I want to caution those of you who dare to read this filthy blog. I am a backslidden, fence jumping, malcontented scorner, or so I am told. When someone makes the conscience decision to hurl labels and judgment like these, they are trying to effect a summary dismissal of anything and everything the embittered rabble rouser has to say. The hope is we won’t think about what was said, or argue the merits of the charges made, we will label, judge and abdicate thought only to replace it with baseless uninformed rhetoric.
I am not bitter. Check my blog, and realize that I have not posted anything since September 2011. There is a reason I have decided to post another blog and I will be dealing with that reason, on this blog, very soon. I do however admit to being angry. I am angry about a great many things, and I am getting them off my chest via this blog. Why post it on the world wide web for everyone to see? I am doing it because I know beyond any shadow of a doubt there are others who are angry. Others who want their hurt to be acknowledged, they want a voice, but they do not or can not express themselves. I am doing it for me primarily, but for you, wounded friend, as well. IFB preachers do not have a patent on Christianity. You have a voice, you have whispered encouragement to me and so I am giving this blog from my heart to you; enemy and friend alike.
Some are waiting with baited breath for me to expose myself and do some kind of mea culpa about leaving the ministry. These ecclesiastical dictators think I owe them some kind of explanation; they can hold their breath until their Napoleonic faces turn purple. I do not owe you, and you (Dr. Preacher, Pastor, whatever) did not make me, you did not call me to the ministry, and you sure did not empower me to serve God. You did not give me your permission, and I did not ask for it.
I have not disqualified myself from the ministry whatsoever. I could walk back into the pastorate tomorrow with a clear conscience and the power of God. Furthermore, I could pastor an IFB church, without them having to change one jot or tittle of their doctrine, or me having to change mine. In fact, I could go back to the church I resigned today and they would welcome me back with open arms.
It is important to make a few things clear: Faith Baptist Church did not lose people as a result of my resignation, they have grown since I left, and they had people join within weeks of my leaving. This is a direct result of those good people being committed to Christ, and not to Jason Little, or any other preacher.
What are the old paths? What is old time religion? Who are these windbags? These questions need to be answered, but first a brief statement about fundamentalism: Fundamentalism is a movement, Christ did not die for a movement. Fundamentalism is a philosophy, Christ did not die for a philosophy. Fundamentalism is a fellowship of like minded believers, but Christ didn’t die for a fellowship. Christ loved the church, and gave himself for the church. If that is true, where should our efforts be spent? Building, nurturing, and protecting fundamentalism? Or perhaps we should build, nurture, and protect the church?
Over the last several years, several men have forwarded the idea of getting back to the “old paths.” Dr. John N. Hamblin uses Jeremiah 6:16 to preach many different messages with the same central theme: we need to get back to the “old paths.” In Hamblin’s mind this means KJV only, soul winning (in the broadest sense) church attendance, tithing, treating preachers like demi-gods, listening to Southern Gospel music, being called to preach, having a mentor, and remaining fundamental throughout your life. (Hamblin’s definition of fundamental) However, Jeremiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had something quite different in mind. He was speaking about observing the Sabbath, sacrificing animals to God not idols, tithing of everything you own, and the increase thereof, and following the laws God dictated to Moses. Dr. Hamblin has twisted these scriptures to fit his philosophical fundamentalism. We err when we force our views into the Bible, and try to make it champion our cause instead of championing its message. The “old paths” of modern fundamentalism have nothing to do with the old paths of Holy Spirit inspired Jeremiah.
It may sound like splitting hairs to you, but words mean things. Every preacher should strive to be true to what the Bible says and not inject our opinion into the words the Bible uses. Do we believe in verbal inspiration or not? If you believe in verbal inspiration you should not twist the meaning of a word no matter how noble you claim your intentions are. It is time preachers start to police themselves, and if you refuse to police yourselves, others need to stand up and get a little ticked and point out your error. You may think you are the master, but you are just a student, like the rest of us, how about trying to learn something.
Old Paths are what the Bible describes, not whatever meaning you attach to it. So pretty please STOP IT! #oldpaths
The next phrase on our list “old time religion” is not found anywhere in the Bible. In fact it is a song plagiarized by Southern Gospel legend Charles D. Tillman, a former snake oil salesman, and minstrel show performer. He published the song in 1891 popularizing the old Negro spiritual Old Time Religion reworking it for white southern Christian audiences. Tillman first heard the song performed by a black choir in 1889 at a singing meeting held on a Sunday afternoon in South Carolina. He promptly stole the words and tune thus starting a good old fashioned “old time religion” tradition many a preacher practices today. A snake oil salesman, a minstrel show performer and a content stealer, oh year and this guy was also an evangelist. I can think of a few snake oil salesmen evangelists!
Consider the song Old Time Religion; it tells you nothing about religion or faith whatsoever, it is just a catchy tune and empty words with the meaning being supplied by the singer not the song. Truth be told, it is relativistic; and I thought we were against relativism. Yet preachers near and far exploit this song and phrase putting whatever meaning they wish, at the time, to manipulate their audience.
Preachers have variously defined “old time religion” with a wide range of ideas including but not limited to: carrying a concealed weapon, shooting dissenters (just like J. Frank Norris did… in their minds) flying first class, a Cambridge Bible, three button suit, Georgio Brutini shoes, Monte Blanc pens, receiving gifts, receiving love offerings, blasting young preacher “boys” from the pulpit, blasting old preachers from the pulpit, blasting singers from the pulpit, blasting church members from the pulpit, blasting organists from the pulpit, passing out tracts and calling it soul winning, cathead biscuits, red top milk, and Stamps Baxter. You would think I am making this up, but sadly I am not. Some preachers joke about things, and there is nothing wrong with joking. However a good friend of mine, who has an earned doctorate but refuses to be called doctor, once said: “Too much of the 11:00 p.m. fellowship is making it into the 7:00 p.m. service.” When that happens long enough you begin to actually believe some of the absurd things you joke about. So now in my mind, everything I say, think or believe is Old Time Religion, if you disagree you are lost, a backslider, a liberal, or an idiot, you pick.
A well known pastor from Tennessee said he is somewhat King James, but he is altogether Stamps Baxter. This macho-mystic bravado is supposed to inspire the listener with the idea that if they are right with God, they will use Stamps Baxter music. He attempts to turn his personal preference into God breathed doctrine. These things, not biblical Christianity, is what “old time religion” has become in this fundamental age. Preferences, not doctrine, macho-mystic bravado not Bible, and threats not godly urging is what is meant by “old time religion.”
To Be Continued…….
- The Immigration Lie
- Reading this will cause Rage
- Islam is Evil Mohammed is in Hell
- Insane People Insane World Part 3 The Fuzz
- Insane People Insane World Part 2 The Domestic Front
- Insane People, Insane World Part 1 The Domestic Front
- We Need a Revolution Part 3
- We Need Revolution Part 2
- We Need Revolution Part 1
- We Can Still Hope for the Mayan Apocalypse