60 Seconds - New Wineskins

In London, over 200 years ago, the umbrella was first introduced to the public. Religious groups were outraged, and tried to have the new contraption banned. Their argument was simple: "Man is interfering with heavenly design by not getting wet."

It is natural to resist change.

Some things should never be changed, such as the truth of the Gospel.

A Swedish proverb says, "Don't throw away the old bucket until you know whether the new one holds water."

In Proverbs 24:21, we are exhorted, "Do not associate with those given to change," meaning, "malcontents who want to overthrow the existing order and want change for change-sake."

However, Christ Himself declared in Matthew 9:17, that to put new wine into old wineskins is disastrous. New wine is still fermenting, and old wineskins are dry, rigid, and brittle. The pressure of new wine fermenting would burst those skins. New wine must be placed into soft new skins, flexible and pliable.

Giuseppe Mazzini (1805 – 1872), an Italian patriot and politician, who helped bring about the modern Italian state in place of several separate states, said, "Slumber not in the tents of your fathers. The world is advancing. Advance with it."

The writer Mark says of Jesus, "On the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught," Mark 1:21. The word for "taught" means that He adapted His method of delivery to the place, time, audience, and subject matter.

The late Vance Havner stated, "We must be on our guard against the dull, enervating atmosphere around us. It is easy to adjust to the prevailing temperature. What a race of chameleons we are! The early church did not try to achieve peace of mind by accepting the status quo, they changed it."

Joe McKeever, in his article The Trouble With Old Wineskins, wrote, "The problem with wineskins is that they age and become dry and brittle, resistant and unyielding, stiff and set in their ways. That marvelous old hymn "The Old Rugged Cross" was written in 1913. It was new then. But church people welcomed it and sang it, until it became a great old standard. What if they had said, 'We don't like these new songs'! We'd still be singing the Psalms in Latin. Friend, in heaven we shall be singing 'a new song' (Revelation 5:9)."

The New Yorker once ran a cartoon showing a computer talking to its owner, and saying, "I can be upgraded. Can you?"

Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey, Florida, 34654