I’ve hung around churches for a long, long time—I mean, a really long time—and I’ve seen a lot of both good and bad church practice. One of the most common is what I call Old Truth. In case you’re not a mind-reader, Old Truth is what long-time church people take for granted as ivory tower encased, holy writ, whether-or-not the Bible supports it. They may have learned their church dogma in catechism or Sunday school classes, or from their priest/preacher when they were quite young, and there’s certainly no need to update their preconceptions now, regardless what the Bible says otherwise. Of course, Old Truth is rarely challenged by the Bible, as its holders seldom open the Good Book.
Alongside Old Truth you usually find “Old Profession,” where the professor clings to a comfortable, decades-old religious experience. Often, that dusty, cobweb-encrusted experience lives in the guise of, “Old-time religion.”
But then, the opposite extreme is the flighty pew-sitter, who runs after any new thing, especially if it’s spouted by a televangelist and promises extravagant material rewards for generous “faith promises.” I often wonder why the televangelist doesn’t just skip the middleman and give himself the money. Maybe he lacks the necessary faith.
And we wonder why revival tarries.