Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) was an English Pastor whose bravery at just 24 years old had him standing against the Crown and Parliament in the face of execution. He also had an “out-of-control” teenager as a son.
I’ve been reading “The Strong Family” by Charles Swindoll and the opening chapter starts by recounting the story of Elias Keach. He was the son Benjamin Keach, a courageous, powerful and dedicated pastor who shepherded a church over forty years which eventually became Charles Spurgeon’s flock.
Whilst Benjamin’s public conduct was unassailable, his son was unsaved and bitter and at the age of nineteen, decided to get as far away as he could from his family. In 1687, that meant getting on a ship and heading off to the American colonies. There, he settled in Philadelphia and for whatever reason, perhaps mockery, Elias passed himself off as a clergyman.
Being the son of a legend, it didn’t take long before he was given an invitation to preach. Perhaps having heard countless sermons by his father, he accepted this invitation despite his state of non-belief.
Here’s the twist: he did such a good job of imitating his father that in the middle of the sermon, he fell under the convicting power of it. Such was the turn of his state that his audience thought he had an illness. Trembling and frightened, he confessed everything, asked for forgiveness, became an authentic believer and eventually a highly effective scholar, leader, preacher and shepherd, just like his father.
Whether it was a lack of leadership by Benjamin at home or a strongly rebellious nature in Elias, what stands in the end is what Elias was at the end, and that’s what really matters.
Authenticity is the main point of this interesting blog post. The authour is an American in her 20s and she writes of how it is rare for those of her generation to go to church. She states that this is because in many churches, there’s a lack of room for doubt and acknowledging that life is messy. This has echoes of points made in an earlier article this week. She writes…
All I wanted when I entered the doors of church was to find people who would bear my burden and remind me of whom God was, because quite frankly, I wasn’t sure anymore. Unfortunately, so many times, it seemed like the God people were pointing to was one that would want nothing to do with me and, if I was being honest, I didn’t know if I wanted anything to do with him.
Either everyone was really happy all the time with no problems, or they were being fake…and I was in no position to play the Fake Game.
In fact, I don’t think my generation in general wants to play the Fake Game when it comes their desire to find and know God.
We’ve played the Fake Game enough. The Fake Game surrounds us in advertisements, tweets, and Facebook profiles. When it comes to seeking God, we don’t want to play anymore. We want to find Him.
It’s worth pointing out that perhaps those who feel this way simply haven’t had the opportunity or put in the effort to be a part of a home group. Though it is possible to do this in a large group setting on a Sunday, home groups are really where such questions and struggles are addressed.
That said, her article does contain some useful points and is worth reading. As are the comments. One of the great features of online publishing is the opportunity for others to interact with the content via comments and there are some good ones for this article, especially the ones who do not agree with her.
All in all, it’s all good food for thought.