A SLICE OF LIFE
It was in the Spring of ’42, during WW2.
I was getting in my car one Sunday morning to partake of the “Supper” at
the so-called Church of the Open Door” on the corner of Sixth and Hope Street in
downtown L.A., when I spotted this note on the front seat.
I recognized the handwriting of my roommate, Harold Hagerman, brother of
Lawrence Hagerman, inventor-engineer. Harold was one of those serious, no-nonsense Christians, my age. We had
been discussing the subject of physical ordinances for
some time when the Lord brought us in touch with a brother named Buman Price who
was working at the same defence as I was in.
Buman, also my age, who never minced words about anything that I can
remember, lost no time in bluntly infoming the two of us that taking the Lord’s
Supper was an act of idolatry.
sure you’ve already guessed it, I was shocked and offended.
Who did this guy think he was tossing off an inflammatory remark like
Wasn’t the supper practiced by
99.9% of Christendom, from the giants of theology on down to the youngest, most
untaught Christian in America?
here was this half-Indian hydralic inspector at Vultee Aircraft telling the rest
of us that this sacred memorial to Christ’s death and glorious resurrection was
an act of idolatry.
Well, it was
time to set the record straight.
To my painful embarrassment, I soon discovered that my arguments (based
on soulishness, not hard, Biblical facts) were about as effective as a soldier
taking careful aim at the on-coming enemy, pulling the trigger, and a bullet the
size of a pin-head drops out of the barrel.
But I got over it and soon became a respectful listener (like Harold)
while Buman became our spiritual mentor – that is, until we three were drafted
into the military and forced to go our separate ways – until after the war.
What was on the note that
was left in my car by Harold?
merely a verse of Scripture, but you could tell that it had been veeerrry
carefully chosen. It read, “IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT QUICKENETH, THE FLESH
PROFITETH NOTHING; THE WORDS THAT I SPEAK UNTO YOU, THEY ARE SPIRIT AND THEY ARE
I read it slowly, thoughtfully, then read it again, and then pondered it
all the way to L.A.
By the time I parked my
car and found a seat in the building, I had dropped anchor.
While a sip of grape juice and a piece of salteen cracker was being
ingested by the auditorium of 3500 people, I passed up the physical for the
Instead of taking the
supper that morning, I read my Bible and fed on the living Bread.
(By the way, why do
people call it “supper” when it is being taken in the morning?
Why not call it breakfast and be done with it?)
For my closing remark, allow
me share this with you: though I had been saved since 1931, I had never
experienced anything like this! The Lord gave me a spiritual blessing that
morning that has lasted 62 years.
brief, it was my personal deliverance from the slavish bondage” of tradition.
(Col. 2:8). I look back today and praise God for this unforgettable escape from
the darkness of *organized religion.
never went back to the so-called “Open Door.”
(P.S. I’ll always be grateful to Buman, and
his wife, Martha, for introducing me to a young lady named Sylvia Stevens, who
later became my wife one year before I was honorably discharged from Service.)
*Organized religion separates Christians, while yoking saved and un-saved together in unholy fellowship.
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