The Church – A Turtle in a Marathon

turtle-runningI contact a lot of pastors in my “day job,” managing my touring ministry. I often send out an inquiry to churches in a geographical area as I plan my itinerary.  Often these emails are ignored or end up in a spam box; most go unanswered or are returned with a reply “not at this time.” But never in all my years of doing this, do I recall a response quite like this one:

“I am retired as of June 1st, but the worst news is that the “box” that most elderly (denomination withheld) live in here in (state withheld) is about as progressive as a turtle in a marathon.  I would recommend that you concentrate on the larger towns, cities where there are concentrations of the few young people who remain in our denomination as we are chasing them away by the thousands, concentrating on coffee pots being removed from the foyer instead of removing pride and selfishness and spiritual arrogance; seeking humility and surrender at the foot of the cross.  The mistake of most in our faith is the need to stop bashing other faiths and understand that “being right” doesn’t make us righteous, only Jesus makes us righteous. Exterior righteousness is like the veneer of a collapsing house being white-washed.  So, blessings to you, Jesus only can changed the hearts, mine, yours, and turn us to Him.”

Name Withheld, Pastor Emeritus
(used by permission)

This has to be one of the shortest and yet more powerful sermons I have heard in a long time! I found the honesty and candor refreshing. I find myself saying both a hearty “AMEN” and at the same time taking a good look at my own heart.  “Being right doesn’t make us righteous, only Jesus makes us righteous.” What a powerful reminder!

1 thought on “The Church – A Turtle in a Marathon

  1. Sheri says:

    I agree. Honesty is refreshing. Yet even as I type that, it breaks my heart. Why in the world are we still dealing with this subject? Why don’t people “get it”? I want to know who this wonderful soul is. I want to fellowship with him!


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