Posted by: Joe Palmer | July 2, 2009

The Church Walking with the World


worldliness
THE CHURCH WALKING WITH THE WORLD

The Church and the World walked far apart. On the changing shore of time; The World was singing a giddy song, The Church a hymn sublime. “Come give me your hand,” said the merry World, “And walk with me this way,” But the good Church hid her snowy hand, And solemnly answered, “Nay; I will not give you my hand at all, And I will not walk with you; Your way is the way of eternal death, And your words are all untrue.” “Nay, walk with me a little space,” Said the World with a kindly air, The road I walk is a pleasant road, And the sun shines always there. Your way is narrow and thorny and rough, While mine is flowery and smooth; Your lot is sad with reproach and toil, But in rounds of joy I move. My way, you can see, is a broad, fair one, And my gate is high and wide; There is room enough for you and me, And we’ll travel side by side.”

Half shyly the Church approached the World, And gave him her hand of snow; And the false World grasped it, and walked along, And whispered in accents low, “Your dress is to simple to please my taste; I have gold and pearls to wear; Rich velvets and silks for your graceful form, And diamonds to deck your hair.” The Church looked down at her plain white robes, And then at the dazzling World, And blushed as she saw his handsome lip. With a smile contemptuous curled; “I will change my dress for a costlier one,” Said the Church with a smile of grace; Then her pure white garments drifted away, And the World gave in their place Beautiful satins, and fashionable silks, And roses and gems and pearls; And over her forehead her bright hair fell. And waved in a thousand curls.

“Your house is to plain,” said the proud old World, “I will build you one like mine, With kitchen for feasting and parlor for play, And furniture never so fine.” So he built her a costly and beautiful house-Splendid it was to behold; Her sons and her daughters met frequently there, Shining in purple and gold. The Angel of mercy flew over the Church, And whispered, “I know thy sin;” Then the Church looked sad, and anxiously longed. To gather her children in. But some were away at the midnight ball, And others were at the play; And some were drinking in gay saloons, So she quietly went her way.

Then said the World in soothing tones, “Your children mean no harm-Merely indulging in innocent sports,” So she leaned on his proffered arm, And smiled, and chatted, and gathered flowers, And walked along with the World, While countless millions of precious souls. Over the fearful brink were hurled. “Your preachers are all to old and plain,” Said the gay World with a sneer; “They frighten my children with dreadful tales, Which I like not for them to hear. They talk of judgments and fire and pain, And the doom of darkest night; They warn of a place that should not be. Mentioned to ears polite! I will send you some of a better stamp, More brilliant and gay and fast, Who will show how men may live as they list. And then go to heaven at last.”

“The Father is merciful, great, and good, Loving and tender and kind; Do you think He would take one child to heaven, And leave another behind?” So she called for pleasing and gay divines. Deemed gifted , and great, and learned; And the plain old men that had preached the cross, Were out of her pulpits turned. Then Mammon came in and supported the Church, And rented a prominent pew; And preaching and singing and floral display. Soon proclaimed a gospel new. “You give too much to the poor,” said the World, “Far more than you ought to do; Though the poor need shelter, food, and clothes, Why need it trouble you?” “Go, take your money and buy rich robes. And horses and carriages fine; And pearls and jewels and dainty food, The rarest and costliest wine. My children, they dote on all such things. And if you their love would win, You must do as they do, and walk in the way. Which they are walking in.”

Then the Church drew tightly the strings of her purse, And gracefully lowered her head, And simpered, “I’ve given too much away, I will do, sir, as you have said.” So the poor were turned from her door in scorn, She heard not the orphans’ cry; And she drew her beautiful robes aside. As the widows went weeping by. So they of the Church and they of the World. Journeyed closely, hand and heart, And none but the Master, who knows all, Could discern the two apart. Then the Church sat down at her ease and said, “I am rich and in goods increased; I have need of nothing, and naught to do, But to laugh and dance and feast.”

The sly World heard her and laughed within, And mockingly said aside, “The Church is fallen, the beautiful Church, Her shame is her boast and pride.” A voice came down from the courts of heaven, From Him who sat on the throne; “I know thy works and what thou hast said, But alas! thou hast not known That thou art poor and naked and blind, With pride and ruin enthralled; The expectant bride of a heavenly Groom. Is companion of the world! Humble thy heart, confess thy sin, Let shame now cover thy face; Or else, alas! I must cast thee out, And blot thy name from its place.”

(Author Unknown)

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Responses

  1. How true this! The church could and should learn from this, but to the shame only those of us who really want salvation will read this, of course this is my opinion. Thank you for sharing thi9s truth.

  2. […] Palmer from Better Life found an anonymous article that he has posted at his website about the world and the church. It is sobering to think of the truth in this […]


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