If you follow the comments on this blog, you may have read that Mike made the point that there is more than one basic underlying mental attitude in which a person approaches worship.
After reading and considering Mike’s comment I visited Minds 2 Mentes web site and Krista was writing about the condition of the Church today. I believe that both Mike and Krista have good points about the Church, and I also believe that if we followed the teaching of the Bible both points would be reconciled.
All of our problems stem from not following the advice of our Father. We are told how to conduct a proper meeting in First Corinthians. It seems as if it usually gets glossed over because either one is studying “Tongues”, or a women’s role in church.
Disregard the word “tongue” in these verses and consider what they say. (I removed 27 and 28 and the last part of 33 so that my point it is clearer)
(1 Cor 14:26 NIV) What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. 29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
What these verses say to everyone is that everyone is to participate. In the services today the only time all of the people are invited to participate is with a hymn. The person in the pew is given no chance to speak a word of instruction, revelation, tongue, or interpretation during the service. As the verse says, “All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.” and it is only logical that if these things are not done then the church will be weak; and it is.
The kind of service that God wants is a big Bible study, so that everyone can openly ask questions and everyone has a chance to answer those questions.
In the church service today everyone sits down, shuts up, and listens to what one man says. One man that is “supposed” to understand almost everything about the Bible. The problem is that all men are flawed, and no man understands everything about the Bible, so part of what is taught is going to be wrong and because no one is encouraged to speak up we end up with a weak church.
Can you picture anyone standing up in the middle of a sermon and saying, “Wait a minute: that doesn’t seem right!” If you even say in private that you believe the minister is wrong about something you are thought to be trying to destroy the church and you better not try to tell a minister that he is incorrect about anything: no matter how gentle you try.
If you believe that the church of today is weak I would agree, because it teaches about man and what man wants in this world. It should be teaching about God and what God wants. Blessings do not come from understanding mans wants, needs, or desires, but from understanding what God wants. Of course one must do what God wants, but if you don’t even know what God wants you probably will not do it.
People are no longer taught that there is a Hell, because it doesn’t fit with the wants and desires of man. It is unpleasant and therefore not what man wants to hear. It seems that those who are in charge of the church today think it is more important to get people to attend church than to teach “all” of the truth. I cite this example only to illustrate that the church is indeed weak.
The church will not become stronger if we continue to ignore the full teaching of the Bible. We should be changing the format to two or three “leaders” and encouraging everyone to speak up in the service with their questions and comments. This format would do much to keep one man from becoming a leader that others follow instead of following Jesus.
One does not learn to play a game by watching someone else play. The only way to really learn is to get in the game. You can not learn the Bible by listening to someone else explain what they have learned, or think they know. You have to get in the game and play yourself and the minister, preacher, leader, or brother has to give everyone the opportunity to play. The way things are set up now the congregation is not permitted to play. I also might add that if you are playing you will not go to sleep!
I have heard great preachers explain to the congregation that they should not follow them, but follow God. If the format for the service was correct there would be less of this, because the congregation would not be relying on one man to supply all of the answers. Also the pressure on one man that is generated when he is supposed to have all of the answers would be relieved.
There is a place in the Church for one main leader. Someone should have the authority to make the decisions that are necessary for the advancement of the Church.
I do not believe that many established churches would change their format, because of that other master “money”. Those who exploit others are definitely not going to change, but even good ministers would be intimidated by the idea. If the congregation has bonded with a leader that leader is always well paid, whether he is genuine or not. It would devalue the position monetarily, because the leader would not be in the limelight and that would make it difficult to get a raise, or possibly just to keep the same salary.
Though there would be many problems in changing the format of the Church, because the Bible outlines the proper procedure, it should be changed and if a new branch of the church is embarked upon it should begin with the proper format.
What do you think? You may not be encouraged to speak up in church, but you are not in church you are here.