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Saturday, May 01, 2004

Tonight, my wife told me about a discussion she and her mother had regarding some visitors to their church today. They had learned about the church on the programming network 3ABN and wanted to see for themselves what the Adventist church was like.

During the service, the church traditionally takes some time to praise the Lord for things, and ask for prayer. A church family decides to discuss their "fasting" and "juicing" habits (which incidentally have nothing to do with anything doctrinal). Now, it is my contention that this sort of thing belongs in one's private prayers. Alerting the entire congregation to your success in pursuing a week of fasting is not appropriate prayer. Instead, I would call it grandstanding. It is as if you are saying "Look at me... I am a good Christian. Watch me as I fast, and you can admire my feat." Isn't that a tad akin to the high-chinned attitude taken by the Pharisees in Jesus' time? I would have to say so.

Were it my church, I would have definitely asked the family what relevance this topic had towards the service. More to the point, I would like to see the church use the time allotted during the service more wisely. I say this because I hear people complain about how long the service is.

Truth be told, it would be much shorter if the pomp and circumstance was replaced by actual delivery of a sermon from the pulpit. Ask yourself, do you get more out of the service when someone is singing an offkey song, or when a preacher is directing you through scripture to look into your heart? I believe most people would answer the latter. I also think that visitors would be much more prone to returning if they received a blessing from God via the sermon, than they would from hearing about others' exploits and habits.


.: posted by Dave 11:41 PM

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