I really dislike our local Baptist service

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Smalltowner, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. Smalltowner

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    I have a question, and forgive me for being a bit long.
    I was very active in my local Southern Baptist church as a teen. I went to college, moved away for a number of years, then returned and married. My wife and I thought we would make this our church home.
    It hasn't worked out that way. The service irritates us to no end, to the point that we now attend the Methodist church next door.
    My objection is that congregants are forced to mill about and gladhand one another during the service. For hymns, four to six obscure hymns are sung in a row, sucking every bit of joy out of the process (for me, anyway). The choir is quite good, but the congregation claps for the choir, and I feel ackward refusing to clap. (I'm not there to glorify the choir). The service, to me, feels a bit like a lounge act.
    I believe strongly in worshiping within my community, so my only real choice is to attend and perhaps affiliate with the local Methodist or Presbyterian (USA) church. I have some theology problems, and certainly some major problems with the political activity of these denominations, but the local Methodist service is very much like what we had at the Baptist church before it went wierdo.
    Am I wrong to be upset by all of this? Any hope the wierdness will die out of its own accord?
    By the way, an older friend asked my wife what had happened to us. She gave him a partial story and he demanded, "Well, did you talk to the pastor?" We hadn't, and felt we weren't active enough to demand that anything be done "our" way. Perhaps we have been wrong not to say anything.
    At any rate, just wanted to know if this is now common in Southern Baptist churches. Am I wrong to feel this strongly about the non-standard service?
    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. C.S. Murphy

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    The form seems fairly standard, we don't sing that many songs and I don't think I have ever heard people applaud for the choir except in a contada or some special event. In September our Choir will perform a special patriotic musical to commerate 9/11 and I expect people may clap at it's close. Concerning the glad handing I do it for two reasons, to help people meet and greet people and to give people a break between the song service and the message. Finally as a Pastor I would encourage you to speak to the Church Pastor about your concerns, mention the fact that it was different a few years ago. He may not have been there then. Please give the Baptist Church another chance. Who knows your input may be necessary to effect change.
    Murph
     
  3. Don

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    Smalltowner, your profile says "Let others see Christ through your actions, not words." And yet you call extending a friendly hand "glad handing."

    If you don't want to "mill around" and shake hands, then don't. But may I remind you that there's an adage in Proverbs that basically reads, "In order to have friends, a man must first show himself to be friendly"?

    Also, why don't you want to go make any visitors feel welcome?

    I hope you stick around for discussion.
     
  4. Justified

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    I agree with Murph, that the first thing is to make sure that you are prayed up and then go to the Pastor with your concerns. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:15 - 20, and describes the proper way of handling these type matters.

    But the worst thing you can do, is discuss this matter with other members of this church and of other churches that you attend. At least at this point!

    "It is always better to stand up for conservatism, then to fall into liberalism" Justified Version ;)
     
  5. GrannyGumbo

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    Warm southern greetings, neighbor! I hail from Brookhaven & yes, the Southern Baptists have truly changed over the years, imo. ;)

    When I got married, my husband was a Missionary Baptist(ABA), something I'd never heard of; but it didn't take me long to appreciate their 'stricter' ways...yet, even now, they are changing, being not too far behind the SBC. :(

    The closest ABA church soon became a real hardship to get to, so for a while, the Lord led our family(of 16) to work in our local SBC church, as they expressed a desire to get back to their roots of 100yrs. ago. We were soon dismayed at the 'worldliness' they allowed, among other things. :rolleyes:

    Well, to make a long story short, we now meet in son-in-law's home under the watchcare of an independent Baptist church in Indiana. We are down to 8 members of our family, as the others have chosen to go their seperate ways. :confused: We do our "fellowshipping" beforehand, so services will not be interrupted & have decided not to do sunday school...It's just all teaching/preaching, & it is so wonderful! [​IMG]

    A battle is raging between truth & error-between light & darkness-throughout the world, not just in our particular religious circle or neighborhood. There is no place for "neutrality" among God's people when Truth is at stake. We would have stayed in the SBC(as opposed to attending the local Methodist church), & continued to "fight" the good fight of faith, had the Lord not seen fit to lead us elsewhere. Yes, it does matter to God what you do. [​IMG]
     
  6. hrhema

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    I really question a person who complains that the church is asked to shake hands and greet people. I find it very rude for a church to just sit there and ignore each other. I am afraid Jesus would have felt very out of place in a church you have in mind. I believe he is way friendlier than even what you are talking about.

    As far as the music. I agree on the fact that the congregation should not clap for the choir or special singers unless it is a musical, or a singspiration etc but during a reg service it bothers me though a lot of churches say they do it as a clap offering unto the Lord.
     
  7. stubbornkelly

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    The applause does bother me, too, but it's hardly uncommon. I just don't clap. It irks me a bit, because I don't feel that it's done as an offering to the Lord, but as, well, recognition of a performance. I like applause when I'm performing, but I eventually stopped singing in my church choir because the music didn't feel like anything to me - it was just another performance!

    As for fellowship during the service, I actually think it's a great way to greet new members, and perhaps even meet someone you didn't know already. I've met quite a few people that way, and it's always nice to meet another member! Maybe your church carries it on longer than most? At my home church, it's usually just a minute or two, and we fade into song, and it's all over by the time the song is finished. Not very long at all.

    But, if you don't like your service, I'd take the suggestions offered here - talk to your pastor first. I don't mean by insisting that things be done your way, rather by asking him to explain the purposes of some of the things you object to (although I do hope you reconsider your stance on in-service fellowship). Perhaps if you know why these things are happening, it would cause you less angst. As for the obscure hymns, well, has anyone suggested anything different?

    It doesn't sound like the problems you have are that major. Hymns you don't like, fellowship you don't see a need for, and applause after choir and soloists. Are these serious enough issues for you to seek out a different church? Further, are they serious enough issues for you to leave the Baptist church altogether? I completely understand worshipping in one's community, and perhaps your community is very small, but are there no other Baptist churches you could consider? I tend to believe that community is what we make it. It isn't about where we dwell, it's about where we live. Communities are made. Maybe you just need to make yours somewhere else.

    But, I'm not sure that such minor issues with the service are worth going to a church that teaches doctrine you disagree with. Are there other things about your church that cause you grief? This just seems like a big step to take over what I consider pretty small issues.
     
  8. Justified

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    Kelly,

    " A M E N ! " :D

    "It is always better to stand up for conservatism, then to fall into liberalism" Justified Version ;)
     
  9. Sherrie

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    Oh My Gosh....everyone.....sit down...I agree with Justified!

    Also I agree with handshaking. I can't tell you the times I have heard people say...So and So wouldn't even shake my hand. It is meant to be a loving gesture. Greet all with a brotherly hug. It makes most feel welcomed and relaxed and comfortable.

    It was never meant to stop you from worshipping or feel uncomfortable.

    I do know once you move away..things don't really stay the same. People grow...move away...new ones come...younger ones come...new ways of bringing the sheep in...Then sometimes when you come back you expect too much. Life changes. Perhaps you were just feeling as tho you were distant from things that remained. I don't know but maybe talk with that Pastor. You will feel better for that. And if you don't like the answer....Well your going next door anyway...It can't hurt you. Sometimes the ministries do not know whats working and not working until someone says.

    Well since we are on the topic.....I do not like those seats at the back door. you know the ones everyone wants to sit at so no one can see them. Easy escape I guess. Better watch it I might get too much love...have to leave soon, or God won't see me here worshipping Him, so I 'll sit here! What is all the fuss about those seats?

    Oh...oh...and I don't like the way those baptismals are set up. Don't tease me! If you are going to do it, in the church, in front, then let me see it. All of it! (I always cry at those. It makes me sooooo happy. I don't even have to know the person.) I love them. Watch it...I love to hug too! :D
     
  10. Jonathan

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    I'm not familiar with your particular church so my comments can only address what you've posted.

    I strongly doubt that anyone is "forced" to mill about and gladhand anyone. What you describe sounds a lot like the greeting of fellow believers and especially visitors that occurs during the first 5-10 minutes of the Sunday morning service.

    What is your specfic problem with this?

    Can you give a bit more detail? What do you mean by obscure hymns? What specifically does "sucking every bit of joy out of the process" mean? Is that you don't like to sing so many songs in a row? Is it the selection of the songs?

    I have been in churches where clapping was done in a way that glorified the choir rather than God. I've also been in churches where the applause was clearly a show of approval of what God had brought in the way of the music presented.

    In any event, to not clap should not make you feel awkward.

    Again, can you explain this a bit better? I'm not sure I understand what you mean here.

    I don't see anything wrong with your desire to find a place that worships in a manner with which you are comfortable...as long as you worship. I agree with you that you want to be careful about the doctrinal stance of the body with which you decide to join.

    I don't think that you are "wrong" to be upset. You might be wrong in your approach to this issue. I don't know if you have taken the time to sit down with the pastor and express your concerns. Often our concerns arise from misconceptions.

    I doubt that you would have demanded change. But it would have very helpful for you to have had a discussion with the church leadership about your concerns. Way too many descisions are made without actually having an informational conversation. BTW, this is probably why Matthew 18 establishes the various steps in church discipline. If you are offended by something taking place in your church, you have an obligation to go to those who are offending you. What you might find is that restoration of fellowship is right around the corner.

    Again, the only thing that I see that you have done "wrong" is to not take your concerns/offenses to those in the congregation who are responsible for the morning service structure.

    You are not wrong to feel uncomfortable about a worship pattern that is foreign to you. You may be wrong in your approach to this issue. And I would be very careful in applying the "standard" label to worship. It is likely that most baptists would feel a little uncomfortable with how different Christian groups have worshipped through the ages.
     
  11. GrannyGumbo

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    I strongly doubt that anyone is "forced" to mill about and gladhand anyone.[Jonathan]

    "True story: During the morning services of the small SBC church our family worked in, the song leader, who usually came late, wished to have a "get acquainted" period-somewhere between the songs, prayer, offering, etc.

    My husband, sons, & sons-in-law were all ordained deacons who always arrived early & greeted everyone, making sure noone was missed; so they didn't feel it was necessary to do this(again) during the service, as it led to disruptiveness.

    One morning, another deacon, who was a choir member, made a comment that someone needed to take a pin & jab those who refused to participate & then he got out of the choir, deliberately going to them to force the issue! :confused:
     
  12. Speedpass

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    The reason I sometimes feel uncomfortable with greeting people during the service is because in many churches I've been a part of over the years, everyone sits in the same pew Sunday after Sunday, and I've already said hello to everyone at least once--so why take time away from the service?
     
  13. Don

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    Folks, while the responses are generally in line with each other, I must parrot Optional from another thread--especially since Smalltowner hasn't returned with any comments.

    Can anyone else say, "I smell a troll"?

    I knew ya could....
     
  14. mesly

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    Wait a minute. He posted his message at 1:54am on the 19th. You posted your message (quoted above) at 3:59pm on the 19th. That is only 14 hours and 5 minutes apart! Are we all expected to be glued to this web site every minute of the day (sometimes I wish I could). I don't know Smalltowner, but give him a chance.
     
  15. Justified

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    Don,

    I agree, " T R O L L ! "hehehe :D

    But one really good thing that has come out of this thread, small meant it for evil, but God meant it for good! [​IMG]

    And we have found that conservatives and liberals alike can agree on some things! ;)

    "It is always better to stand up for conservatism, then to fall into liberalism" Justified Version ;)
     
  16. Justified

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    Sly,

    Usually when you have someone come on with his first post, that is written in such a way as to cause controvesy, and their profile is abscure, most generally is a " T R O L L ! " :D

    "It is always better to stand up for conservatism, then to fall into liberalism" Justified Version ;)
     
  17. longshot

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    Nah, dont think he's a troll Don. The questions are not real divisive and pretty legit. I also had those same impressions as this brother as I have only been in the Baptist church (SBC) a couple of years now. What struck me first was all the handshaking. First couple of months I thought I had walked into a used car lot. Baptists are the handshakinest bunch of people I had ever met. It took a while for me to realize they were genuinely glad to see me. The applause took longer to get use to but as someone else in a previous post said it seems to show approval of what God has brought in the way of the music presented. And we are very blessed with the talent we have in our music in the praise of God. That is what I am thanking God for when I clap. I suggest you give it some time. Unless there is an underlying reason for the switch such as disagreement with doctrine or such I think shakin hands and giving thanks thru applause will grow on you. Hope this helps a little.
    P.S. Give us a hollar back. Lot of people here saying "look at that knobhead talking to a troll". :D Need you to prove em wrong for me. Thanks
     
  18. Ps104_33

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    Are any of your Pastors using Powerpoint for delivering their message yet? Putting the words to the hymns on a large screen thereby eliminating the need for hymnbooks?
     
  19. Thankful

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    I was taught that one should never applaud or clap in church and it bothered me when congregations starting doing this, but I was told that this is the younger generation's way of praising God and takes the place of AMEN from my generation. I do think sometimes that the applause spoils the moment of worship and is distracting, but I don't think that God would frown upon these actions of His people when they are trying to worship and glorify His name.

    Good discussion even though it probably was to cause controversy.

    (Wish we had a spell check)
     
  20. Justified

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    I and my family find that the clapping of hands is out of place, for in the church.

    I heard Charles Stanley preach a message on this about 9 years ago. He made it very simple. The clapping of hands for the acceptance of preformance and for agreement, and is for the building up of pride for the man, instead of for God.

    A good hearty "AMEN", "Praise the Lord", and other such exclaimations, are directed, directly to God.

    And after all, isn't the people that are singing, preaching, or whatever, doing it for the Lord?

    I know from doing a little preaching my self and singing for different churches, that I was embarassed when people clapped when I was done.

    I was doing it for the Lord and to the Lord. And with the hope that the people that heard, learned and/or were edified also.

    Another way to look at it, is like giving the Lord an orange for an offering. But, as you hand it to Him, you squeeze all the juice out of it, for yourself first, and then give the Lord the peels.

    "It is always better to stand up for conservatism, then to fall into liberalism" Justified Version ;)
     

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