As I am avoiding serious work, I will now write a second post for today.
Last Sunday as my husband, the four year old and I were eating lunch after church, a fellow church member came in with a friend whom I didn't recognize. Turns out it was a visitor to our church. How did I find this out? Well, like any well trained mother of teens would, I eavesdropped. Actually, I was enjoying some time alone at my table appreciating the fact that it was my husband and not I who was in the bathroom with the four year old. Ah, life's little pleasures. While alone I could not help but overhear.
The gist of their conversation was what he thought of our church. The one thing that bothered him was the amount of singing. Singing? I have heard this sentiment before but it never ceases to surprise me. His reasoning was that normal people sitting around having a conversation don't suddenly break out into song so why should we in Church. Interesting. I believe this is the same reason people give for not liking musicals. I was reminded, via an outsiders point of view, that not all of us experience worship in the same way. Is there a right way?
The church our family attends only sings acapella. In fact that is all they allow. They have scriptural reasons for doing this but, here's a little secret, I disagree. Here is another little secret. I love it! acapella singing, that is. I married into this church coming from a church that was very organ heavy. In college I attended a bible study group, non-denominational, that wouldn't sing anything if the guitar player wasn't there, or couldn't play a particular song. It was an eye opener, to say the least, when I attended my husbands somewhat small church and nearly got blown out the door with the power and sincerity of the singing and not an instrument in sight. They even harmonized. My goal is to see past my own opinion, e.g. not allowing instruments is a silly rule, and try to see the beauty in the reality. I can be comfortable in many worship scenarios, although I might have difficulty handling snakes. I have always felt that it was my job to seek God not to be entertained or catered to. With apologies to Mr. Kennedy: Ask not what the church can do for you - ask what you can do for the church.
Not everyone agrees with me. Big surprise. And I find myself in the interesting position of being intolerant of those whom I deem intolerant. So I, like *98% of the known world, am a hypocrite.
The fact that any church comes together in any kind of cohesive unit is a miracle. If you read the book of Acts it's a miracle that the church even survived the first century. These days there are so many opinions on what is and isn't worship. I'm not well versed enough to comment on the validity of any of these worship styles but I maintain that If God were not at the center, holding us all together (albeit loosely) we'd all be flinging out of control into the nether lands. Yes, we should continually seek God's will for community worship but I kinda believe that there is a lot of leeway there.
Back to work.
*an actual made up fact.