The Acts Of The Church

According to radio commentator Paul Harvey, a problem arose in Milwaukee recently. The association of tavern owners was upset with the Roman Catholic Church. The church was hurting their business, they said.

It wasn’t that revival had struck Milwaukee and that all loyal beer drinkers had abandoned the bar for baptism. The problem was more direct than that. The church was attempting to get a hard liquor permit for New Year’s Eve and the bartenders were upset.

It was bad enough that the church could serve beer at bingo, they contended, but now the Catholics were going all the way and the tavern owners felt they couldn’t compete. After all, whose side would God be on anyhow?

But if the Catholic church is competing head to head (or mouth to mouth) with the tavern owners in Milwaukee, then the conservative Protestant church is competing claw to claw and jaw to jaw with the circus in America. All you have to do is look at almost any major metropolitan area church page.

How can any law-abiding, conscientious circus promoter compete with “Ronald McDonald in person at First Baptist’s Sunday School,” or Fred Heyerbrund, Christian skydiver, parachuting to earth in a chute that reads, “Jesus Saves. Yes, even you.” And all the while Fred is floating “into church property from 5,000 feet,” he speaks to the crowd in the parking lot via two-way radio.

And Ronald and Fred aren’t the only acts at the church. We now have gospel magicians, talking birds, Christian karate experts, and strong men who speak. We have pastors who swallow goldfish, preach from the roof if over 600 attend the service, and generally make animals of themselves.

If the tavern owners can complain to the City Council of Milwaukee, then Ringling Brothers ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.