Monday, July 25, 2011


People raised within another denominational tradition might have a hard time with much that takes place in a Pentecostal worship service. Beyond the raising of hands and the acceptance of congregational voices, individually or in en-masse, speaking praise unto God or perhaps a few words of agreement with the pastor is “normal procedure”. We find nothing wrong with believers leaving the pew and giving freedom to the Holy Ghost, whether expressed through tears and tongues, walking the aisles, or falling in at the altar. We sing a song and we take it to the “end”, to the point where any and all connection with Christ contained therein has, for the moment, been wrung out of it. Sermons are a matter of individual reception… I have returned to this present assembly after a ten-year move elsewhere, three of my daughters raised within its teachings, two yet holding membership there. My absence had nothing to do with finding fault in its traditions, merely a dislike for where the church was going with its format. With age comes a resistance to change. Here I sit. Somewhere in the interim, though, my humor has returned to me. While that old bunch I joined back in the early seventies would be startled to see a fellow accepted into the “baptized and born-again” at the beginning of the evening and then go forward to be “saved” in the finality of it all, likewise another man who, having been “dunked” along with others in an initial ritual, later, as if to validate the immersion, asked for prayer to obtain his salvation. I now look at such things and smile. It is: a process. If anyone could read my mind at times, though…. Yesterday morning, as the announcements flashed on the screens up front before we ever got started, one caught my attention in its wording, giving notice that businesses could advertize in monthly magazine for a “donation fee”. Oxymoron? I think so; but it’s pretty good odds that Jesus probably looks down on us and just shakes His head over a number of things……

No comments:

Post a Comment