January 2019   
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Be Careful Concerning Appearances


Being from a small church in my youth (First Baptist Church of Basile) we would often have youth fellowships in the homes of our parents. It was always a great time of games, hayrides, feasting and just plain fun. On one occasion, we were playing a game that required a milk jug.(remember those glass jugs?) so I was told by the sponsoring parents to go to the kitchen and retrieve a bottle from under the kitchen sink. To my amazement, when I looked for the bottle, I saw a bottle of wine. My heart sank, these folks were good faithful members of our church and here I was looking at that bottle of wine. I never said anything to the others at their house, but when I got home, I told both Mom and Dad what I had seen. Immediately neither believed it possible, but also knew I would not lie to them about these faithful people. My dad did the thing we should always do, he got in his car, drove to their home and told them what I had said, to which the man brought Dad into the kitchen opened the cabinet and showed him the cooking cherry they used for some recipes. Dad came home and explained to me what cooking cherry was since we never had such a thing in our house and I was relieved to know they were not using alcohol as a beverage. Though the cherry was not for drinking, the bottle made a strong impression of one teenager. Had I told all the teenagers and other parents what I saw, instead of keeping quiet and letting Dad check it out.... this family could have really been hurt. But, the Bible does give us instructions on our responsibilities to others: First, for that family and ours, don't have or do things that would cause someone to stumble spiritually.  "But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. "  1 Cor 8:12.    Secondly;  do not take the word of one person when a charge against them is made, make sure the charge is true before you take action. "Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. " 1 Tim 5:19-20