Thursday, July 30, 2015
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Lost & Found

Found: Chihuahua and Dachshund near Floresville High School. Call 210-548-0356.

VideoLost female longhair chihuahua that had been trimmed. Near 3rd and hwy 97 floresville. Pls call jeri 409 781 3191 Miss her very much.
Lost: Black cow off Hwy. 119 and Denhawken area, has a horseshoe brand with N on left hip and two ear tags. Call 830-391-5589 or 830-391-4802.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Data entry position for Angell Enterprises, full-time positions, 30+ hours, for very busy office, customer service skills a must, pay based on experience. Serious applicants apply in person at 2301 10th St., Floresville, ask for Hilda.
Full-time diesel mechanic needed, CDL required. Applicants may apply online at www.stockdale.k12.tx.us or pick up application at the Stockdale ISD Administration Office. All openings are available until filled. Stockdale ISD is an equal opportunity employer. Stockdale ISD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, or age in its employment practices.  830-996-3551.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

Keeping the Faith


Keeping the Faith: 'The Preacher'




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.
Ronnie McBrayer
August 8, 2014 | 1,755 views | Post a comment

I grew up with a lot of religious rules. To violate these rules was to subject oneself to the judgment of God. If you had a fundamentalist upbringing, you may be familiar with some of these restrictions. No drinking, no smoking, no dancing, no playing cards or going to the movies, no mixed-bathing (a prospect that intrigued my teenage mind), no Sabbath-breaking (though we did not actually gather on the Sabbath), and absolutely no questioning of religious authority.

Religious authority was bound up in “The Preacher.” The big Baptist downtown had a pastor. The Methodists had a seminary trained Reverend. The Presbyterians had a collection of elders. The one fledgling Catholic parish on the edge of town had a priest. I didn’t meet a Jew until high school, so I didn’t even know what a rabbi was, but it would not have mattered anyway.

In my narrow ecclesiastical world, we had The Preacher, the Alpha and Omega of religious instruction; the united concoction of fiery prophet, hardened inquisitor, moral policeman, and God’s anointed spokesman. I was certain that he cut his grass in a pinstripe suit and wingtips, didn’t know a single curse word, and all his children were probably adopted because to have sex with his wife was certainly too worldly, too carnal to consider.

See, the world in which the preacher lived was black and white with no shades of gray, no mystery, no ambiguities. There were only hard and fast certainties. You were in or you were out. If you wanted to know which you were, just ask him. He would tell you, and he used the pulpit to do exactly that.

On Sundays he became an inferno of Puritan proportions. Animated, wringing with sweat, discarding his suit coat and loosening his tie, he implored and coerced us sinners down the isle to the mourner’s bench. It usually worked. Someone “repented” most every service, even if it took thirty verses of “Just as I Am” to force the issue. Those altar calls were nerve rattling wars of attrition, and sometimes I felt compelled to go forward so the whole thing would mercifully end.

It was The Preacher who arrived at the hospital on a spring afternoon to visit my family. My younger brother was enduring a lengthy hospitalization with a faulty heart valve and a growing laundry list of complications. Not yet a year old, he had already faced more health challenges than most of us will ever see. His life hung by the proverbial thread.

My parents certainly needed emotional and spiritual support, a pastoral presence, but The Preacher was anything but comforting. I heard him say the most horrible thing to my parents. In paraphrase he said, “Surely you have committed some terrible sin for God to visit this kind of judgment on you and your family.” Even as a child I was flabbergasted, and to this day those words still burn my ears.

Is this the God of Christianity? Is this the kind of God behind our faith? Is this vindictive deity even worthy of our worship? I think not. While this might be the god of The Preacher, it is not the God revealed to us in the person of Jesus the Christ. For in Christ we find truth and grace, not this kind of crass judgmentalism. Jesus doesn’t walk into hospital rooms, his gluttonous belly pushing against the buttons of his tailored suit vest, handing out indictments of guilt to the innocent.

No, this Jesus sits down and weeps with the suffering. He opens his arms to the brutalized and confused. And while he doesn’t always provide us with the tidy solutions we long for, he always walks with us in the mystery of life and death.

I never accepted those words spoken in that hospital room. Maybe I’ve spent these decades of my life trying to disprove them. I hope you won’t accept them either. The love of Christ always trumps the hardness of men’s hearts -- even those men who claim to have all the answers.
 
‹ Previous Blog Entry
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Keeping the Faith Archives


Keeping the Faith bio sidebar
Keeping the Faith sidebar button
auto chooserHeavenly Touch homeTriple R DC ExpertsVoncille Bielefeld homeDrama KidsAllstate & McBride Realty

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