Our special guest preacher for today is Bro. Sam Davison. He was my pastor all through Bible college and the one who taught me how to preach. I love Bro. Sam dearly and count him among the top five men I respect the most in life.
Bro. Sam was the president of the Baptist Bible Fellowship back in the days when a big percentage of churches were trying to change their stance on music, on the Bible, on standards, on soul-winning, on missions, and on just about everything that they thought was “old school.” They wanted to be something different.
I am not sure why. The “old school” may not have had everything right, but they sure had a firm hold of God. Here was a generation of preachers that was vocally opposed to everything they were raised with, and everything the Baptist Bible Fellowship had fellowshiped around.
Bro. Sam preached a watershed sermon back in those days, and the churches that so badly wanted out finally did so.
On a smaller scale, the same kind of thing almost happened here in California at the Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College. Left-leaning theology had crept in, and again, a group of churches wanted radical changes or they would pull their support.
In this case, pastors like my dad rallied together to stand for what we have always stood for as independent Baptists, and Pacific Coast wore the “old paths” label (now as a badge of honor!) until moving to Oklahoma in 1998 for financial reasons.
At our church, I guess we are “old paths,” too. We are not trying to be all that different, we just haven’t changed from what we were founded on. The doctrine and philosophies are the same now as they were when my dad started this church in 1987. We’ve added a few nice buildings and a slick color bulletin, but the emphasis is still the same. We haven’t really seen a great reason to change.
The Bible has always been counter-cultural. Church music has always been counter-cultural. God’s people have always looked different from the world. If we are calling that “old school” now, then, I suppose I can wear that as a badge of honor, too.
I am so glad for men like Bro. Sam Davison who taught me to love the Word of God, preach it with fire, and let it help people. That sounds as old school as the Apostle Paul. And Jesus.
That’s pretty good company.