The Unoffical Meeting of the Order of Doom,
Gloom, and Despair

Bill Brinkworth

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philppians 4:8

In the corner Donut King's booth, two Anytown Baptist Church members took turns dunking their crullers in their black coffees. The same conversation restarted from their last conversation that they had had in the side pew at church. Sometimes it seemed it was the only thing they could talk about. It was always the same complaints, over and over again.

“Man alive, it just isn’t like it used to be at church,” groaned Sam Strife.

“Yeah,” agreed U. N. Content. He was having a wonderful day, but striking this same old sour note, made him forget how good he was feeling. “There was a time when a lot more was done for the Lord. Remember we had over 900 in church all the time.”

“And the Sunday school class was a couple hundred. Man, are things pitiful there now. Why half the classes are gone, and so are the teachers.”

“Yeah,” continued U. N., “most of them and a bunch more are at Liberal Baptist.”

“You’re right,” Sam added on, “That church is growing like crazy.”

“We should do what they do. We would pack them in. Why, I don’t know why I stay at Anytown. Hardly anyone is there anymore.”

Just then, Irma Innocent walked up to their table. “Hey Sam. Hey U.N. How are you doin’? Haven’t seen ya around the church for a while. We’ve been missin’ you.”

“Well,” moaned Sam, “I just haven’t felt like goin’ lately. It just isn’t the same church it used to be. I’ve been visiting other churches.”

“Oh, my,” sympathized Irma. “There’s so much going on. I’m sorry you are missing it.”

“There’s nothing going on there. No one’s gettin’ saved. The Sunday school classes are shrinking down to nothing. It’s nothing like it used to be,” explained U. N.

“But that’s not true. Some children just got saved, and it’s such a nice church,” defended Irma. This conversation was certainly discouraging her. She was made uncomfortable by what these two were saying. Irma just did not know if she could take anymore of their slandering her church. “Well, gotta get my coffee and donuts. Hope to see you two at church this Wednesday,” and she backed away from the depressing duo.

It would not be two hours later until she was sharing the same potent poison planted by those two with another church friend she would meet in the grocery store. Little would Sam and U. N. know, but another sub-chapter of the Order of Doom, Gloom, and Despair would meet briefly in that super market. Their depressing message would be spread to many others from their brief meeting in that donut shop. Somehow, they would feel more important; if they only knew how their telling Irma and other church members the “truth,” “enlightened” others.

With Irma gone, the two stared at each other. Sam broke the silence. “She’s new. She doesn’t know any better. It won’t be long ‘till she gets tired of that place and leaves too.”

“Hey, you two. How’re ya doing?” cheerfully greeted Wally Worker, as he approached the two’s booth. “Been missin’ you two at church.”

“I guess we are missed,” retorted U.N. “Irma was just here and said the same thing.”

“Well, we’re all a family at Anytown, and it hurts the church when family members are missing.”

“It’s not the same family it used to be,” offered Sam. “Hardly anyone goes anymore, and nothing is being done for the Lord.”

“Why that’s not true,” explained Wally. “We just had some join the church. Some just got baptized, and my Sunday school class is really trying to do something for the Lord.”

“You’re just not seeing it. Me and a bunch of others are getting depressed about how poor the church is doing,” added U. N.

“Well,” suggested Wally, “this kind of talk will get you depressed and defeated. You gotta’ get in there and work. Things look a lot different when you ‘re in the middle doin’ something for the Lord. Why don’t you go visiting with me Thursday, or when I visit my Sunday school class on Saturday morning? I could certainly use some help in my other classes.”

“It’ll never help. We tried visiting in the past, and it didn’t do any good.” Sam offered. “It’s just a waste of time.”

“That’s the only way a church will grow, if we all get together, invite others, and work for the Lord. Com’ on guys, don’t be part of the problem; be part the solution. Ask the Lord, then talk to the preacher about a ministry he needs you to work in. There’s plenty to do.”

Now the complaining comrades were getting a little nervous. This “overly zealous” church member was trying to get them to do something. Now it was their turn to search for a way out of this uncomfortable situation. “Besides,” thought U. N., “who did Wally think he was? Doesn’t he know we’ve been members since before he was born?”

Sam countered with, “Well, U. N., our donuts are finished. We better get going.” Both men pushed their way out of their booth. Wally could see that they did not want to talk about helping.

N. was relived he didn’t have to come up with an answer to Wally’s invitation. “Yeah, it was good see’en ya, Wally. Good luck with your class,” and off the two went. It would be one hour later when the U. M. O. T. O. O. D. G. A. D. would continue their meeting in the local hardware store. One more unsuspecting member of Anytown Baptist would be discouraged by the doom and gloom sowed by U. N. and Sam.

When Sunday came, nothing really had changed. Wally was there. There was no way the two’s complaining and gossiping would stop him from his tasks. Besides, he was serving His God and Saviour, not those two. The preacher was there, preaching exactly what God had put on his heart. He was convinced that it would encourage hearts, and stimulate more to serve the Saviour. Many filled the pews. There were even two visiting couples, but U.N and Sam were not there. For the first time since she joined the church, Irma was missing also. She was “really discouraged.”

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” — Unknown    

This article was featured in Bible View #178.

dftb 6/16

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