119 thoughts on “Oldish Paths”

  1. I notice in the song that the KJV is more important than the blood of Christ.

    You’re right about one thing; pairing the song with those images is something. Problem is, the guys singing that song would dismiss most, if not all of them, as “popish”.

  2. Hey, you want old paths? Try this:


    The gist: In the High Middle Ages, it was completely uncontroversial to paint Jesus as a brown man and Mary as a brown woman. In fact the then-conventional wisdom was that certain very old portraits had been made by St. Luke himself, and they clearly show both Jesus and Mary as dark-complected Middle Easterners–except for the ones that have since been painted white in order to “fix” them. Because even in portraits that show other, whiter people, only Jesus and Mary had been painted as white using pigments that “spoiled” over time to make them dark. Yyyeah.

    God knows Medieval Christendom was responsible for some horrible things. But one thing they didn’t do was classify people hierarchically by skin color.

    Unlike the followers of the Old Paths.

    1. +
      I’d like to see those. I’ve always wondered why Jesus and Mary are white, with soft, perfect brown hair.

      1. There’s a link to a list of the ones that were commonly accepted to have been from the hand of Jesus Himself or St. Luke somewhere in the article.

      2. My wife and I went to a Coptic festival recently, held at a church. They had a new building built a few years ago, painted bright and refreshing on the inside. But…all the Bible characters were painted very Aryan-looking.

        I asked the Egyptian-American “tour guide” about it, and he gave me a kind of fuzzy answer, but the gist was that that’s how they were painted by the guy they hired.

        It was so odd to think of all the people at the festival of clearly Middle-Eastern descent surrounded by painted white people in church.

      3. They used VO5.

        On a more serious note, it was just generally common knowledge that Jesus was dark. When the topic comes up (which is rare) in older literature, the witness is unanimous.

    2. Hitler and Himmler said Jesus was Aryan. They even rewrote the New Testament to reflect that. Since that was about the time current US Fundies began, maybe a mix of Scripture and Teutonic folklore is a true Olde Paths.
      I wonder if there is a St. Longinus Baptist Church anywhere?

    3. Also remember, before the African slave trade became big business, black Africans in European art were just “funny-looking foreigners”, emphasis on Foreign. Showing someone in art as dark-skinned was primarily a way of showing he/she “wasn’t from around these parts”. Or a way to show they were exotic and “different”, from far lands. In the case of Mary & Jesus, it would also serve a practical reason to distinguish them from the others in a scene with many figures.

      It wasn’t until the slave trade got going and the money started coming in in buckets that dark skin became the mark of the subhuman. Can’t really afford to think of your expendable animate property/two-legged livestock as human.

  3. “Church busses running everywhere” – Old Paths huh? Forget which disciple was the greatest, which one had the biggest bus route?

  4. “I’ll take the King James Bible and the blood of Christ and church buses running everywhere.”

    If you don’t mind, I’ll take the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost …

    … Especially as you don’t seem to be using them anyway.

    1. A good test of what is true Christianity vs traditions of men is: would this work in a different culture and language and time?

      We know the disciples drove a Honda, but it was an Accord not a bus.

      1. THIS.

        Gary Ezzo: Claims his system of making babies scream for help that doesn’t come until they give up in despair is “biblical.” It requires a clock that tells minutes, a high-sided crib, and a separate room for each child with a door that locks. Guess Jesus wasn’t raised “biblically.”

        1. Snort. I’d like to lock that dumbass in room by himself. With a pendulum.

          Sorry; when I get upset my mind goes to Edgar Allan.

        2. Now that you mention it, the traditional (and Biblical) view is that the infant Jesus was swaddled– wrapped up in bands of cloth that greatly restricted any movement. That used to be the custom with all babies, and still is in some places in the world although modern child-care experts (crazy ones excepted) believe that babies should move around to develop their muscles and motor skills.

        3. And yet, when addicts do this, it’s called neglect. And those babies grow up with reactive attachment disorder, often perpetuating the cycle. Good thing Ezzo’s followers don’t… oh, never mind.

        4. At my old job, the state health department sent notice on the dangers of the Ezzo method, with could lead to breastfeeding problems and failure to thrive. I always wondered how Mary kept track of time so she could feed Jesus on a holy, biblical schedule.
          BTW, Dr. Harvey Karp promotes swaddling

        5. Gary Ezzo: Claims his system of making babies scream for help that doesn’t come until they give up in despair is “biblical.”

          Isn’t that called torture until breaking?

    1. I remember a song by The Flanagans:

      I ain’t-a gonna need no gasoline
      To get me over there.
      Whoever heard of an automobile
      In Hallelujah Square.
      Won’t it be [something] On the streets of gold
      WIthout any car horns blowing?
      Oh, I ain’t-a gonna need no gasoline
      To get me where I’m going.

      1. Hmmmm, so part of the song says “I ain’t gonna grieve my Lord no more”. That is a wonderful sentiment. I certainly don’t WANT to grieve my Lord.

        But it seems to me there was a man by the name of Peter in the Bible who told Jesus what he was ready to do and was going to do. He said he was ready to go to prison with Jesus and even die with Jesus.

        But Jesus knew him just a little better (okay, a lot better) than he knew himself. Jesus said, no, you’ll deny you even know me three times before tomorrow morning.

        And sure enough, people asked him if he was one of Jesus’ followers (and one of them was just a little servant girl) and he cursed and spat and said he didn’t KNOW the man.

        So when it comes to “spiritual” things, I think it’s kind of foolish to say what we ARE and ARE NOT going to do. Maybe this is just “arguing over words” and I know we’re not supposed to do that. But this song might make more sense if it said “I don’t want to grieve my Lord no more” instead of “I AIN’T gonna grieve my Lord no more”.

        1. Good point. It also seems like Jesus gets “grieved” over the silliest things in some churches. I mean, it shouldn’t be that half the congregation has a better sense of humor and are more forgiving than Jesus, right?

      1. Love some Ronnie Milsap. I had never heard him sing that song (or heard that song period. Good song, good song.

        1. I had that album on cassette in the early 80s. I’ve been a fan since the 70s. A couple of years ago two of my kids saw him at a big Independence Day celebration at a church near us. He gave a concert and shared his Faith in Christ. I couldnt make it, but they became fans that night. They said it was pretty good for old music.

  5. This song just really makes me think of 2 Timothy 3:5; “They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly…”

    It’s got the “old gospel sound”, it’s got the “hay-mens” in the background, but what is the song really saying? I’ll take the King James Bible (read John 5:39) and the blood of Jesus Christ and church busses running everywhere (as my pastor says “Jesus +anything=nothing”).

    *Siiiigggghhh* They are extremely zealous for their “cause” (read Romans 10:1-3), but besides throwing His name in here and there, where is the power of Jesus?

    This makes me want to look at my life though. I would sure hate to be trying to flick a speck out of someone’s eye and walk around with a telephone pole sticking out of my own.

    1. 2 Tim 3:5 is pretty good in the KJV, too: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”

  6. During one of the choruses they mumbled through, I thought they sang “the virgin church”, but then realized it was “emergent church”.
    A little better enunciation wouldn’t be a bad idea. I like Southern Gospel, but like hymns and praise songs, I prefer to praise God and not the works of men.

    1. I just tried to listen to the song again, and this time heard “salamander lizards”. Turns out they said something about soul winning.
      Now I have a desire to listen to my “America Live” album for some reason.

        1. A little birdy in the sky
          Dropped some whitewash in my eye.
          Oh! little birdy, do not cry!
          I’m just glad that cows don’t fly!

          Global warming could be fixed instantaneously if fundamentalists the world over would stop spewing their hot air!

  7. It was good for Aphrodite,
    It was good for Aphrodite,
    She wears a see-through nightie,
    And that’s good enough for me.

    Gimme that old-time religion…

      1. I can see Jesus Christ rounding up Buddha, Juno, and all the rest of them, “Hey, come on, this guy’s pretty good! And he makes sense, too!”

        1. I’m sure Heaven has had some grand sing-alongs since Pete Seeger got there. And if he’s not there, I’ll be headed for wherever he ended up.

  8. so the emergent church (pretty much doesn’t exist any more) equal elder rule (instead of one MOg) bus ministry (an evil invention of man if there ever was one) and the KJB (potentially polluted text sponsored by a baptist burning baby baptizing butt loving secular monarch) trumps like, the Apostles Creed? The writings of the early church fathers? The actual content of the Bible?

    Interesting that in most evangelical churches (like many fundy churches) liturgy has been replaced by music. Most evangelical churches are doing modern worship music that actually reflects the ancient creeds, the core beliefs and doctrines of the gospel, and this church’s liturgy focuses on the supposedly old timey docrines of the holiness revivalism movement of the early 1900’s and the Evil darkness spread from the Great Eye of Hammond. Very telling…

    1. I don’t know. If I listened again, I’d likely hear something about roast chicken instead of ghost conviction.

  9. The pairing of those images with that music was an exemplar of cognitive and auditory dissonance.

    Like going to see Madame Butterfly on stage. The diva sings but what I hear is a Lady Gaga song instead of the aria.

  10. Nicely done. Fundies seem to be afraid of history I think. The real “old-time” Christ followers had no New Testament. The first gospel wasn’t even written until 60-75 A.D.

    1. “The real “old-time” Christ followers had no New Testament. ”

      Much less one in Kynge Jaymes Englyshe, bound in black leather.

  11. ‘Old-Time Religion’? You meant, like living communally, caring for widows and orphans, and courting actual physical danger for spreading the basic Gospel of Christ?

  12. How old are you “Old Paths?”

    Well, the oldest bus fleet I can find was from 1913 and The Barnsley District Electric Traction Company, UK. This would put the “Old Paths” at 101 years old since bus ministries weren’t possible before that.

    An interesting note is that most cults consider losing their cultish titles at 100 years old! This means that the IFBers can now consider themselves non-cults and part of the mainstream religious machine since buses are ove 100 years old, and everyone know that the “Old Paths” involve busing future tithers to the feet of their holy men so that they might be gloriously saved by the millions according to the latest statistical data produced by said “holy men”

      1. My semi-occasional dyslexia popped up. Again. I read that as “how old are your parts”. I gave my Granny’s answer to how old she was, when asked.

  13. I love it!

    Well, I hate the ‘sangin.’ Horribly done and hurts the ears. But the “old paths” are a lot older than their oldish-kinda-sorta stuff.

    I rather appreciate Paul’s teaching that we are no longer under a schoolmaster, and that it is time to Grow Up! “The Law” doesn’t have to mean only the Old Testament Torah, the OT entire, but can also include the “schoolmasterish” teachings of Paul himself.

    Where as Paul admonished slaves to be obedient to their masters, we can reject slavery altogether. We can see women as equals, not as those who have to be submissive to abusive people.

    The KJV? Well, I love it. I still use it. I memorized from it. But I use other translations. The KJV-only argument seems to insist that God stops working or that God has no more resources to reach people with.

    The “Old Paths” were a start. You don’t want to regress back into infancy. Abraham did not take the old paths back to Ur. Instead, the life of faith leads us to paths we have never taken, leading us to only God knows where.

  14. Soul-winning with a tear
    Note: The “Old Paths” soul-winning was not “say this prayer and you’ll (probably) win heaven when you die!” – Old Paths was preaching the righteousness of God and the sinfulness of men, and the Holy Spirit brought such conviction that men cry out to be right with God. I’m not sure that “Old Paths” ever consisted of going door-to-door and “selling” heaven.

    They call it liberty, but it’s just worldliness|callousness you see

    Note: “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage”

    I expect that Jim Jones and other cults always say these things about people who are not them. “They are just worldly”, or “They couldn’t handle our kind of preaching, so they left”

  15. So many Christians have fallen away
    They’ve given up on the Lord

    Really, we’ve given up on man-made standards and man-exalting cult-like leadership.

    No longer are standards important to them

    “Come to our church – we MUST be the right church because we have higher standards than everyone else!”

    I must have misunderstood what Jesus said: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another very high standards.”

    I must have also misunderstood God’s word when He called the believers in I Cor with the highest standards “weak”.

    For they want the modern look

    I assume that your men all wear hats when they go out, and everyone dresses like pilgrims at his church.

    1. Standard:
      1 : a conspicuous object (as a banner) formerly carried at the top of a pole and used to mark a rallying point especially in battle or to serve as an emblem
      2 : a long narrow tapering flag that is personal to an individual or corporation and bears heraldic devices


      Have our standards and follow our standard, or you are just substandard. (and probably not even saved or a CHRISTiam)

  16. I found it interesting that this version of the song says “you can have your emergent church”.

    The version of this song that is played on KJBB FM radio says “you can have your deeper life teachers”. (Of course, don’t ask me how I know that…)

    I guess Darrell’s version must be more recent, and the group just changes that part of the song to slam against whatever theology fundamentalists happen to be slamming at the time.

        1. When your SOP is to be 40 years behind the times, the Emergent church is actually pretty close to contemporaneous. I bet some of these dudes even complained about it on their blogs. The real old paths guys are rolling over in their graves.

  17. Epic post. Does anyone happen to have the lyrics? Some were hard to make out with all the mumbling and shouting.

    1. As you wish:

      Just gimme the old paths
      Those paths of yesteryear.
      When the old-time preaching
      Brought the Holy Ghost conviction
      And soul-winning with a tear.

      You can have “emerging church”,
      Your “equal elder rule”,
      Life-style evangelism where you “share” –
      I’ll take the King James Bible
      And the blood of Jesus Christ
      And church buses running everywhere.

      So many Christians have fallen away
      They’ve given up on the Lord.
      No longer are standards important to them
      For they want the modern look.
      You can’t tell them apart from the world –
      No separation there.
      They call it liberty; it’s just wordliness you see
      And they just don’t care.


      So many Christians are lazy today
      Won’t tell a soul Jesus saves.
      No longer is Jesus important to them
      For they need their time to play.
      Frozen cold, they let souls go to hell
      They feel no burden there
      They call it liberty; it’s just callousness you see
      And they just don’t care.


      1. How can they not see that this is just a musical version of the Pharisee’s prayer: “God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.”

  18. Thanks for the perspective. Since I grew up IFB, one of the many deficiencies of my life is a lack of knowledge concerning church history. Any recommended resources? Anyone?

    1. Depends, IFBPK, how deep you want to go. You can get a PHD in Church History, but methinks you want something less than that.

      Also, much depends on whether you prefer reading, lectures or discussions–either in small groups or on-line. Each method has its plus and minuses.

      I took Church History in seminary some 45 years ago but I’m not up to speed on current books, etc. There might even be a “Church History for Dummies” book.

      1. No. No, no no. If you want something from that perspective, Crossan’s The Birth of Christianity is much, much better. Crossan is an actual scholar. Ehrman is a hack journalist interested in selling books, not presenting facts. In my very humble opinion.

  19. “Church History Made Easy” by Timothy Paul Jones. I haven’t read it but from reviews it sounds like an easy introduction, a place to start that you could build on from there.

  20. Re: having the Blood of Christ. That’s one of the nice things about becoming Catholic. Now I *know* I have the Blood of Christ. #transubstantiation 🙂

  21. I’ve always found it useful, when dealing with IFB, to take all of the “empty signifiers” they throw around (like “worldliness”, “preservation,” “standards,” etc.) and define them within the entire context of Christian church history and historical theology. See they don’t expect you to look behind the “incantations” and see them for the rattle-traps they are. They just expect you to succumb to the passion and emotion with which these “distinctives” are proclaimed, whether that’s in a fiery theatrical display (“toe-stomping” preaching) or a musical number.
    These types of IFBs wouldn’t know real doctrine if it shoved 2 by 4s up their nostrils. The diagnosis is Ichabod by shibboleth.

  22. I haven’t heard that song in awhile. Thanks for the belly laugh. Oh my goodness! smh. I’m so embarrassed for them.

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