The Easter Sunday crowd packed the seats at the school gymnasium where the young church was holding its service. The worship team led off with some awesome music. One song, Hungry, seemed to capture the assembly’s attention, especially its chorus: “So, I wait for you…So, I wait for you.”
As the worship team finished, the young, good-looking pastor walked over to the microphone. He was clapping his hands in appreciation for the great music. Then, he turned toward the assembly, winked an eye and said, “Maybe by now, you’ve realized that we’re a little different than all the other churches in the city…”
The pastor continued on, but I did not hear a single word that he said for the next five minutes or so. I was in a different zone, one where the Holy Spirit had my full attention.
“No, this church is not a bit different than the others,” said the Holy Spirit. “Not one bit different than any of the other churches in this city. If you were, right now, attending a Catholic Church or a Baptist Church or a Pentecostal one or any other church in the city, it would be no different than this one. You would be still sitting like a bump on a log listening to a head frog croak to you. Your only input into this service will be the check you toss into the offering plate when it is passed under your nose. Is this the church Jesus hung on the cross and died for?”
I sat there, stunned by His words. I wanted to weep. I wanted to run. I wanted to vomit. I wanted to quit.
But I did nothing.
On the way home, I told my wife about the experience. She sighed and stared at me. “You’re sure different, aren’t you?” she said. “I really like this church and now this happens.” She looked away.
Now, just so you know, the Holy Spirit was not referring to the doctrines of the different churches. If that were the case, each would be different. But instead, he was referring to the wineskin, the particular format that all traditional churches follow in their services. Basically, they are all the same, in that there is a definite separation between the active few (the clergy) and the passive many (the laity).
So, what about the separation of clergy and laity? Is it scriptural?
(Continued in Part 8.)
Larry Who’s writings and teachings appear on this site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s a little of this and a little of that, all written to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.