Sunday, October 17, 2010

I like this story from the blog Slacktivist:

In the 1950s, an old hillbilly preacher invited Clarence Jordan (the late founder of Koinonia Farmthe community that gave us Habitat for Humanity), to come and speak at his church in rural South Carolina. Jordan arrived to find, to his surprise, a large, thriving and racially integrated congregation -- a remarkable thing in that time and place. (Sadly, it's actually a remarkable thing in any time or place.) So Clarence asked the man how this came about.
When he first got there as a substitute preacher, the old man said, it was a small, all-white congregation of a few dozen families. So he gave a sermon on the bit from Galatians where Paul writes: "You are all children of God ... There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
"When the service was over, the deacons took me in the back room and they told me they didn't want to hear that kind of preaching no more."
Clarence asked, "What did you do then?"
The old preacher answered, "I fired them deacons!"
"How come they didn't fire you?" asked Clarence.
"Well, they never hired me," the old preacher responded. ... "Once I found out what bothered them people, I preached the same message every Sunday. It didn't take much time before I had that church preached down to four."