what sundays are for some of us

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nodak, May 3, 2014.

  1. nodak

    nodak
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    I don't want to derail the thread re sermon length, but thought I would share some situations that cause seasoned, mature Christians to advocate for shorter sermons and services.

    That I have known of or been involved in:

    The lady who broke her leg, and when she could come to church could not stand when called to AND could not sit more than 1 1/2 hours without extreme pain. Sadly, her pastor would ridicule the 80 something saint when her son would have to take her home before the service ended or bring her late so she could hear the full sermon.

    Folks with jobs on Sunday. Sometimes those in the helping professions like cops, nurses, e r docs, etc do some major time trading in order to be at church for set length of time. Or folks take less pay and miss half a workday so they can attend Sunday morning but may have to be at work on time Sunday pm.

    Folks who take seriously the importance of family time and raising children. Church should help the children love Jesus, not make them loathe church and then toss over mom and dad's faith because they suffered so from it as kids.

    Many of us are actively bringing people to church. If you make "how long can you sit" a test of faith, they may not be back and may never come to Christ.
    Or at least never return to church.

    I do free daycare, drop in and emergency care welcome, in order to become part of lost parent's lives. That earns me the chance to get their kids in church. Sometimes I start at 5 a.m. receiving those kids. By SS I have often fed, dressed, fed them again, and gotten them to church. I may have kids from tiny infants through teens. YOU may feel it is important to cover all your ground this week, instead of breaking it up. But I may have worked all week to get the kids on a schedule where church will not interfere with food and naps. If I let you do that, and send cranky kids home, I may never get them back in church.

    Remember the old saying "there is no I in team." We are a team at work in the church. You are equipping us to do the work of the ministry. You aren't supposed to make the ministry HARDER.

    And if you are even tempted to think "why can't they give God two hours a week" let me share these thoughts: First off, you are not God. Secondly, we may have given God 80 hours that week. Don't judge that the only time we are "giving God" is what time we listen to you preach.
     
  2. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,379
    Likes Received:
    728
    nodak

    .

    I believe this list is a tragic view of the church, preaching, fellowship, discipleship,and Christian service.

    If such an extreme case should regulate service....why even look at scripture at all.if she was in that much pain...she should not come out

    works of necessity and mercy are lawful...that again does not mean the church should be disrupted by those who cannot have their schedule be in line with services

    This is an ungodly view of the "church' For you to suggest "family time"
    would be improved...by having the children not suffer from church.....is tragic.
    Why bother to bring them at all???
    if church is so evil...and if the "pastor" might actually preach instead of tell a few jokes and stories....why not just skip it all together......it is such a burden to you....no delight to hear The scriptures opened up.....no...just go to the local bookstore and get one of those little promise box list of verses...and just hand one out....so not top trouble anyone with the word being preached


    yes....look how much time Ezra wasted ...and the parents "inflicted this on the children......2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.

    3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.

    4 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.

    5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:

    6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.


    But why get them there at all....they will only loathe it right????let them just go to the park and play instead...they will like that.

    again...why bother...it is counter-productive...sermons and bible teaching are to be avoided......just give them a lollipop....and a nice story....then when they grow up with no appetite for the word preached and taught....they can always join a mega church that offers entertainment and keeps it short so they do not miss nascar, or the football game......you know...what they really find important.

    How .....you do not want the sermon....how are you being equipped for works of ministry???? From the opening announcements...or the peppy song leader ?

    The Lord's day being kept Holy is a command...not a suggestion.We do not have to be God to know this...He has revealed it to Chrisitians.

    Chrisitans do not think they are doing the "pastor" a favor...by listening to him.....If you are not hearing from God when the word is being preached...you are not sitting under a God called man....

    like Martha and Mary....busy work is not in and of itself doing God's work necessarily. It could very well be these things that are causing this tragic view.
    Those things you list, and the extreme circumstances you speak of do need to be addressed......but not made as excuses to defile the Lord's day. the pastor, the church, or the means of grace.
     
  3. Gina B

    Gina B
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    16,944
    Likes Received:
    1
    Could a could part of the issue be it that a difference was meant between having a day of rest, ie not working, and a time set apart for being away from the world so you can be with fellow believers and renewed in your faith? (which for many is not resting, as there are pastors, leaders, teachers, nursery workers, etc..) Maybe that day off work is the time to spend an extra focus on your home family, and the day you go to church is the day you focus on your "extended" family.

    Everyone needs one day off of work, and the one day where we spend a bit of time at services certainly isn't a "day off" for most anyone who is involved. It's work and being of service. Though many think that those who need extra help or love should just stay away because they're too distracting. LOL That's so odd... not quite what you think of when you think of the church, but whatever. There's a reason people say that those who go, go because they need the appearance of righteousness. The more I hear people talk about what is and is not acceptable, the more I agree with that statement.
    Hopefully, all of us who go make that concept less true with what we learn and put into our lives every time we go and walk away. I guess that's the goal of going anyhow, isn't it? Become better people and more like who we're trying to become as.
     
  4. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,379
    Likes Received:
    728
    Gina in the original post the concerns that the church members could help with
    in a positive way should address the needs of those concerns as a solution. ... not make the church the problem
     
    #4 Iconoclast, May 3, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2014
  5. Gina B

    Gina B
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    16,944
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm not *quite* sure what your last post is trying to say altogether, but as far as a positive way of addressing those issues, did you read the first paragraph in my post? Wouldn't it be helpful, in a positive way, if members recognized that Sunday isn't meant to be a day of play and that it's work for a lot of people, work within the church and helping the church family, and that play/time with your spouse and children can be on the day you take off of your regular job?

    If they did that, then they wouldn't be so bothered with actually helping other believers during services, because they wouldn't be thinking "this is me time." They'd refocus on being with other believers and service. Helping. Like a lot of church members do now helping those in need, working in the nursery, helping those who don't drive, etc.. Maybe they wouldn't be so prone to being annoyed/bothered by people who needed to walk out back or leave early if they were refocused on the time being about love and praise and other believers instead of focusing on it being about themselves and their day "off."

    Does it make more sense being explained that way?
     
  6. nodak

    nodak
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    Iconoclast--do you really resent a senior saint who loved and served her church for over 50 years needing some compassion as she healed? Seems she showed far more love for Jesus than the ranting pastor did.

    Reality is that many families are two paycheck families or single parent ones. We have been blessed with a long, good marriage (45 years) but not all get that. Are we so sinful in trying to minister to children from broken homes, neglectful homes, or just plain overwhelmed parents?

    Where is the sin in making it possible for those in emergency services to participate in church?

    Indeed, your response seems to show a spirit where you figure church is all about you.

    I believe our Lord put the church on earth to fulfill the great commission. We have a task to do. We can get on a high horse, set the bar so high for attendance that most of the world just walks right on by, or we can roll up our sleeves and serve.

    There is nothing at all ungodly in believing Sunday should be about being obedient to God. Church done well is a blessing to all concerned--those serving in the church, those serving outside the doors getting folks there, and those attending will be blessed.

    But yes, take a say well behaved 3 year old to church, separate them from mom and dad for SS, then expect them to miss naptime and lunch while either being quiet in church or in extended children's care so someone can drone on and on and on is just plain cruel. Well done church means children look forward to church, then to going home and spending quality time with people who love them. Sunday dinner is a good time for busy families to reconnect. Love bonds are built that leave children with the instinct that God is good, all the time. Scripture commands us not to exasperate our children.

    Often the children I care for get zero time eating with loved ones, and indeed are often food insecure. If we can become sort of extra grandma and grandpa, giving them food and care and love, they tend to listen when we tell them about Jesus.

    Is church there to make Christians feel they are more holy than those that won't, don't, or can't sit and listen for however long the pastor wants to speak? Or is it there to actually edify the saints and win the lost?

    I truly believe some pastors (certainly not all!) have lost touch with the fact they are serving real flesh and blood people. Some of those people have weak bladders, some have short attention spans, some are older and old bones get to hurting. Some are younger and may be fighting morning sickness in order to be in church. Some are smarter than others, some have demands on their lives that most of us would crumble under. Some may have been able to arrange a very set time of respite care for their Alzheimer's spouse in order to come to church. Do we tell them to stay home, as they bother us? Some have rheumatoid arthritis and may not can sit long. Are we telling them to stay home?

    Jesus said they will know we are Christians not by how long we stay glued to a pew listening to someone exposit. He said we will be known by our love. Please reread your response and really think about this: if you were one of those deeply in love with Jesus people struggling mightily to attend church, how much love would your response show?

    I would challenge pastors to think about the variety of people in your church, and those in need of Christ in your town. Rather than design a marathon that only the highly healthy, highly committed, and with few outside commitment people find helpful, why not try one that leaves everyone wanting more? Why not try to design a service that helps make Sunday once again the best day of the week, rather than the one day in seven most to be dreaded?

    Or as one good preacher told us: if you can't say it in 20, you can't say it 60. He also challenged preachers to drink two quarts of water in the final 30 minutes before church, without going to the bathroom. That will make you about on an even par with the moms and pregnant ladies in church, as well as old men with enlarged prostates. You will preach stronger, better, and shorter than you ever did before!
     
    #6 nodak, May 3, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2014
  7. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,379
    Likes Received:
    728
    :thumbs::applause::thumbs:
     
  8. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm with Nodak.
    a pastor is to be Christ-like, who heals on sabbath, instead of being rigid and stern.
    an 80-something woman comes to church DESPITE her incapabilities, though with the help of a relative, well, I don't know about y'all, but in the church I went to, in Maryland, the pastor would extend a helping hand and pray with her and thank God for her presence, instead of blaming her for being in church when she knows she has an injury.
    my goodness !
    a preacher friend's baby daughter crawled up to him while he was preaching in the pulpit, and he paused, picked her up and sat her down at his feet, fifteen years ago, and his other children he took with him to church whenever he can, and they're all in church even today, knowing and singing Zion's songs with joy in their faces and comfortable mingling with God's people, of any age.
    church is to encourage, grow, and edify the saints.
     
  9. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,379
    Likes Received:
    728
    nodak

    I did not suggest otherwise.
    .

    Which part of my response suggested that?

    .

    okay
    okay

    I believe scripture sets the bar where it needs to be.....not all these extreme things you list.....
    It is not either or....but both
    --
    I never said otherwise.
    okay...
    we are to train up our children in the way they should go...not let the children dictate to us or God what he has commanded is not for them.

    ,

    Where is this idea found in scripture exactly? Is a rebellious unsaved child or teen always going to look forward to church???

    Some of what you say should happen...yes....but from your post it suggests to me you want to live like the donna reed show, or my three sons, or leave it to beaver........be moral.....but not too much scripture....to ruin our fun.
    You might not do this in practice...but based on your posting you sound more like a social gospel advocate. I hope that is not what is being said.

    That is the question...what do you tell them....just a little pep talk without any doctrinal root???

    God has designed the church and given pastors and teachers to preach and teach...God did not design a ymca, or elks club.....it is a word centered place.

    little sermonettes....teach or edify no one.Your posting makes it sound like you consider a pastoral sermon as a plague to be endured.

    These are factors that everyone deals with...not excuses to rip down the church and it's ministers.
    Everyone has life circumstances to deal with.God who designed the church nevertheless has given instruction on it...not to be set aside for catering to our flesh.

    According to your posting..yes...we should tell them...do not worry about coming out, for study or preaching.....just come for the Christmas sing along at the end of the year.....no need to worry about all that teaching...no...let's just love each other in any way we feel like. We are all tired and sore and there are many more reasons not to come out, then to come.....oh boy..here is the pastor again....he keeps mentioning verses of scripture....I cannot focus on it....

    again....wny bother going at all then...let the pastor just send you an email...or a postcard...short and sweet....no sense gathering for prayer or study, or live interaction.....no....it is so time consuming...
    I would submit to you if the church had a delight in the word and obedience to it....all your concerns would be being met as the people being properly instructed would look for opportunities to serve others as Gina mentioned.
    This suggests to me you have not sat under good preaching at all.
    This sounds cynical and frankly a bit odd.
    more what???if the message is so short...what can the Pastor develop...what verses can be offered....Do you have any of these sermon gems online that I can hear what exactly you mean? I do not think I am grasping this little mini...edification loaded....mini message...
    The Christians I know consider the Lord's day the highlight of their week a time to worship and be refreshed. They do not.....dread the Lord's day:confused::confused:


    A good introduction can take 20 minutes....
     
  10. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,332
    Likes Received:
    786
    Sometimes our services run long and it is not always because of the preaching. My people have been told that if they are running long and you are having trouble staying because of physical reasons or whatever then everyone is free to get up and leave before they are over without any judgement.

    People are free to to whatever they want and I am not going to beat them up over it. However, if the service needs to run longer then we will follow the Lord.
     
    #10 Revmitchell, May 3, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2014
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,927
    Likes Received:
    96
    And you wonder why people become athiests :BangHead:
     
  12. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,122
    Likes Received:
    220
    I had heard rumor that there was a church in Indianian that would not let people out of the sanctuary until the service was over.

    I will not mention the church name as, I do not know this for fact. But if anyone does know for sure if a church does this .....
     
  13. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,332
    Likes Received:
    786
    They cannot do that. It would be called false imprisonment and a federal crime. I doubt it is true.
     
  14. salzer mtn

    salzer mtn
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,581
    Likes Received:
    26
    I think most kids hate church anyway if there made to mind.
     
  15. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    8,123
    Likes Received:
    1
    true, that.
    and I guess that is why Jehovah in His wisdom required the Israelites to mold children in His word, beginning and continuing IN THE HOME, by parents, not at church, by Sunday School teachers.
    and Paul was instructed to write about raising Christians' children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
    now, doing so, will not mean they will become elect, or become saved, in the eternal sense, but, it could spare them, and the parents, from the evil social effects of a fallen society in a fallen world.
     
  16. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,379
    Likes Received:
    728
    pinoybaptist


    The issue was not blaming the woman for being injured ,or if she was to be prayed for and helped....that goes without saying.

    The suggestion was....that the whole church should be cut short because she has physical problems, rather than people helping her to do what she could.

    If someone is in intensive care just having open heart surgery....should we wheel them into the service attached to IV"s as the meds wear off....and he is screaming in pain...should we cancel the sermon for him? Or does it make sense to have him remain in the hospital and bring him a copy of the sermon so he could keep up with everyone until he heals well enough to attend the meetings?

    If this woman who is faithful can only attend to the prayer an few hymns and the sermon...great....if she is not up to it...that does not mean that the rest of the church does not need the word fully preached and taught.
     
  17. nodak

    nodak
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    Miss Helen did not ask the service be cut short. She was publicly humiliated for coming in late after the music so she could stay for the entire sermon, or coming on time and sometimes--not every Sunday--having pain hit and having to leave before the sermon ended.

    I used her as an example. Not every born again person can devote as much time as the pastor, and perhaps they, would like for a long service. Not every church can offer children's programming during the service. Some parents believe in bringing the children to church, not bringing them for what amounts sometimes to religious baby sitting so the parents can sit and soak.

    To be very blunt, some folks are spending heaps of time with Jesus. Some pastors seem to believe the only time those folks are in contact with Jesus is while the pastor is preaching.

    Ya'll know I advocate against seeker sensitive services so watered down that there is no meat, but hey, everybody comes and goes with no sweat. Here I'm advocating against the other ditch--services so long they damage souls by making folks hate and dread church.

    No where did I suggest sermonettes, or failing to provide doctrinal meat. What I suggested is that some pastors believe they are giving lots of deep doctrine and meat, but what they are doing is overdoing the whole shebang. Even "the very elect" can only absorb so much at a time. We don't earn God's approval by putting ourselves and our families in a situation where church becomes something we loathe due to length or attitude.

    I'm no advocate of the social gospel. I do not do child care in order to make the world a better place. I do it so I gain space in the lives of the children and parents where I can share the gospel. I'm thankful my church backs me up on that. No one advocated letting children run the place. However, children do get tired and hungry and thirsty. Old men's prostate's do send them to the bathroom, as do babies sitting on moms' bladders.

    If you ever get the chance and find yourself in NM, go hear Bro Joe Bunce if you can catch him preaching somewhere. (He is head of the convention there now.) He used to make the music minister stick to a time schedule that was reasonable. And he used to put a cough drop in his cheek right before he started preaching. He always said when it melted away he knew it was time to close the service. Leave people room to respond to God. Leave them wanting to hear more, not wondering if he was ever gonna shut up. Amazing how many came to Christ under his teaching, and how many were the kind of real conversions that stick, with folks still serving the Lord 20-30 years later.

    It is nothing but a myth from the neopuritans that you cannot cover the ground in depth in expository preaching with a short service. An hour to hour 15 minutes is plenty of time for those who really know their material and don't chase rabbits.

    My personal opinion is that a few bad apples are teaching a lot of younger men falsehood. They make them think the test of how "saved" someone is would be how long a service they would sit through. All that tests is how under the preacher's thumb someone is.

    Just consider, please, that every service will have some longing for more meat--can't they be fed by more services?

    Every service will have some who need a more modest meal--don't force feed them until they spiritually puke it all up and learn nothing.

    And every service should have some seekers--don't scare them away with unreasonable demands on their time.
     
    #17 nodak, May 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2014
  18. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    The length of church, Sunday school, Bible study, etc., is irrelevant. It doesn't make one "more pious" or more godly to sit through an interminable message. The fact is, sermon, lecture or political speech, if you can't say it in 20-25 minutes, it's too long. Let the brickbats fly.

    Attaching "godliness" to a long church service is ridiculous. Church doesn't make one godly. It gives one the fuel to be godly all week long, and if you're forgetting what was said 30 seconds out the door -- as do the majority of church attendees -- it doesn't matter if the sermon was three minutes or three hours in length.

    Denigrating family time in favor of sitting in church is nothing more than pure legalism. Family time is teachable time as well. When my two kids were little and I was raising them by myself, we would leave church, go to a restaurant and sit there and talk about what they learned in Sunday school and church. We'd discuss "life application" of what they learned:
    • "How do you use 'love God, love your neighbor' when some kid tries to push you around on the playground?"
    • "What does it mean to 'turn the other cheek' ?"
    • Later, in middle- and high school, it was "How are The Beatitudes a road map of Christian life?"
    The church equips. The family lives it. Individuals live it. Elderly live it. Children live it. No one is going to want to be equipped so they can live it if going is drudgery. Christianity is joy, hope and love, and that includes the services were we learn those things.
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,927
    Likes Received:
    96
    Bingo...:thumbs:
     
  20. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,927
    Likes Received:
    96
    I have been going to church over 50 years now and I can only recall 2 sermons .... both dealt with humility and boy did I need to hear them....but that's it.

    George Whitefield's sermon was life changing for me.....I heard it on an audio Cd narrated by Max McClain. Each time I come to believe it was an intervention....but one I could have heard on an audio.
     

Share This Page

Loading...