work today.

I went home, fell across my bed and wept and prayed.  I learned a valuable truth.  Simply because you claim to believe the Bible does not mean you really do.  If both parties had tried it, it would have worked.  They did not believe it because they had not tried it.  So, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

By the Way, many years ago … in a church … far … OH enough already!  One of my deacons worked for the veterinarian in town.  He brought home one day a bucket full of “Mountain Oysters.”  (Oh, look it up in the dictionary!)  He brought some to our house all cleaned, sliced, and ready to be dipped in flour and fried.  Marie, under some duress cooked them and voila! I liked them, after I tried them.  I knew they were clean, safe, and had been the main course of many a meal.  I had never tried them before.  I was reluctant at first, but I really liked them. 

An interesting thing about one of my granddaughters is her willingness to eat anything you can order at a restaurant.  She will give it at least one try.  Maybe she will like it and maybe not.  She does not make a decision about the tastiness of a dish until she takes at least one bite.

If you are having doubts about certain commands and promises in the Holy Book, please don’t belittle it in front of others.   Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.  And I can tell you from experience, after years of serving my Savior I have yet to be disappointed or to find something untrue.