OLD PATHS

If you took a moment and reviewed the photo, perhaps you, too, had a path in your childhood, unpaved, yet you traveled it at one time to LEARN, later you traveled upon it because you KNEW where it would lead.  I had one.  We’d walk down Fairhill, which served as our winter outing, going down the hill on sleds.  There was a stream where we’d catch snails and put them in jars, and if I’m not mistaken there were tadpoles, too.  There was a path we’d follow which lead to cave, which I know now was the under part of an overpass.  It was called “Devil’s Kitchen” to us.  And whatever tale we heard we no doubt passed it onto younger ones, following in the tradition.  In fact, just now, I tried to Google Earth the place and it looks so much different than I remembered.

In our religious experience, especially as Adventist, more specifically, Seventh Day Adventists, we, too had, notice the operative word “had” a path in which we came from.  It was an honored path and we believe without any doubt it was God-directed and those of us coming up in the 50’s through the 70’s were taught this path.  I remember my grandfather handing me a red color bound book entitled, “The Adventist Movement”.  I read the book and learned where my father, and his father came into the “Truth”.  Then I learned about the men, and women, who were before them, all the way to 1844.  I wonder if we attempted and could “Google Earth” this path would it look so much different than when it began!

I think it has.

It is amazing, to me, how much we have ventured from this path.  I saw one’s post about being able to listen to the “vibrations” of the universe, pure spiritualism at its finest.  Another touts of the evenings spent at secular concerts, some event on Friday after sunset.  There have been others who have shown their party-fare, with bottles of alcohol having its place on their table.  Then there is the dangling ear-rings, the wedding bands and other forms of paganism adorning their supposed temples, and I would ask the obvious question:  “What path are you on?”

We used to have a message unlike any other church and we had men who could preach it and teach it unlike any other nominal church.  Men who would cause you to shudder with Holy Spirit-filled messages of truth, that’s what our faith was called, the “Truth”, and today we are mere images of nominal church preachers like T.D. Snakes, er, Jakes.  We’ve forgotten the path and those of us in our 60th year of life have no excuse.  No wonder our children have discovered another path and haven’t a clue about the “true” path because we’ve lost our way.  Our parents and grandparents weren’t saints, but if you kick off the “s”, this is our story, we are the “aints” trying to pretend to have a form of what they had as we say, “Amen” through the animal fat glistening in our teeth and the extra dose of Listerine to cover the smoke-filled breath or alcohol smelling toast we had to another god.

The “Three Angel’s Message” has become what we have learned and known, and not what we believe and teach.  Our churches have become social clubs from the days when we youth used to look forward to the socials in Fellowship Hall AFTER the sun had set.  Now we have Fellowship Hall in the sanctuary and if you heard the slamming of the door but could not see who did it, I’ll tell you Who it was.  It was the Holy Spirit who couldn’t stand to be in our presence because we didn’t want Him regarded in our service.  Where men, and now women, grunt, yell and use extreme emotionalism to spout out, well, absolutely nothing, but still there will be gathering of “aints” exclaiming, “Pastor sho nuff preached dis morning, didn’t he?” Yet, nobody can tell what it was he said.

We have lost our path and there are no red ruby slippers we can click together with the mantra, three times, “There’s no place like home.”  You won’t have to worry about that place we are wanting to call “home”, because we ain’t going.  We lost the path.

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May 27, 2016