A few minutes ago, the Sabbath began in the Philippines. March 4th, and I want you to remember this post, if you take the time to read it. I want you to remember what happens in your place of worship this Sabbath. Last week I spoke regarding did you hear anything regarding the Three Angel’s Message, or not? Well, did you? Do you even remember what was spoken from the Sacred Desk, or, should I call it the “Pulpit Showtime” experience? Well, you will have another chance this coming Sabbath.
Let’s face the facts: what is generally done in our churches today is not worship, at least of God, but entertainment. We have forgotten not only the “Who” we worship but the why? We are more concerned in attracting numbers than we are converting hearts. We spend more time and effort in making sure our musical segments are tight! We try to make sure our “Worship and Praise” team—team! That’s right, our “Praise and Worship” team will have their time to set the tempo. Notice I interchange the words “Worship” and “Praise”? It really doesn’t matter at this point. It’s really all about “entertainment”.
How about the Sabbath School experience? Whoever has it this Sabbath spent the better part of the week getting all the participants lined up! The “special music”, the story telling supposedly about “missions” and then hoped all the “teachers” show up and are prepared to present something. Teachers blow the sigh of relief when the little bell, or the sound of the piano, or the coordinator speaks into the mic hoping to have put together enough material, not information, but material to keep some interest generated for those minutes before the main show begins.
Can’t forget ‘ol pastor. Unfortunately, he was not able to either be chosen to preach somewhere else, or to get someone to preach in his stead, so he’s had to spend the better part of Friday night getting something together for Sabbath morning. Maybe he watched a “C.D. Brooks” or “Henry Wright” video the day before in hopes of getting “fired up” so he can have “pep to his step” when it is his turn to put on his show. I always found it interesting when some of them talk about, “I’m winding down…” when he finished even before he began and just didn’t know it; but, you the congregation are kind and shout out, “Take yo’ time, Pastor!” And that only because somebody bumped you and woke you up! Or your Bible fell off your lap while still on the first verse he began, having moved on to several other verses since then, but you don’t know because you were daydreaming or just plain out sleeping.
I won’t even go into what choir sung or who presented the special music or the lifting of the offering. When the “benediction” is given, I often would hear the words of that ol’ cartoon friend of mine, “Elmer Fudd” sputtering, “That’s all folks!” And then we are off to the races. Is it any wonder how lively the church becomes when the “doors of the church are opened”. Some driving out of the parking lot seem to be qualifying for the next Formula 1 event at some racetrack nearby. And if we hadn’t broken the Sabbath already during the fiasco called “church worship”, forget about talking about what takes place now when the gluttony begins. Those bellies get so full and then it is time for some “St. Mattress”, after all, it IS the day of rest, isn’t it? Yet, our brains are left destitute, empty and worthless! Now, can I get an “amen”!
So, I invite you, this particular Sabbath, when your behind graces the pew of some church, somewhere, listen and observe what is really going on. See if anything regarding the Three Angel’s Message is presented. See if there is any mentioning of “present truth” being spoken of. See if you walk out of there having learned something you didn’t know before walking in. Again, I will be the first to tell you, if it is the same as it was last week, you can pretty much determine it will be the same next week, and I don’t fault the performers as much as I fault the audience, er, congregation.
March 3, 2017