HomeBLOGMy visit of the ‘First Congregational Church’ in Redlands, my observations, and a video of Paul Washer sharing how he rebuked a Sunday school class
April 1, 2016
My visit of the ‘First Congregational Church’ in Redlands, my observations, and a video of Paul Washer sharing how he rebuked a Sunday school class
This video really hits home. Though I was not a ‘guest speaker’ at this church, let me share my similar experience with you.
Two weeks ago my wife and I visited a church, the ‘First Congregational Church’ of Redlands. As we walked across the parking lot, we noticed that the entrance was lined with large palm branches (it was Palm Sunday). We were greeted by a friendly Elder, who was excited about their new guests. Just like Washer (in the below video), we advised him that we’d like to attend their Sunday school class before their regular service. Hence, we were then directed to their ‘Sunday school’ classroom. My first observation was their Sunday school teacher was a female. My second was, this well-attended class gave us a kind warm welcome. Due to them having a female leading this class, we almost headed for our vehicle then, but we decided to be seated (but we new then, that we would never return).
As my wife and I set our Bibles down on the table, their leader softly said, “Oh were going through this book” (holding up a ‘Christian’ book). The only person that had a Bible was the teacher, my wife and I; but the teacher never once used the Bible. The rest of the group had this other aforementioned ‘book.’ We were told that they had been spending many weeks going through this book, and were almost done.
As their Sunday school teacher would go through this book, many important questions arose from the group. The teacher did not have one Scriptural response. Needless to say I was heartbroken for this group. That they were not studying the Bible, and that none of their questions were being answered according to Gods Word.
Throughout this ‘study’ I continued to silently pray for conformation from the Lord, as to whether or not I should respond to their questions, or remain silent. As a first time guest I needed to be respectful, but at the same time I needed to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
I feared that if I chimed-in, that I would most likely display the righteous indignation that I was harboring inside. At that time I squeezed my wife’s knee warning her to be prepared so that she wouldn’t be caught by surprise, and possibly embarrassed by me. I then raised my hand asking if I could say something. The leader politely advised “yes.”
I don’t claim be the sharpest tack in the room, but the Lord saw to it that I would have a Bible verse (or passage) applicable to every question that had been previously asked by this group. It is not often that I would be able to swiftly locate a Scriptural answer to so many questions at one setting. Therefore I know this was the Lord using me, and not my flesh.
I then methodically answered their questions according to the Scriptures. However I also reminded them that several times their teacher had made mention of “our mistakes,” rather than our ‘sins.’ So I reminded them of what those Palm branches outside represented. And that next Friday was a reminder that Christ would be nailed to that cross, and that He would endure a horrible torturous death; but because of our “sins” (Christ’s bride). I then explained to them what our sins were, and explained to them how we’ve all “transgressed Gods Law.” By Gods grace I was then able to define both the ‘goodness and severity’ of God.
By God’s grace and providence, His Holy Spirit allowed me to accomplish this without interruption.
As I continued this, I could not help but notice the facial expressions of those in this group. One appeared to be angry, others were in shock. And two of them were nodding their head in affirmation.
Admittedly in the past, when I have sounded off in a ‘church’ setting, I later regretted it. But in this matter by Gods grace, and by the leading of His Holy Spirit; I can honestly say that this was the Lord and not my flesh.
Needless to say, we knew this was not a healthy church, so we decided to not attend their regular church service that followed this Sunday school class.
As soon as we walked out to the parking lot, my wife whispered, “Don’t say a word until we get in the car.” I thought I was going to be ‘in trouble’ for embarrassing her. But praise the Lord my wife said, “That’s why we were here, they needed to hear that.”
My wife also stated that this Sunday school class was nothing more than “a book club.” Brethren when a ‘church’, or ‘Bible’ study, or ‘Sunday school’ uses a man-made book over the Bible, that is idolatry.
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 John 5:7).
Though my experience was not as heated as Paul Washer describes in this below video. I appreciate Washers love and fear that he has for Christ, and his love and concerns for Christs’ bride.
As always – Ye must be born again. Christians love ‘biblically’ – repent – be salt and light – be holy – be sanctified – fear God – pray without ceasing – keep His commandments – walk circumspectly – believe in and trust Jesus – obey the Gospel – share the Gospel – preach the Gospel – contend for the faith, – hate the things that God hates, and love the things that God loves – keep the faith, work-out your salvation, and endure to the end!