Grant Swank
The church that lost its way
By Grant Swank
November 24, 2008

I just returned from another visit to our country home in Kennetcook, Nova Scotia.

It was a delightful couple of weeks with real friends and real activities.

But what has been so sad is to watch the village church die. Of course, it is like unto the others throughout the United Church of Canada. The same with the Anglican Church.

Where once the gospel was preached at the merger of the Congregational, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches in 1925, apostasy reigns.

Jesus is negated as God. The Bible is shunted as the Word of God. And nonsense fills the pulpit. At times, evil is preached outright from the sacred desk.

One of my friends told me proudly that her pastor preached that the United Church is keeping up with the world.

I thought, "What a travesty. The world is on its way to hell — fast track. The church is meant, not to keep up with the spiritually fallen planet, but with Jesus. Jesus is the Head of His Church. The disciples are to keep in step with Jesus."

Jesus said of the world that the world would hate His redeemed ones just as the world despised and slew Him. So why is a United Church of Canada clergyman telling his congregation that he is boasting on his denomination keeping up with the world?

When driving to Kennetcook in Hants County, my wife started to cry. She said that she wept for her village church. It started in her Christian grandfather and grandmother's barn in the valley. Now it is situated in a lovely country white-steepled typical New England-style building.

But the Holy Spirit is there no more.

Clergyperson after clergyperson has come and gone to lay ruin in the sanctuary. One was a drunk who had to be led out of his pulpit one Sunday morning. Another was a woman who told my mother-in-law that she, the pastor, knew nothing about the Bible. And now the present so-called minister spent fourteen years sleeping with another man's wife; with that, he was still hired on.

So the ruin has been laid over years — decades.

How many are there who still walk through the doors of that impressive church? About half a dozen, give or take two or three.

It's now nearing Christmastide. So who was there to decorate the sanctuary for the holy season? Five women.

Several years ago I spoke with some in that church. I warned them of the coming death of the congregation.

I told them that unless the Bible was preached clearly, unless saving grace was declared as the only way to heaven and unless Jesus was lifted up as the Savior-God, the church would die on the vine.

"You will still gather to decorate for Christmas, but the Lord will have left the place. And only a handful will be left."

They scoffed at my predictions.

After all, it did not take a prophet to see what was going to happen. Now it is happening under their noses. Those left are clinging on with exhaustion. There are only two who will serve on any kind of committee. There is no permanent organist. There is no actual choir with anthems raised.

The church has become like unto the cemetery alongside it. Dead covered.

In addition, funds are meager. Money is running out.

Those who once attended with Bibles in hand and faith in heart are buried in the nearby graves. I scanned their names and the dates of births and deaths. It was a telling tale, believe me. It was a grieving one as well.

The United Church of Canada throughout that country is closing one building after another. They are saying they are "merging."

But a merger means that a certain number don't drive the distance to another building; they just quit. So numbers go down.. Offerings go down. Morale goes out the window.

Yet the devil infested liberal clergy still graduate from their liberal seminaries to fill the empty, God-forsaken spaces.

And so the demons gain hold before the lock is pasted on the church's front door.

© Grant Swank


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Grant Swank

Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., is a pastor at New Hope Church in Windham, Maine... (more)

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