Darby and Newton

Posted: January 13, 2014 in Shared Thoughts

Anyone could see that Darby loved his church, and more importantly, his congregation. During the week he studied diligently over the Word hoping to be prepared for his message come Sunday morning. Sometimes, of course, the Lord threw him a curve ball and the prior weeks’ studies had nothing to do with the message that he was directed to deliver. He loved those mornings, and he loved his work.

Darby’s friend, Newton, had been coming to the church for a couple of years. Right away a friendship developed and the two were often seen at local coffee shops with heads bent towards one another, discussing the mysteries and wonders of the Word. Early in the relationship both men came to understand that the other had a different leaning on certain issues but that overall they walked together as brothers in the Lord, brandishing their swords against a common foe.

Seasons came and seasons went while the congregation of the small church remained. Whispers, from certain members of the congregation, sometimes reached the ear of Darby concerning his friend, Newton. Darby knew that, down the street in a small establishment, Newton had a congregation of his own. Flyers were posted around town and announcements made and certainly it was not nor ever intended to be a secret. It was also well known that Newton volunteered on a regular basis at various other places. Darby knew that Newton was fluent in the Word and had heard of his wonderful teaching and preaching abilities.  His heart was glad for the battle against darkness was a fight that called for many seasoned warriors. However, Darby was aware that while he believed in blue, Newton leaned towards red. Still, it wasn’t an issue that detracted from the life, death and resurrection of Christ. The friendship blossomed, the work for both continued.

And then it happened…

One Sunday morning, after a good word was spoken and Darby was wrapping things up, Newton asked to speak. A bit taken aback by the unexpected question, Darby quickly recovered and happily stepped aside allowing Newton the opportunity.

The Word, beautifully delivered, was well received and timely given and the end of the service arrived and Darby went home to contemplate the morning. Quickly, however, it became apparent to him that some red had entered his blue. And, as the week ebbed by and he reflected on things near and times far, it occurred to his that perhaps quite a bit of red had infiltrated his blue. While he was aware that some of his congregation had some red leanings, it was never taught nor preached by him. No, Darby was a blue man, with only inklings of contemplations of red. Sometimes he agreed with the lighter shades, but he opposed the dark, crimson reds that he now imagined were wafting throughout his church.

As the days pulled Sunday closer he decided he must say something to stop the flow of red. But how? What? How to stop this without offending his friend? How to change the tide,  gently bring his flock back to full blue. They were his charge. He was responsible for them. However, he wasn’t so well versed in red. He leaned blue, pure and simple. He interpreted that aspect of the Word differently.

By next Sunday, Darby was nervous yet determined. Too nervous. Too determined.

Seated in the back…

Nameless, a little old lady at the back of the church, was a bit surprised by Darby’s “sermon” as he preached.

“Out of character,” was what she was thinking. Of course, she also knew that everyone in the small congregation knew what was happening. She imagined that certain households had been discussing the differences between red and blue all week. Nameless knew it could be a constructive thing too, to discuss the same things the rest of the world is contemplating. After all, how does one know what beliefs they stand on if they haven’t looked at all the facts?

Nameless also knew that,  prior to the event’s happening, some household were already divided on the matter, and had been for some time. It wasn’t new, wasn’t something that was revealed at the event. It was merely something that was used as a tool to try to gain support for their own leanings.  (“See, I told you so…”) Nameless knew that these households had argued over blue and red in the past.  Nameless didn’t believe that was the answer though. Not everyone arrives at the same conclusions or interpretations. Anyway, it was certainly turning out to be a sad situation. Nameless wondered if Darby and Newton would split over this. Many churches did.

“But what about us,” Nameless thought to herself. “Should they split, and not resolve this thing, then what about those of us that just want to worship and learn and rejoice in His plan of Salvation?”

“It’s just like a divorce,” she thought, as she got up to walk out when the services were over. “The kids are always the ones to suffer.”

(written by Sister Rhonda to me )

  1. Nancy wisdom says:

    I like The reading.
    It’s a shame that divorce happens in families and sometimes in church and I hope of way can be found that won’t cause a fracture?


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