An unknown pundit wrote the following: “A group of birds decided to form a church. So they called a meeting and the duck stood up and said, ‘I think we should require baptism by immersion. It’s the only way we can get their pocketbooks wet.’ But the rooster said, ‘No, we should baptize people by sprinkling…many people dislike the embarrassment of getting wet all over.’ So the argument went on.
“The parrot said, ‘I don’t think baptism is the most important thing what we need is a good program.’ All the birds cheered, for everyone knows that a church cannot build a reputation for itself without a good program. Then the mockingbird said, ‘What about the choir? We must have a good choir… and don’t forget the organ!’ ‘Oh,’ said the thrush, ‘we don’t want an organ; a piano is much better.’ But the sparrow said that it would be just as well if they threw out music altogether.
“The goose stood up and said, ‘What we really need is a preacher who is good with young people. If we don’t attract the young people the other preachers in town will gobble them up for sure.’ But the starling thought it was more important that their preacher be a ‘good mixer.’
“But the real wrangle came over the budget. Some thought everyone should tithe, provided they could afford it. Others thought they should do away with collections and just have faith.
“So finally, the owl arose and smoothed his feathers. Everyone grew quiet for they knew he had great wisdom. ‘Brothers and sisters,’ he said, ‘all these things are secondary. I’ll tell you what we need. What we need is sincerity. Yes, sir!’ repeated the owl, quite pleased with himself. ‘Above everything we must all be real sincere even if we don’t mean it!’
“So they formed a church…AND IT WAS FOR THE BIRDS.”
Did you know that there are over 200 different denominations, sects and cults which are all called “Christian”? Yes, over 200 different groups, each emphasizing a different facet of Christianity! Like the duck, some believe in baptism by immersion, whereas others, like the rooster, feel sprinkling is best. Some people would agree with the mockingbirds that good church music is important. Like sparrows, the others do not see much of a place for music in religion at all. The preaching is the main thing for them.
Perhaps you are a person who thinks the whole business of churches is “for the birds,” so to speak. Your time is taken up with your family and business and you just do not have time for going to church. “Religion just is not my line,” you say.
Let me tell you about a man who agreed with you 100%. I am sure he would not mind if we called him by his first name, Peter. This fellow had a going business that took most of his time. It was a family business, a partnership with his brother, and it just did not leave him much time for religion. Oh, I suppose he attended church now and then, but he had such a temper that the preacher always made him uncomfortable. One day he met Someone whose acquaintance changed his whole life. That person was Jesus Christ. There was something about Christ that attracted Peter right away. There was something about Christ’s words to him, “Follow me,” that demanded the utmost from a man. No, this was not just religion. This was a Person, the very Son of God Himself, who knows the needs of the human heart.
Christ says, “Come unto Me” (Matthew 11:28). He does not say join a church, or do the best you can, or be sincere. He says, “Come to Me.” Regardless of your religious background, you need Him. Ask Him to come into your life. Get a Bible and begin reading the book of John. You’ll discover He’s the key to understanding churches.
Resource Reading: John 17
Text: I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name–the name you gave me–so that they may be one as we are one. John 17:11
GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – October 13, 2017