This Article was written by Milburn Corckell, who was born on a cotton farm in Itawamba County near Mantachie, Miss. on Jan. 24, 1941. He was converted in a spring revival at the First Baptist Church, Mantachie, in 1956. Some days later he asked for membership in the New Hope Baptist Church, Dorsey, Miss. The church received him, and Elder G. S. Rayburn baptized him on Sunday afternoon in a farm pool.
Later he moved his membership to the First Baptist Church of Mantachie. He made known his call to preach in a revival meeting at the Bethel Baptist Church, Dorsey, Miss. He was licensed to preach by his home church at the age of 16, and he preached his first sermon on March 22, 1957. The First Baptist Church of Mantachie ordained him on Feb. 27, 1960, the year he graduated from Mantachie High School.
Elder Corckell has pastured churches in Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky, and Ohio. He has preached for 40 years on various radio broadcasts. He was a speaker on The Berea Baptist Broadcast heard on nine stations in the U.S. and two in the Philippines. From his pen have come many articles in Baptist papers. He was the founder and the editor of The Berea Baptist Banner, a paper with an international circulation.
He has authored many tracts and eighteen books. He has assisted in printing three different editions of The Berea Baptist Hymnal.
For the last several years of his life, Elder Cockrell lived near Mantachie, Miss., and was the pastor of the Berea Baptist Church in Mantachie. Pastor Milburn Cockrell departed this life on September 14, 2002 from a massive heart attack. (Milburn Cockrell, 1941-2002)
The nickels and noses racket by Pastor Milburn Corckell
The average pastor is no longer a powerful, plain preacher–but a polite, polished politician!
We live in a time of big meetings, big churches, big church buildings, big preachers, and big church budgets. The failure or success of a church and its pastor–is judged by the number of nickels and noses that they have. In all too many cases, there is seen in this more Satanic pride, than spiritual piety.
In the craze for nickels and noses churches have replaced preachers and pastors, with puppeteers and pranksters. The gospel of Christ has been superseded by gimmicks, gadgets, and games. Psychology has taken the place of Holy Spirit conviction. The faith has been displaced for finance, fun, and foolishness. Church discipline has been relegated to the background, in order to swell the size of the church with religious hypocrites who might give a little money to the church now and then.
The nickels and noses racket has filled our churches with unconverted persons. We have far more churchianity than Christianity. Many church members are white-washed–but they are not blood-washed. Their names are upon the church roll–but they are not found in the Lamb’s book of life. Many have been reformed–but they have not been re-born. Many have been confirmed–but they have not been converted to Christ. There are so many lost people in our churches, that you cannot tell the difference between a church member and the unconverted. The reason is, because there is no difference. Both are headed to Hell as fast as time can carry them!
It has produced icy services–and cold, callous, complacent church members. Look at the average church! They have their robed choir, their cut and dried program, and their intellectual preaching. They have a beautiful edifice. They have all the organization and rituals one could ask for–but in most cases it is Spiritless! We have form without reality; we have organization without power; we have profession without possession. We have a form of godliness–without the power of it. We have religion without life.
It has caused pastors to spend more time worrying with goats, than feeding the sheep. The pastor nowadays must provide a spiritual diet for people who have no spiritual appetite. Like Ezekiel of old (Ezekiel 37:1-10), he must preach to dead, dry bones–but without the blessings which Ezekiel experienced. These dry, dead bones can’t hear–yet the pastor must keep preaching and pretend that someone is listening. These dry, dead bones do not grow in grace–for the dead do not grow. These baptized bones are in no way sensitive to the appeals made to them from the Scriptures by the pastor. They watch the clock on Sunday morning, hoping the pastor will preach a short sermon so they can soon go home and do what they really enjoy.
This idea has given us the gimmick gospel. Most church members want to be entertained–instead of instructed in the Word of God. They have far more delight in the gospel of amusement–than the gospel of the atonement. Gospel celebrities must be brought in to entertain these worldly church members. These members love to hear these clerical comedians who mix a few verses of Scripture with a large amount of humor. Special singing groups must be brought in too. These have the same dress, music, hair style, and manners of any rock and roll group. Our church services nowadays have become a carefully produced theatrical production for the delight of carnal Christians and religious rascals. The only difference between this entertainment and that in the local nightclub is that it has a religious flavor! But they say it must be done to get nickels and noses!
While there are some exceptions, most big churches are worldly churches. They have high carnality–and low spirituality. Truth is very scarce in such fashionable churches, because the Word of God has been compromised to keep nickels and noses.
Summary Comments by Evangelist Sam Biggers:
Milburn Corckell wrote sharp noted articles pointing to the failure of truth to be preached in the church. Here is one which caught my eye and caused me to take a step backward and think about the church in 2016.
While I raised in the Baptist faith, I am no longer a member of a Baptist church; however, I agree with much of Pastor Corckell’s commentary of what has happened in many churches in America. Regardless of one’s church affiliation, when truth is spoken we need to listen. We might learn something about the current condition of our own heart. I do not believe all churches can be placed into this category; but, there is a grain of truth in what he has written.
After reading Pastor Cockrell’s article I am reminded the church needs to return to the roots of the early church: prayer, confession of sin and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and enter into serious Bible Study to glean the truths of God’s word to enable us to live holy and righteous lives dedicated to be used to build the Kingdom of God. – Sam Biggers November 15, 2016.