Scriptures about church… as we live them #1

Alan Knox runs a great website called The Assembling of the Church which touches on many of the issues tackled in Pagan Christianity from a different angle. One series that he does is called “Scripture… as we live it”. I think it’s a great concept and I want to use some of the posts from this series here now and then. Here is an example to start with:

What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation find a place to sit, sing along with the band or choir, and listen to the preacher. Let all things be done for building up as prescribed by your leaders. (1 Corinthians 14:26 remix)

I’d love to hear your thoughts…


3 thoughts on “Scriptures about church… as we live them #1

  1. Ya, I think this is what I was getting at in my other comments on a recent post…

    We come to Sunday morning services, play our little game where we all know where to sit, who to say “hi” to, what songs are coming next, in what style they’ll be sung, how long we must sit and listen, when we can make lunch plans with our friends from other churches, etc.

    But heaven forbid someone from the audience get a drift from God that something should be shared now to those gathered. No, we in the pews may feel like participants but we’re really just observers—definitely not allowed to contribute to the production of a morning service (unless it was planned last week that you’d stealthily rise to the stage sing a song during the offering after the “deacon of the week” says the prayer and begins to pass the plate).

    In my opinion, we’ve taken this whole “God is a god of order” notion to far, and taken all the wind out of him—or rather, out of ourselves.

    Just a brief look at the table of contents of George Ritzer’s book “The McDonaldization of Society” exhibits the central tenants of McDonalds—efficiency, calculability, predictability, control—and from there it’s not difficult to see how even Church services have been McDonaldnized.


    An obvious response is “Well, are these bad things to value?”, to which the response should not validate the simplistic assumption that it could always be either “good” or “bad”. Certainly, each has their place in specific realms of life, but…the weaknesses I see in these values, when applied to church services, are simple:

    they all reduce the need for faith, for faith in a reliable yet spontaneous God;

    they attempt to put up walls around something that cannot be contained;

    this box is too small for God’s kingdom to move in full force;

    these values scream for a desire to follow a “manageable deity”;

    those who uphold them ignore the fact that they stand in direct opposition to the very nature of the Wind.

    In the end, I guess, when brought into services they have the natural capacity to flatten God and to enable shallow faith.

    • It is interesting that in this very passage the notion of God being ‘a God of order’ is used precisely to motivate proper participation where we “all prophesy one by one”, NOT to motivate controlled spectator meetings…

      • Driving home earlier today I was also thinking about my response, and how my complaints and critiques are really Baptist-specific. Sure other denominations echo these faults, but from where I come from in south Texas, Baptists are the kings of orchestrating McDonaldnized services.

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