How Was “The Old Time Religion” Different From Now.

An evangelical preacher blogger about my age wrote of how he recalls his faith in the past and how it differs from today.  Some of his recollections are mine, but some different.

The old church, he recalls, was bigger on missionary work.  I recall missionaries were big.  Special collections were taken.  When a missionary returned, he traveled the area talking up success and asking for support.  That seems largely gone.

Heaven and hell were talked about more back in the day.  In my church, there were lots of sins that would put you hell bound.  I’m sure those sins are long forgotten.

The return of Jesus was much closer then.  Now, there are so many returns of Jesus’ it is probably not a good idea to bring up the topic.   Preachers know their business and it is not to be seen as whackos.

He wrote that the “blood of Jesus” was an common topic in sermons.  I have to confess  not remembering anything about that.  Then again, I was not a very good listener in church.

The preacher blogger said conspicuous consumption was not so evident in the earlier years of his preaching.  I have to wonder where he lived—conspicuous consumption everywhere from big shiny cars to gleaming appliances.  The term itself was invented by economist Thorstein Veblen in 1899.

The old time religion fit the culture of those times.  Fifty years from now today’s issues of gays and abortion will surely seem quaint and out of date.

P. S. To our U. S. readers, Happy 4th of July.

6 Responses

  1. Meh. Everything is different today. Old time grocery shopping, old time schooling, old time medical care, old time socializing. That religion is practiced differently today should come as no surprise.

    1. Upon reflection, maybe the angst clearly present around this issue derives from the concept of religious practice always being considered “right”. So which is it? Was it right then or is it right now or will it become more right in the future?

  2. Michael Ross

    Comments kinda slow today. Commenting on Freethinker blogs is not a traditional way of celebrating Independence Day, apparently. You do bring up interesting topics so think I will break with tradition.

    “The old church, he recalls, was bigger on missionary work. ”

    Our foreign policy of domination by force has ruined our Christian testimony to the rest of the world. American militarism along with its strong support from the religous right has so bloodied the name of Christ that if God Almighty does not intervene and judge His own people for their warmongering it may take centuries to undo the damage done in the name of the Prince of Peace. We are to influence the rest of the world but it is not at the point of a gun:

    “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)
    Christ gave us the pattern. That is a “city set upon a hill, ” a people covenanted with their God that other nations would WANT to emulate .

    “The return of Jesus was much closer then.”

    Christ spoke of His “coming”. The word for “coming” means”presence ” In the Old Testament it meant His presence in judgement. I believe that is what is meant for today. We are nearing His judgement presence, not his physical return which happens at the end of history when:

    ” all the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Habbakuk 2:14)

    “The preacher blogger said conspicuous consumption was not so evident in the earlier years of his preaching.”

    I think he is right here. Nowadays its “if you have it, flaunt it”. People, including Christians, were more modest years ago. Even if you are well- to-do, live modestly, save what you can and give to help the truly needy. Not to support the likes of Olsteen
    who flies around the country in his own fleet of jets.

    Have a great holiday weekend.

    1. Michael 2:44 People including Christians were more modest years ago.

      You might be right–I just don’t remember it that way. Best to you as well for a great weekend.

  3. Adam Heckathorn

    Wow I just read the link It could have been written by many old Witness’s I know. I am very surprised at how similar His Religion is to that of JW’s. I see a natural progression regardless of Your flavor of Religion. What’s funny is how similar His religion is to JW’s and yet Neither would consider the other a true Christian. “So I said die heretic! and I pushed Him off”. (Emo Philips).

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