I had a conversation recently with a friend about active worship in church services. I love and respect all of my friends. And many, many of my friends are not Christian. So, my next statement colors the foundation of what I am about to say. I am a Christian. And I am a Pentecostal, at that. I am one that will cry, cry, cry if I feel God's Spirit. I tear up at the drop of a hat in church. I am demonstrative, but I am not a big aisle runner, I don't shake and shout and dance like some. Not that I think it's bad. I just tend to crumple up and weep under God's annointing. That's just me.
That being said, we got on the topic of "why" active worship in church was "needed." Why do people need to do that? Why is that appropriate? Why is that called for? Well, there are many instances in the Bible of people raising their hands, praising the Lord in marching, dancing, shouting, and all forms of demonstrative worship. It's all scriptural, just like it's scriptural and right and timely to have moments of silence, reflection and reverence.
But, why not??? Have you never seen ice-cold fashionistas clap and get excited about a runway look in NY? I have. Have you never seen women that are classy, regal, and well-bred trample and stampede over a Choo or Blanik sample sale? I have. Have you never seen someone at a club get happy over their drink and dance the night away? Dance and drink to forget, celebrate, participate, etc? I have. I've seen people breathe sighs of relief over the fact that I had the very type of liquor they wanted, when I was bartending. Have you never seen people get excited over sports? Can you hoop and holler about a game? Can you cuss, and tweet, and FB, and instagram your pain, pleasure, outrage, and joy over a game? Can you raise your hands, do the wave, get up out of your seat, and shout at the top of your lungs over a game? Over a sporting event? Or a new fashion line? Over "your jam" being played at the club?
I want you to think on this... We "use" church. We "use" God. We "use" other Christians when we feel bad or need something, and we never see them when we don't need them. If all is well after God got you that job, healed you, and helped you... where are you when things are going great? Here are some common sayings about church that I'd like you to read, but with church replaced:
1. The coach/designer/DJ never came to visit me, personally.
2. Every time I went, they asked me for money.
3. The people sitting in my row didn’t seem very friendly. The people in front of me were too loud.
4. The seats were very hard.
5. The referees/bartender/artist made a decision I didn’t agree with.
6. I was sitting with hypocrites—they rooted for different players and they
only came to see what others were wearing!
7. Some games went into overtime and I was late getting home.
8. The band played some songs I had never heard before.
9. The games/shows/serving hours are scheduled on my only day to sleep in and run errands.
10. My parents took me to too many games/shows when I was growing up.
11. Since I read a book on sports/fashion, I feel that I know more than the coaches/designers,
12. I don’t want to take my children because I want them to choose for
themselves what sport/clothes they like best.
Growing up a PK, and having ministered myself, these are real quotes from real situations that people use to skip church and to avoid church... If you can teach your kids that Ole Miss will ALWAYS be better than State, why can't you teach them why you believe in God and about God's blessings on Ole Miss? Do you not believe it "enough" to make it tangible for your family? If you can always know that you are going to monitor your kids food and freak out over gluten and the very possibility that they ingested a GMO, why can't you talk to them about Jesus and the possibility of ingesting things that are far worse, spiritually? If you can get excited about your new hair, glitter, makeup, runway looks, sports, football, baseball, who's in what playoff, someone's after-game interview, and what Housewife on Which Franchise Has a Fake Boyfriend and Called Out a Fake Marriage then you can SURELY get just as excited about God and what He's done for you in your life, right? When He helped you pay that car note, keep your relation-"ship" out of crazy waters, and got those lights turned back on? What about when he helped you out of that ticket that would have raised your insurance? What about the fact that you are alive, got up this morning and have some type of internet service this allowing you to read this, right here, right now? Right? Hello?
Is this on?
Oh well, I love y'all anyway.