Sunday, January 25, 2015
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Lost & Found

Reward. Help "Bear" find his way back home. We miss him very much, black manx cat (no tail), medium build, missing since Oct. 22. 210-635-7560.

VideoLost: Black and white male Cocker Spaniel, around Pecan Park in Floresville on Jan. 7, wearing black collar with silver paw prints, reward! 830-393-2227.
Found: Pretty white medium female dog, Jan. 11, in Homeplace Subdivision, Adkins, has black spot over eye, very friendly and sweet, misses owner, must find home, cannot keep. 210-649-1886.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

CDL Driver needed for local delivery in Kenedy location, must have Class B CDL with hazmat endorsement, hours are Mon.-Fri., 8-5:30 and occasional Saturdays until noon. Company offers sick pay, vacation, and benefits package. Apply in person at 3-D Welding Supply at either Kenedy or Floresville location.
Mission Road Ministries is a nonprofit organization serving more than 825 children and adults with intellectual & other developmental disabilities each day with residential, day services and vocational programs in San Antonio, Texas helping clients reach independence, productivity and inclusion in the community. Seeking Residential Care Professionals for our Children and Adult Programs; FT, PT.  $8-$10.25/hr. depending on experience and education.  Must be at least 21 years of age; pass background check and drug testing.  Interviews every week. Call for an appointment, 210-924-9265.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

Keeping the Faith


Keeping the Faith: No More Show-And-Tell




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story

Disclaimer:
Ronnie McBrayer is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

August 18, 2013 | 1,822 views | Post a comment

In American literature, the biggest religious pretender of all time is probably Sinclair Lewis’ Elmer Gantry. While most of us have not read the book, we may remember the movie. The film was a 1960 masterpiece starring Burt Lancaster in an Emmy-winning role as the charismatic but corrupt evangelist.

Gantry begins his career in the early 1900s at a Baptist Seminary in Kansas preaching at a little country church while trying to seduce the daughter of one of the deacons. Eventually he becomes a traveling evangelist who steals from the till, chases skirts, and stays drunk most of the time; but his preaching is phenomenal, so he always has a crowd.

After working his way through the Baptists and the Pentecostals, he becomes a Methodist, rising through the ranks until he is pastor of a huge church in New York City, and the president of the “National Association for the Purification of Art and the Press.” Gantry drew larger and larger crowds, and would personally lead raids on the red-light districts busting brothels, bars, and speakeasies.

He denounced all the other churches for their weaknesses, but was committing worse sins than the ones he was preaching against. As the old movie poster said, “Tell ‘em Gantry...save ‘em from sin. Just don’t tell ‘em about your own whisky and women.”

Granted, the evangelist type is an easy mark. Public religious figures are easily labeled as “hypocrites and charlatans.” Gantry wasn’t the first and he certainly won’t be the last. But his real wickedness was not his sins. We are all made of clay. It was his two-faced dishonesty.

He did what he did, not out of love for God, but out of love for the applause of the crowds. He did what he did out of pride, ambition, and self-glory. He was not performing for his Maker; he was performing for the audience. That is hypocrisy.
The word “hypocrite,” in its original context, is not a negative description. It is a great old word right from the Greek and Roman theaters of ancient times that means “play-actor.” A hypocrite was a person who played multiple roles on the stage. In one scene he or she played one character. Later, the actor would don a mask or a costume and play another character -- maybe three or four different personalities on stage in a single night.

But over time a hypocrite came to mean a person who changed his or her mask depending on the circumstances. As Jesus used the word, a hypocrite was one who played to the crowd. He or she was someone who performed for the audience -- like Elmer Gantry -- and at points, like every one of us.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said that hypocrites “receive all the reward they will ever get.” If you play for the crowd, he inferred, if your ambition is to draw attention to yourself, then when you get it, you earned your pay. There is no further reward, benefit, or other prize. God has nothing for you but an empty hand.
Alternatively, Jesus offers a healthier way. “When you give,” he says, “don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. When you pray, go to a closet and shut the door. When you sacrifice for a cause, don’t broadcast it.” In other words, keep your religious activities on the quiet side; as much as possible, keep it between you and God. Otherwise, you risk corrupting what would be a good deed.

No matter what it is: Missionary work, teaching, preaching, giving, praying, singing, organizing, helping -- if it is done to impress or draw the attention of others, no matter how noble the act, it is wrong -- for if it is not driven by love for God and neighbor, it becomes driven by pride and ego.

My friend Landon Saunders said it superlatively many years ago. Commenting on the religious tendencies for show-and-tell he suggested that we, “Wear our religion like we wear our underwear; make it rarely visible.” That’s good advice, indeed.
 
« Previous Blog Entry (August 15, 2013)
 


Your Opinions and Comments

Be the first to comment on this story!

You must be logged in to post comments:



Other Keeping the Faith

Keeping the Faith bio sidebar
Keeping the Faith sidebar button
Heavenly Touch homeTriple R DC ExpertsVoncille Bielefeld homeBlue Moon Karaoke & DJEast Central Driving SchoolAllstate & McBride RealtyChester Wilson

  Copyright © 2007-2015 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.