In Jeremiah 6:16 (New Living Translation) we read these words that I believe have a universal application for God’s people:
· This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls."
I will be 60 years old next week, and I have seen many changes we have made as a Pentecostal Holiness people—both in the church and in our personal lives. So many of these changes have been good and necessary. Without them we would be a dying church sparsely populated by ineffective believers. I was once tempted to preach a message titled “The First Church of the Old & Uptight Mighty Whitey,” but now I rejoice that so many of our churches reflect the diversity of their communities in ethnicity, age, income level, and educational level. At least our growing churches do. This diversity has affected our look, enriched our sound, and broadened our methods of sharing the gospel. But it is good to stop at crossroads (like a birthday that ends in a “0”) and look around. Amid all the change, are we still proclaiming the three precious truths of Pardon, Purity, and Power? Are we still preaching justification, sanctification, and Holy Ghost baptism? Are we still a people of prayer? Do we still give the Spirit of God room to mess with our services? For all the good we have gained through change, have we left behind anything vital to our mission as Pentecostal Holiness people? While BACKSLIDING is always bad, BACKTRACKING isn't. Immediately upon realizing that you or your church have lost something vital from your heritage, stop where you are—do not go forward—and backtrack until you have recaptured that “old, godly way” this restless generation so desperately needs.