I read a Facebook post that really ministered to me. The author of a Facebook post writes a pretty strong article about the exodus from traditional church layout and standards to a more modern event. While using modern equipment and using a new layout may not be the problem; we are concerned with what are we leaving behind.
As I read this article I was impressed that Pam uses two things missing in a modern church in her hometown. She bemoans the absence of altars and she also notices the change in dress codes.
You may or may not agree with Pam’s idea of a church layout or her views on a proper dress code for church, but when you hear what she is saying you may find your church may need to reassess the direction it is going.
She didn’t organize her post this way, but these are the two points that ministered to me in her post:
- The lack of purpose
- Pam pointed out the missing alters. Before you replace the altars a church needs to ask why there were ever altars to begin with. It was at an altar that God touched my heart the first time. Will someone else miss that opportunity if I remove the altar? It’s not nostalgic, it’s opportunistic. I want to give another person the same opportunity that I had. Our purpose is to give a person an opportunity to meet with God. Are we still giving people this opportunity if we remove the altars?
- The lack of respect
- Pam noticed that eating in church and dress codes change the air of respect that we are showing for the church. She uses a dating scenario and a job interview to show that we will dress up when it is important to us. The question is, Do we respect God to give Him our very best?
Please listen to the podcast attached and hear my analysis of her letter. I will post it below if you would rather read it. Pam makes a lot of sense in here. It first spoke to me because it sounds like we share the same type of church, but even if your calling isn’t the same as far as specifics, the underlying message is for us all. If you want a healthy church there needs to be a place to meet God and there needs to be respect.
A Facebook post written by Pam Sullivan:
This is probably going to make a bunch of people mad and I may lose some of you but it’s my page for me to post my thoughts. This is not a debate…you will not change my mind.
A popular church in ****** has just built a new building because they outgrew the other one. It has all the new looks…lights, comfy seats, big screen. But you know what it doesn’t have? Altars! When, as a religious society, did someone decide it was okay to leave out the most religious icon in a church? Altars have been the ultimate symbol of religion since before synagogues and churches. It’s been overtaken by lights that make you feel you’re in a club and a big screen that makes you think you’re just competing in karaoke. “Which church do you go to?” “Oh I go to the one that serves the best coffee and donuts during service!” Oh and lets not forget “We get to wear shorts and flipflops or sweats and hoodies!” What happened to revererance and dressing our Sunday best? Ladies, if you go out on a nice date you wear the best little black dress and heels that you have. Guys, you’ll wear a nice pair of dress pants and a button up shirt. Same with a job interview…you look your best. Society needs to feel the same about church! You are on the most important interview you will ever have…you are convincing God that you are worthy of Heaven. That you love Him enough to be the very best you can be. Our church floods when it rains like it did this weekend. Dad called yesterday and asked us to help put the pews up on blocks and pack up the songbooks and Sunday School books. I jumped in the car and took off. I got to church and realized I had pants on. I called Dad and said I had to run home and put on a skirt. Church wasn’t going on, but I respect God enough that I would never step in the church with pants on; our church doesn’t approve and I don’t think God does either.
I’m not a Christian, I don’t pretend to be. My boyfriend lives with me and my religion doesn’t approve of that. I go to church on Sunday mornings because I like singing out of the old Heavenly Highways Hymnal and hearing Mom teach Sunday School and Dad preach. I do not believe you can repent once in your life, go sin and be okay afterwards “because you’re saved.” I believe you repent for every sin you commit or if you die for before you do, you will go to Hell; if you commit suicide, you will go to Hell.
A church without alters is not a church…its a party pad that makes you think you’re all good. I never hear those people who attend those churches say, “Man, Brother SoAndSo preached a hell fire and brimstone message.” It’s all about love. And while that’s a good thing, they need to teach THE WHOLE BIBLE! Yes, if you are disabled or sick and can’t go to church, I think God knows and understands. After all, he is God and knows all of our thoughts.
The world is in the condition it’s in because people look at church as just a place to eat and hang out…it’s a show. The bibles most churches use now aren’t Bibles, they’re just casually written so people don’t have to study and pray for God’s direction and meaning. We need to get back to practicing religion, reading The Holy Bible, the original, authoratative Kings James Version and put God back in church!