Some “Christians” Give Church a Bad Name!
By Russ Hobbs
100 years of Christian fellowship, unity, and community outreach ended last Tuesday in an act of congregational discord. XYZ Community Church was split into multiple factions.
The source of dissension is a piano bench which still sits behind the 1923 Steinway piano to the left of the pulpit. Members and friends of this community church say that the old bench was always a source of hostility. People should have seen this coming.
At present, the Congregation will be having four services each Sunday. There has been an agreement mediated by an outside pastor so that each faction will have its own separate service with its own separate pastor. Since the head pastor is not speaking to the associate pastors, each will have their own service, which will be attended by arguing members. The services are far enough apart that neither group will come into contact with the other. An outside party will be moving the piano bench to different locations and appropriate positions, between services, so as to please both sides, and avoid any further conflict that could result in violence.
Hogwash! Is it any wonder that so many people in our society find reasons to exit the local church? The “dog and pony” shows have a negative impact on many who are seriously in need of spiritual guidance and direction. Jesus Christ called for his “body” (believers) to be united in love and commitment to each other and the world. Many of us on the other hand divide over such trivial matters as piano benches, carpet and pew cushion colors, hymns or choruses or whether we felt slighted by someone who didn’t notice or speak to us. We are long overdue in the churches of America for an awakening that restores civility, common sense, passion and compassion, devotion to the cause of Christ and a spirit of longsuffering (patience) that initiate healing.
“Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
If these words truly enter our hearts and minds becoming part of our personality we will be ambassadors of Christ looking out for our brothers and sisters. We will cease to be a bunch of spoiled brats worried about the placement of piano benches and drapery designs.