A Looong Church Service

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Rippon, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Rippon

    Rippon
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    I have been going through the book : Memoirs Of The Westminster Divines by James Reid. In a chapter devoted to the life of Stephen Marshall there is an interesting paragraph.

    Mr Marshall frequently united with his brethren in the observance of public fasts,when the services were protracted to a great length. On one of these occasions,it is said,that Dr Twisse having commenced the service with a short prayer, "Mr Marshall prayed large two hours,most divinely confessing the sins of the members of the Assembly,in a wonderful,pathetick,and prudent way. After, Mr Arrowsmith preached an hour,then a psalm;after which,Mr Vines prayed nearly two hours,Mr Palmer preached an hour,and Mr Seaman prayed nearly two hours,then a psalm. Mr Henderson then spoke of the evils of the time,and how they were to be remedied,and Dr Twisse closed the service with a short prayer and blessing." (Second Volume,pages 77,78)
     
  2. Mexdeaf

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    Wow! Roughly 9 hours and today people complain if a church service is over an hour long.

    Ours are usually 75-90 minutes.
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    Romanian Baptist services typically start at two hours.
     
  4. billwald

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    Americans, being the smartest people in the world, have an attention span of maybe three minutes unless the subject is some sort of sports activity or porn.
     
  5. Jerome

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    Interesting that even way back then some congregant was keeping a very careful eye on the clock.
     
  6. nodak

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    Nothing wrong with my attention span, but a few things to consider:

    1. The speaker may not be as spell binding, accurate, wise, or annointed as he seems to think he is.

    2. My backside is getting older. If you are not reaching my heart for the Lord, I'm not gonna sit and sit and sit.

    3. Folks have commitments outside of church. All jokes about the roast burning aside, I have a family to feed and care for on a limited budget. Say what you need to say and shut up so my roast does NOT burn.

    4. You can ramble on all you want, but truth is when you pass the listening limit of your people and keep going despite seeing us check our watches, struggle to hide yawns, have our eyes glaze over, or start shifting from hip to hip and you drone on, you are being rude and uncaring.

    5. Ability to attend (or willingness to attend) long services shows absolutely nothing about my spiritual state. Equating partaking of long services with somehow being more holy is works salvation. So how long IS long enough to prove my right standing? Actually, Biblically, I have the Holy Spirit to teach me and can skip all your sermons and meet you in heaven. In fact, I am warned to beware of you.

    6. Complaining about folks with short attention spans and bragging how long one can preach on has often been, in my experience, the mark of a pastor on a power trip. It is one way he finds out who will let him be their god rather than Jesus.

    Give us reasonable length meaty services without wearing us out. Or don't be surprised when we get up and leave.

    I know I sound harsh, but this new puritanism and the smirking and putdowns of people calling the preachers on the carpet for droning on just rub me the wrong way.

    So peace to all--briefly.
     
  7. StefanM

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    Nodak. Thank you for your contribution.

    I'm glad someone was willing to state what many likely think!
     
  8. Rippon

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    Nodak,I'll have to agree with you in large part.

    One time when Spurgeon had to endure a long prayer by someone he said something to effect: "I began praying with him.Then,I began praying for him. At last,I prayed against him!"
     
  9. Mexdeaf

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    With three preachers, to boot, if it is anything like Ukraine.
     

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