Well, here’s an article I shouldn’t have read first thing this morning…
Or, for those of you adverse to reading (though I still highly suggest you read Skye Jenthani’s article)..
There, that’s a little better.
Ok, cards-on-the-table time. I don’t get churches like this. Not even a little bit.
I struggle to not be publicly critical with them (bride of Christ and all), but here’s the deal, I’m working with people who think that church and Christianity is all a big, fake show in the first place. They often consider it to be a mechanism of conservative propaganda, and a blight itself on the evolution of humanity. I am serving people right now who think that Christians are hypocrits who are out to serve themselves, and do so with their elitist religious clubs that they call church.
So, what if I had brought a guest to a service to this particular church on this particular Sunday, and they saw the family in the story being escorted out after an opening prayer, because the child with cerebral palsy made a noise? When my guest asked what was happening, and I assume they would, I’d have to explain that the child with cerebal palsy was being a potential nusance, and was placed in a back room where he wouldn’t bother others…
…then, I would immediately throw up in my mouth, pour gasoline on myself and light a match, and pray that God would stirke me down right there on the spot for me ever stepping foot in that building, let alone inviting someone to that kind of church who didn’t go to church.
The representative of the church in question said in the report that they want to be a “distraction free worship”.
You know what other venues promote distraction free experiences? Movie theaters and live theater performances. These are the places you go to sit and be shown a story, you are entertained, you watch those who are engaging, and you do not interfere. You know, the places where you PAY TO BE ENTERTAINED.
But not church.
Sure, Paul writes (1 Cor. 14) about a church in Corinth that had some of its priorities out of whack, but he never removed the sick and the hurting to the back rooms so that they wouldn’t make others there uncomfortable.
Or how about in Matthew 18, Mark 10, and Luke 18, when parents brought their children to them, and Jesus’ disciples tried to run them off because they were a …distraction… and what did, Jesus do? I believe he decided to LAYETH THE SMACKETH DOWN on the disciples for being such pointy headed morons. Jesus called for the children to come to him, for the love and innocence of a child is what the Kingdom is all about. Now, there is not mention of a child with cerebral palsy in the biblical narrative…*
In trying to clear distractions, you are eliminating the authenticity of your community, and creating a sterile, religious ritual that is not for outsiders, and certainly not for God. It has then morphed into an anesthetic for the insider christians, and the non-Christian friends I serve become more right about what the church is, and is not.
If a church, and its gathering, isn’t a place where all people can gather as equals to experience the love of God, and be in community, warts, baggage, and palsys all, then a church isn’t worth being there.
Sorry Elevation, but you’re doing it wrong.
* This sentence has been bathed thoroughly in sarcasm for your enjoyment.