The story has been told of a church in the former
Soviet Union on which was
painted, "But we preach Christ crucified" (1 Corinthians 1:23).
During the communist era the church was not cared for and weeds began to
overtake the building. The weeds first obscured the bottom word,
"crucified," changing the verse to read, "But we preach
Christ." The weeds pressed upward
and concealed "Christ," leaving simply, "But we
preach." Finally the weeds hid
"preach," yielding the disturbing words, "But we."
The weeds teach a profound lesson. When the church neglects to preach the cross and the full range of biblical teaching connected with it, it is not long before interest in Christ Himself fades. The church may continue preaching, but now says only what people wish to hear. Finally, the church is left to itself and to its doubts in an empty fellowship of the "But we."
-- from Wesley: Adult Bible Student, Jul - Aug, 2000