“Our Christianity is too organized” would be the likely answer if pastors had a mind to ask the congregation what they think.
Chances are you’ll wander in at the weekend with little expectation of anything different.
You’ll know that a just a few people will control everything. There’ll be some singing, then a few announcements, the communion emblems will be distributed, followed by someone quoting scriptures you’ve heard a hundred times before.
After that the collection will be taken, while the musicians assemble once more and try to get everybody in the mood for the pastor’s half-hour message. That’s generally the routine here in Australia – probably where you live also.
Such rigidity is most likely why many average citizens will not attend today’s church. They might attend once – and are not impressed. Going to the other extreme, many young people will attend regularly - if the music matches the world’s – noisy, hand-clappable, and jumping-friendly.
Much of today’s church proceedings are so predictable it’s painful. Christianity is bogged in tradition. No wonder it has become “just another religion” in the world’s eyes.
The traditions of the Pharisees that Jesus condemned so strongly are with us once more.
Where is the openness to the Holy Spirit? Does anyone give thought to what God might want to do?
Wouldn’t it be marvellous if the pastor stood up at the beginning and said into the mike “OK Lord, what do you want to happen today?” followed by everyone praying for five minutes. The chances of that happening are as remote as seeing a live fish in the desert. The “order of service” is set in concrete!
It can all change – and quickly - if there is a will for change. We serve a God of amazing imagination and creativity. Who else but God [Jesus] would have told a blind man to put mud packs on his eyes and he would receive sight?
What about God telling the believers to march around Jericho’s walls seven times and the walls would fall? How about God speaking through a donkey; parting the Red Sea?
Look at the incredible variety in God’s creation. We see it in the many species, colours and characteristics of birds, animals, flowers, trees, shrubs. Let’s not forget He made every human being with fingerprints that no other person has! We need to be open enough to allow God’s imagination into our minds and into the assembly. Instead, we block Him.
He’ll do miracles inside the church if we let Him in!
Oh how we need another Smith Wigglesworth; so unorthodox he shocked congregations – but it brought results. He was open to God. Perhaps he would be barred from many churches today.
Amen! Brother Rod, I have had these exact thoughts so many times and my heart just races every time I think there'll be made room for God to move. I've heard "let everything be done decently and in order" used out of context so many times it's almost sickening. Thank you for voicing it!