White frame churches stand in the center of many New England villages. The steeple soars above the trussed roof. Many are kept in repair as symbols of what “used to be.” Once they deeply influenced the community’s personal beliefs and habits, but now serve only as a gesture. The New England Village, 45
Their existence poses two questions. One, why were they built? Two, why do they remain? Even if some are still in use or maintained as tourist destinations, what personal belief exists in those attending compared to those who built them?
Many church buildings remain, all over America, built by those persuaded that Jesus Christ needed to be proclaimed. But are now relics of the past, not harbingers of the future. They’re in big cities and rural towns. Nearly empty of people, or used by cults, ethnics, or government agencies extending welfare where preachers once extended salvation, they no longer influence community decisions or personal lives.
They remain physical structures void of spiritual energy. The people of a later generation or more forsook what had been the inspiration that built them. Instead of aggressive evangelism they chose maintenance. They remain as mute witnesses of what they “used to be.” Their structural and spiritual decay muzzle a past VOICE that spoke good news. That changed lives. That built marriages. That incubated children from cradle to maturity in Christ-centered activities.
What a sad epitaph for so many church buildings in America: they are “USED TO BE” Congregations. They “Used to believe” Jesus Christ’s deity, Divine Sonship, Saviorhood and Lordship. What a sad epitaph for many people who “Used to be workers” in God’s vineyard. “Used to be”: a curse on any building or person.
Are we a “Used to be” Christian or congregation? Living on a legacy? On the generosity of former members who financially endowed a future they envisioned for the church, now ruined by beneficiaries who accepted the endowment while removing from the church the Christ of God, his Saviorhood and Lordship?
Books at: www.createspace.com. (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)
Apologetics book: Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1
Books also at www.amazon.com (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)
New book: The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741