by Jerry Watts

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The Old Time Religion (11 of 24)
Series: How to Do Life
Jerry Watts
James 1:26-27

• (The Song - Old Time Religion) Singing this song evokes emotional memories of days past. Candidly, most of us affectionately remember 'The Old Time Religion' but we have difficulty authentically remembering 'The Old Time Religion.' The things we remember are 'our favorite preacher', 'our favorite songs', 'our favorite church,' and other such things. The obvious thing we forget is what made those memories and that "Old Time Religion" so great.
• What made "TOTR" so great was the enormous faith and commitment of the generation that is now past. They depended on God, spent time in His word, treated others like they wanted to be treated, and had faith that through Jesus a relationship God was indeed the answer for every situation. Furthermore, they lived out what they said they believed. The result was that we had a strong family unit, strong moral fabric which made our culture strong, and a strong country which was seen as the envy of the world. "Under God" was not simply two words in the Pledge of Allegiance, it was their way of life!
• In short TOTR was so great because people of that generation didn't see it as much of a 'religion' as they did a 'lifestyle.' It was integrated in every part of their life. They would sing gospel songs as they went about their daily chores. They would refuse to let people get away with talking about others. (How many times did my Mammaw chastise me for speaking ill of someone else?) While not perfect, they seem to possess a deep understanding of what it meant to live daily for Christ. This is the OTR that we remember.
• I'll submit that somewhere along the way, the 'religion part' became the priority while the 'relationship part' the problem. Somewhere along the way going 'to' church instead of being the church took center stage. It was at this point that the message of the gospel began to erode in this country. Without trying ...

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