Our friend Bargo sent me this photo that he took of an old covered bridge recently, and it struck as both hilarious and chilling; take a closer look at it, if you would…
Those old rules are really funny in the 21st century; keep those beasts at a walk!
In the 19th century, they would have been pretty important. Can you imagine what it would be like if you were walking across the bridge and some jerk was running a couple dozen horses across at the same time? Yes, those old ways had their uses in their day, but now we can probably wipe them off the books and post a speed limit for cars instead. That would be a whole lot more intelligent wouldn’t it? Well it would if cars are allowed on the bridge anyway.
So much for humor, this is also a bit chilling. How many of the practices of our churches are just as obsolete as this sign? I wonder how many of us are hanging on to the old ways just because we always have done things in a certain way, and we really haven’t thought about it in years…
Our old ways, traditions really, had their place at one time, but many are quite silly in today’s world. Are we holding our churches back by clinging to them? The answer to that question depends upon who we ask I would imagine. If you love the tradition, you’ll probably say that it is the only way to do things. My own mother told me a few years ago that if a church sings modern songs, they are not having worship! Really? Aren’t the old hymns just the modern music of a different age?
OK, you get the idea; this post isn’t about music, that’s just an easy example. What other things do we do that are obsolete? Please understand that when I say obsolete, I mean things that are merely traditions of men that are no longer helping us to reach the lost and make disciples. I am not talking about the message of Scripture; we never mess with that!
I wonder: What would really happen if we took inventory of the things we do in our churches, and accurately identified those things that are traditions of men. Then, if we separated them from things the Bible instructs us to do, and then evaluated the traditions to determine if they are really helping us to do God’s work in the present day.
I strongly suspect that we would begin doing things differently in most places!