The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being (Hebrews 1:3)
A few years ago, a church I attended in Arkansas hosted a Thanksgiving service to raise money for the ministerial alliance. The alliance asked our church to lead in the praise and worship, and I played the piano on the worship team. Looking over the congregation, I noted a pastor from another church who, no matter what we sang, refused to either clap his hands or raise them in worship. He simply sat in his pew with his arms folded. That struck me as strange, because outside of church he was a happy, vivacious, demonstrative man.
I have never been known for my extreme subtly or bashfulness, so as we gathered for refreshments after the service, I questioned him his about posture. “Why, when Scripture instructs you to lift up holy hands to the Lord, and you have a chance to do so in a public service, did you sit with your arms folded across your chest?”
“Well, you see,” he began to stammer and laugh, “I’m a . . . .” and he named his denomination. I cut him off and said, “Are you a denomination first or a Christian first?”
At this point, he began to look around for help from the people who had gathered, including my pastor. He asked, “Is he always like this?” to which my pastor replied, “Hey, he’s going easy on you.” Everybody gathered around laughed.
It is sad that many church members (or goers) around the world are more concerned with offending their denomination and the people in the next pew than they are in obeying the Word of God. The congregation led by the pastor in my story will have trouble obeying Scripture because he was not setting an obedient example. In a simple sense of the word, this pastor lacked character. Continue Reading