My Holiday Experience

Posted: 4 December, 2006 in Uncategorized

Just before my next long silence due to cycle tour I thought you might like to hear about my holiday experience.

Don’t worry, I wont bore you with the details of the actual holiday, but its the sunday services that we attended which I was referring to.

As is our habit, on holiday we always attend a local church to get an idea of where of whats going on. In the morning we attended a fairly small church which went ok, but was rather disappointing. It was one of the more conservative churches in the area, but the service was really poor. Instead of an expounding of the word of God, the people were given oportunities to share testimonies.

But I think I would have attended 10 of those morning services rather than the evening one! At risk of sounding pharisaical (I dont mean to be critical, but rather to give those of you who dont know, an idea of what goes on out there) we attended a mega church who had recently moved into their new building, which was impressive to say the least. It could probably seat 2000 (conservative guess) and had a huge screen in the center of the stage, with two smaller screens on the right, and left-hand side of the stage. They used these for the “worship”, which was by far the main feature of the service, granted we were there in the evening which means that this service was more geared towards the youth. They sang some Tree63 songs, and others which sounded great. The drummer was absolutely amazing, I would give a lot to be able to do what that guy could do 🙂

If this service was on a tuesday night, for example I really would have enjoyed it for it’s “concert” value! Instead of church the next week, they were going to have a public screening of an interview with Bono, along with some of his music. But to have this on the Lord’s day along with the shallow pep-talk the pastor gave afterwards, praising the church for their good efforts in bringing in food for the poor, the survey they sent around, and the general lack of God-centeredness made it, in my opinion, a mockery of the Gospel.  The pastor actually blasphemed during his talk!

I really felt troubled in my heart after that service. We walked out, and looking back at the door, I spied a guy and a girl making out openly. It saddens me that all of those people live like absolute wretches during the week, and then attend their church service and think that they are safe. No doubt, even in these churches there are some genuinely saved belivers, but its sobering to think about the shallow teaching they recieve. The whole experience left me deeply thankful for the training I have recieved my whole life, from dedicated men who couldnt care less what people think of them, their only concern is the glory of God!

I always come away from churches like these wondering what Jesus would have done, had he been sitting next to me in the service. I sometimes have to hold myself back – I dont know it all, and perhaps I should try to be less critical? The whole experience left me deeply thankful for the training I have recieved my whole life, from dedicated men who couldnt care less what people think of them, their only concern is the glory of God!

  1. Su says:

    I know what you mean about those weird churches Ant.

    We once went to a church in Umdloti where they were talking about how they put snakes in their offering plates the last week (!) and what a great experience it was (!!!). It’s very sad to see churches that have gone completely off the rails, but as you said, we should be all the more greatful for the preaching we get- not to mention more faithful to the Word. After all, to those God gives more, He expects more 🙂

  2. Beth says:

    You know, sometimes we really don’t realize how blessed we are… I mean, I find myself so often complaining about little things that I don’t like in my church, when really, I am better off then so many other Christians blindly following someone who is wrong.

    Good reminder… thanks!

  3. Alli says:

    Wow – I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read about that church! Like you, I probably would have also had to forcefully keep my mouth shut during the service (concert?) But thanks for the needed reminder – we are so incredibly blessed of God to be in good churches where we are fed the solid Word of God.

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