Author Topic: THE IRON GATE - Ellis Skolfield  (Read 795 times)

PeteWaldo

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THE IRON GATE - Ellis Skolfield
« on: July 03, 2014, 07:41:45 AM »
"While rummaging about in my Hard Drive, I ran into something I’d written about 30 years ago. It’s probably even more appropriate today as it was when I wrote it. It’s been all over the world buy now, but those who haven’t seen it before might find it interesting.

THE IRON GATE

There was a wicked city. In the middle of the city was a lofty
church. That church had the tallest steeple that ever was
built. In the steeple was the grandest bell that ever was cast.
When the bell was struck, it pealed forth with such a mighty
knell that every building in the city rattled; some even
shook to their foundations. It was all very frightening at
first, because here and there a building had collapsed. But
nothing had fallen in a long, long time, so the townsfolk had
gone back to playing and dancing in the streets.

Seeing the church, Christian tried to go inside. But in the
middle of the doorway was a massive iron gate. It had
strong iron bars. Looking through the bars he saw lots of
people inside. They were marching around in lock-step and
chanting the same words to each other over and over again.
They nodded approval to each other and kept telling each
other how great they all were. They were God’s elect
weren’t they, and that was that.

Christian tried with all his might to open the gate, but it
wouldn’t budge. Then he noticed a heavy bronze plaque
bolted to the gate with big bronze bolts. The headline
engraved on the plaque read:

Church Doctrines and Traditions

Imposing and well-dressed men rode up in fancy cars.
They mounted lofty pedestals and stood guard over the
plaque. The pedestals were very tall and had signs that read,
“Pastors and Evangelists Only.” These elevated men held out
collection plates and cried, “Give, oh, give more! We need to
build a bigger church, and get a louder bell.” Other men
stood behind them as reinforcements; these worthy
gentlemen had arm-bands that read “Infallible Theologian.”

People came up and bowed to the men, then they all
breathed on the plaque and polished it with their
handkerchiefs, like you would a pair of glasses. Some folks
even knelt before the plaque and kissed it. For all of them,
the gate swung open by itself.

There wasn’t any light on the plaque and the print was
very small. What’s more, there was an awful lot of it, so
Christian held up his Bible, which shines in the dark.
Squinting and adjusting his bifocals, he started to read
the fine print, muttering and groaning and becoming more
and more agitated. Finally, Christian could stand it no
longer. “These doctrines do not agree with Scripture,” he
cried in a troubled voice.

Christian then opened his Bible and began to read aloud.
As each verse was read, a crack appeared in the plaque, then
another, and another, until the plaque shattered into a
zillion pieces. As it splintered and fell, it just made a tiny
tinkling sound, but at that sound, the buildings of the
wicked city quaked and fell until few were left.

The people in the church clapped their hands and giggled
with glee, “The wicked city has fallen, the wicked city has
fallen!” They puffed out their chests and ran around shaking
hands and congratulating each other. They never realized
that it was not their bell, nor their lofty church, but the
reading of the Bible that made the buildings fall.

After the commotion had died down some, most of them
went back to their chanting and marching in lockstep, while
others started working on a new plaque. They were so busy
making sure everyone was keeping in step that they forgot
to take down their iron gate.

Christian didn’t want to chant or march in lockstep
behind an iron gate, so with Bible in hand, he turned and
walked away. A few people with Bibles in hand came out
from the church and went with him. As they strolled along,
they were all joyously singing, reading their Bibles, and
sharing what they read with any passerby who would listen.

Soon there was a huge crowd around them singing and
reading their Bibles. Then someone said, “Let’s build a
church and make a plaque . . .”"