The new pastor of a rural church dropped into a Sunday-school class, and, to test the effectiveness of the teacher, asked a boy, “Who knocked down the walls of Jericho?” This was from an episode written in the Bible, and everyone was supposed to know the answer. The boy replied, however, “It sure weren’t me, Reverend.”
Turning to the embarrassed teacher, the pastor exclaimed, “I suppose that’s a sample of the kind of discipline you maintain!” To his consternation, the teacher said something to the effect that he believed the boy’s words that he hadn’t destroyed the walls. It was obvious that the teacher didn’t know anything about the walls of Jericho himself. His embarrassment was for the boy’s word usage, not for what his answer implied.
Like teacher, like pupil, thought the disgusted pastor, and he reported the matter to the church’s board of deacons. He was convinced that the board would take his report seriously and take immediate steps.
What he received, to his dismay, was a message from the board after due consideration, which read: ”We see no point in making an issue of this incident. The board will pay for the damages to the wall and charge it off to vandalism.”
None of the deacons, realized the pastor, knew about the walls of Jericho, and they all thought, just as the teacher did, that the pastor had taken up a problem about walls somewhere which were recently damaged by some bad boys. The pastor realized that the problem of this church was much graver than he had thought, and he was at a loss what to do about it.