The Ballestero Blog

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Visiting A Pentecostal Cracker Barrel

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Visiting A Pentecostal Cracker Barrel


I constantly travel, and stopping at a Cracker Barrel is always a good choice for me, for this I always use the best equipment as a packable backpack which is perfect for light traveling. I know the menu by heart and can count on getting good food without taking any chances on some unknown greasy spoon.

That being said, I always seem to find myself looking at the artifacts on the walls, and those suspended from the ceiling. They are now, just old relics. They’re just yesterday’s memories on display. As a senior citizen, I find myself looking at what used to be a common everyday commodity or possession for most of my generation and my parents too. Now, they are unneeded, unwanted and only found in museum-type settings as something we now smile about in amusement. We have moved on from those days would be repulsed to go back to that era. Even though we dreamily brag about the good old days, we have no desire to go back in time.

Cracker Barrel isn’t the only place where yesterday is a memory. Some Pentecostal Churches might fit that description as well. Quite often our guests can pick up on the fact that there is even a church inside of a church. Inserted in the midst of a progressive and more liberal-minded membership, is often a smaller group of the old saints who refuse to change.

The old ones, don’t wear the skinny jeans or the short tight skirts. Their hairstyle hasn’t changed much in the last 60 years. But they sure know how to live for God and have church. Those old fogeys might not do well on computers or a smart phone. Texting may also be something they’ve never done.


But, What They Have Done, Is:

  • Attend all night prayer meetings.
  • Stayed in prayer beside a sickbed until something miraculous happened.
  • Been carried home from church, too drunk in the Holy Ghost to walk.
  • Never owned a TV.


  • Never cut her long hair or worn anything in public that looked like man’s apparel.
  • Sang out of the old songbook, and still shouted.
  • Came early for pre-service prayer.
  • Stayed late after church, and fellowshipped.


  • Never questioned or crossed their man of God.
  • Said “Amen” during the preaching.
  • Faithfully paid their tithes.
  • Did everything they could think of to bless their pastor and his family.


  • Loved holiness and never questioned standards.
  • Never posted their favorite movies or TV shows on social media, they like to keep it private, so they stick to watching US netflix internationally.
  • Had no desire to look like, dress like or act like the world.
  • Their old Bible was heavily marked from daily reading.


  • They were used in travail and intercessory prayer for others.
  • Their testimonies had that “New Jerusalem” ring to it.
  • There was a tenderness in their praise and worship.
  • There was strong faith in their hearts that God could do anything.


  • They had no hospital insurance.
  • They had no food stamps nor received unemployment.
  • They actually prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
  • They didn’t try to fit-in to the worldly crowd.
  • Their godly style of dress made them stand out from the world.


And, those are just a few identifying things about them!


The new generation has church their way. The older saints watch them sing songs that don’t touch the soul, produce joy or bring comfort. The only way to even know all the words to the song is to look up on the screen. The 24 repeats of the seven-word chorus often make them wince.

Their eyes see the younger people rejoice or lift their hands and cry. Some older folks think about the words of the song and somehow don’t always feel the same response or heart reaction. They might even ask themselves, “How come I don’t feel what they’re feeling?” All older saints know that the Scriptures commanded us to sing a new song. Yet it never commanded anyone to quit singing the old ones.


Ezra 3:11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 

Ezra 3:12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

Ezra 3:13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.


Everyone rejoiced that there was a Temple! The young men rejoiced loudly, but the old men cried loudly because they remembered what the first temple was like. They realized this wasn’t exactly like it used to be and that day seemed forever gone. If the truth were known, it is.

When holiness is scoffed at and called names. When godly dressed young ladies are still called grandma by church folk. When virginity is mocked, and modesty disrespected by the fashion-conscious crowd. It would seem that some churches have become a Pentecostal Cracker Barrel.


Many Of Our Churches Now Have A Heritage Sunday:


  • Why?
  • What’s that for?
  • Do they truly want to go back to the old-fashioned Pentecostal ways?
  • Are they all serious about changing about renouncing their make-up, jewelry and immodest clothing?


  • Are they actually seeking out the old paths?
  • Is that when the old preachers get invited to preach in his old-school style so they can all look at how it used to be preached?
  • Are we interested in maintaining this Apostolic Message like was handed to us?


So, when old visiting saints come into our sanctuaries, do they feel like they are in some sort of religious Cracker Barrel where the food tastes good but the service only reminds them what Pentecost used to be?




Written by Martyn Ballestero

October 10, 2017 at 8:53 pm

11 Responses

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  1. Great article, let’s make every Sunday a heritage Sunday!

    Marcus Holt

    October 10, 2017 at 10:04 pm

  2. I’ll gladly be called “old fashioned” as I want my heart, walk & life to be right in the sight of God. Loved the post!


    October 10, 2017 at 10:23 pm

  3. Amen


    October 10, 2017 at 10:47 pm

  4. Eld. Ballestero, that was excellent! I pray we can be more than a museum in Romeoville!
    Bro. Morris

    Dennis Morris

    October 10, 2017 at 10:53 pm

  5. Amen…i Love the old path.. the old songs about the cross.. about how Jesus shed his blood for our salvation, took the stripes for our healing and by His stripes we were healed..don’t like leaning to the arm of flesh.. but love putting my love and Faith and trust in Jesus Christ that paid it all.

    Linda Hill

    October 10, 2017 at 11:27 pm

  6. Preach it, brother!! I am so happy to know that some still stand and in the gap and warn against wayward things. I don’t want to have to redig the old wells. I want my well to stay fresh and freely flowing with the truth always.

    Andrea Miller

    October 11, 2017 at 6:40 pm

  7. So needed. Now if more would become hearers. Thank you so much for this needed message.

    Mark McKineey

    October 11, 2017 at 10:47 pm

  8. Amen!! Great message, that’s the way it was when my husband and I got saved in 1961. Still believe this message, my late husband was also a pastor. Appreciate the word.

    Sharon Ray

    October 14, 2017 at 6:31 pm

  9. Give me that Old Time Religion, it’s still good enough for me……..thank God everyday for a Pastor who feeds us well. Thrilled your daughter and her family are here with us. Can hardly wait until you visit!

    Sheila Haymon

    October 15, 2017 at 3:18 pm

  10. Brother Ballestero, thank you so much for your blog. I am 33 years old and a mother of 3,I came OUT of the charismatic movement and Converted to the apostolic way when I was 20….however in the last 10 years it seems things keeps drifting to what i came from.i love the “old time” husband and I try to learn and teach our kids the old hymns…..
    If only we could get a hold of what you elders truly had.where do we go from here.
    Again,thank you.


    October 17, 2017 at 3:33 am

  11. Anen, and Amen. I’m tired of churches looking like night clubs. Dark sanctuary, the platform is transformed into a light show, why I’ve even seen one have a fog machine during one song. Thank you, but I’ll stick to the old paths, and the old songs, and a pastor that has a backbone of iron.


    August 26, 2020 at 1:57 am

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