Biographical Non-Fiction posted September 29, 2014 Chapters:  ...9 10 -11- 12... 

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What Or Whom Is The 'Church?'

A chapter in the book The Little Dog That Wouldn't Let Go

More on my early Church days.

by Sankey

I finally managed to get a clerical job, in July 1969 at York Air conditioning in Gladesville, much closer to our home than going into the city.

Chapter 5d (Word)
Around the 1970's I was involved in the music programme for Youth For Christ, a 'Para-Church Group' that held rallies once a month, over in Rockdale, initially - then Hurstville later on. YFC ran these Rallies for young people in the Southern region of Sydney. A friend named George, and I, provided the music. We used to have a great time together as he played the organ and I accompanied on piano. (I was mostly drowned out by George's playing on the organ!)

On the way to the rallies in George's car, we would call into a music store in the City to pick up an organ on loan. George did repairs and stuff for the store, so he was well known to them. The music store we would go to is the now superseded "Elvy's Pianos" in Sydney. (Then swallowed up by the Brash's organisation that, I think of late, has been swallowed up by someone or something else.) We would drive into town on Saturday afternoon to pick up the organ from the store.

While we were at "Elvy's", we would each get on the organ and piano and have a "jam session" for a short time. George (pictured) died a little while ago and the news of his passing brought back a lot of wonderful memories of some good times together picking up and returning the organ from Elvy's and so on.

The seventies was an interesting period, in many ways, for me, as far as church and the activities there. We had a great youth group, which I was still a part of, even in my 20's. One outing we went on, accompanied by my best friend Jim, staying with his Aunt and Uncle who were my Pastor and wife.

We were on our way home after a wonderful time at Whale Beach, the second most northern suburban beach from Sydney. Pastor Gray knew I wanted a photo of Whale Beach from a strategic spot above the beach with a tremendous view.

We drove up the hill and he turned in at the road where I knew was the best vantage point for the photo. I got out and took the photo you will see above. THEN: He needed to reverse backwards into a driveway, on a hill, to turn the vehicle around. Pastor Gray began to drive forward, AND THE BRAKES FAILED.
"Hang on a minute," he said.

We were so glad he was an experienced bus driver prior to coming to our church. I am sure God helped him to manoeuvre the vehicle the best way he could, to prevent us going over the steep downward slope on the other side of that driveway. Fortunately, the brakes 'took hold' in time.

One of my tasks at Marsy was the printing of the church Monthly News. I would go down to one of the founding member's home where the duplicator was, to do the printing. Miss Doris Rainbow was living there. One day she asked me, or rather pointedly stated....
"I hope you're not becoming 'enamoured' with that Metropolitan Baptist, are you?"  
I replied, not really understanding her expression 'enamoured' but I found out later my response was correct...
"I don't know if I'm becoming 'enamoured', Miss Rainbow, but I like going there!"

Sometime prior to this discussion with Miss Rainbow, a number of us in the 'Mission' as we were then, felt we needed to follow Christ's example and be Scripturally baptised. As Marsy did not perform baptism by Immersion or any other kind, it was arranged with a visiting preacher, that 11 of us would be baptised at Pennant Hills Baptist Church, on a Sunday afternoon. I can remember the exhilarating feeling as I came up out of the baptismal waters. The sense that God's Hand was most definitely on me. I can honestly say, that from that day forward, I really began to grow in the things of God.

I was also leading the "Young People's Christian Endeavour." We were about to take on a new pastor, an Irishman. I initially liked Willy Roberts. He brought some new life into the church. However, as new pastors always do, he wanted to make some changes. When a new man comes into an established church, he should be very careful in whichever ways he begins to  'rock boats,' or make changes.

He had begun a new Youth programme of a Sunday afternoon. This would have been ok if he had been considerate enough to liaise with me, re the change. I found out about the change in a 'backhanded' kind of way. Numbers were dropping off from my C.E. Group. I soon ascertained what was happening. As it turned out, his new plan was not such a bad deal. I had been interested in another church's meetings, so this left me free to move on, eventually.

"You know; I can't understand why an engine driver isn't afraid of the monster he's in charge of..." Quote from a story called "Trains" from an old 78rpm record we had, years ago. I think the above statement can be easily associated with the title of this chapter: whether it's a bus or a church.

To some people, the expression 'church' refers to a building; and this can be taken to also infer that our God whom we worship, and serve: is limited to that building. This can be further illustrated by the behaviour of individuals. Inside this building, supposedly, where God is, as it would seem to most folk, we become pious and worshipful.

Outside; it is an entirely different story. Hence my interpretation of the place God occupies in all, or a large percentage of our minds, and should be hearts ...oh, I'm terribly sorry, He should be in the church, shouldn't He?! While I leave that for the reader to sort out, I want to summarise how I personally see "the church". (I might add, here, I am sure I don't have this opinion, exclusively).

The 'church' is, in truth, the called out assembly of believers, or the "ecclesia". This means the members or adherents of a group set up for the purpose, making up the assembly or church. The church is not merely a building, as some would have us believe. We meet to worship in a building called a 'church' but the PEOPLE MAKE UP THE CHURCH!...

God is not limited to the inside of a church building. He is
OMNISCIENT all knowing
OMNIPOTENT all powerful
OMNIPRESENT everywhere
present at all times.

So you see we cannot keep God shut up in a building. We don't have a "monopoly" on God. His knowledge is far and above anything we can understand. I think for us to have any kind of relationship with God we need to understand these things first of all.

You know, not even Satan the Arch Deceiver, Father of Lies, Angel of Light, Prince of Darkness, Author of Confusion,Old Slew Foot or the Devil or Lucifer,  however, you want to name him, can be 'all- knowing, all powerful', although he does have power over young and old men and women, who don't know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.

He does this even with God's people. I had just recently (at the time of writing this, some years ago) been shocked to hear of a very godly friend who had a very successful ministry and, it appears, had fallen into grievous sin. It shows that Satan with all his wiles wants to keep people from going on with the Lord and affect the lives of those who have been influenced in the past for good in the opposite direction. This tends to happen because we constantly look up to men instead of keeping our eyes on God.

Following all this, we had a big to do about trying to bring in Scriptural baptism, not long before I left that church. The fact is, Baptism by immersion is a Scriptural doctrine. Christ Himself was baptised by Immersion. Not as the movie producers in some cases try to make out being sprinkled as I stated, above... one movie did it right with Jesus Baptism - "Greatest Story Ever Told!" I believe it is!

The only reason we Independent Baptists (that I have now been affiliated with since 1974) call ourselves Baptist is because Baptist Doctrine is the closest to which we hold. We are probably, more Non-Denom, but as you can see that might confuse some, seeing there are differences on Scriptural Baptism.

There are those who teach that Baptism is necessary to Salvation (Church of Christ and so on.) It is the "Baptismal Regeneration" doctrine, but then I say... how about the Thief on the Cross? When Christ said "This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise" Weren't no water' to baptise the repentant thief huh! 

Baptism does not save, neither does the Eucharist or communion or Church membership or large donations or Last Rites ...

Here follows a poem I wrote some time ago entitled
"What Would You Do With Him?"
Baptism doesn't save one 

And neither does 'Last Rites' 

And 'Transubstantiation*' 

His Body and Blood took flight. 

Over two thousand years ago 

Our Saviour's sinless blood 

Paid for all our sin and shame 

Both now, and since the 'Flood' 

His sacrifice made once for all, 

Sufficient to the day 

On Calvary's cross, our Saviour died 

He now lives I'm pleased to say. 

Some day He's coming back again 

To rule a thousand years 

But in the meantime Rapture comes 

Will you be left in tears? 

Are you relying on good works, 

Or offerings in the plate? 

You need to call on Jesus, NOW! 

Before it gets too late. 
©G.C.Moore 2015.



Pictures: Top left: George Hughes, best photo I could find of him;Top Right: George with back to us on the organ at YFC; Second left: Making my speech at my 21st;Second Right:Ross, Wendy and Robyn my next door neighbours at my 21st;Third Left:My first car with the silly flowers;Third Right:The Christian Endeavour Group I led for a short time.Fourth Left Whale Beach scene; Fourth Right: Some old marsy friends at my 60th Afternoon tea here at home in 2011.
The Uniting Church and the old Methodist denominationare one and the same here in Australia
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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