Like words made of dirt, gravel, and twigs that need to be chewed up and spit out as quickly as possible or the taste would be too much to bear. There were these kinds of words spoken in my United Pentecostal Church. They are Bible words to be sure, but they just didn’t taste right with the message they were trying to get out. Words like Father, love, and grace. They didn’t understand them and in reality wanted nothing to do with them. But being a church that loosely relied on the Bible to preach their perverted gospel, they must be read or said from time to time. They were never expounded on and by the way they were said, you knew, they wished they weren’t in there.
Honestly, the more I read the things they say, it’s clear to see that there has been no growth for over twenty years. They still write about and speak the exact same half scriptures and clichés. Take the word Father, for example, I don’t think I ever heard of God referred to as our Father. There were no lessons given on the love the Father has for his children. It would have been dangerous to get too mushy when God was spoken about. After all, we must fear Him! If you call Him, Father, then you are hedging perilously close to Him having a Son and, well, if there are two, then…well, just don’t go there!
Love was a word mostly mentioned as something to be aimed at God or fellow standard-bearing churchmen. We don’t need much love around here – be tough, follow the rules – get people up to speed like us. I don’t believe love was ever spoken of as an action word; something you demonstrated so that all would know you were His disciples. That was taken care of by the way you dressed. Who needs love?
The word believe, –ptui! The personal Savior crowd was acknowledged with a slight giggle and indignation. How dare they think that’s enough, why even the devil believes and trembles! Look what it takes to be Us – the true church. It’s just not that easy; where is the spittoon?
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound! We sang the song, all right, but we didn’t need a sweet sound; we had the mighty rushing wind. Grace is for those wretched souls who didn’t know the truth. No, no one could be saved by such a word as grace. Grace could mean that God lets you into heaven based on His merit and not your own. The way was much narrower and “few there be that find it.” In fact, even the words Jesus spoke to His disciples, when He was giving them the great commission, were avoided except to say “He didn’t really mean it that way.” It was code language that only they understood – everybody else could go to hell if they didn’t get it.
I always thought it strange that the musical performance group that frequented our church would sing a song using the words of the scripture, John 3:16. It just didn’t fit. I just didn’t get it…
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. John 3:16 GNT