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Archive for May 2nd, 2018

The great tragedy of the Sunday morning service!

Posted by appolus on May 2, 2018

The most important crisis facing the Body of Christ is the Sunday morning service. It really helps to know a little bit about the history of the early church and what it looked like. For the most part it would be in houses or for special occasions if there was more than one house gathering in a town or city, they would come together in an open field, especially if someone like Paul was coming. The gathering was just that, and there was a meal. Breaking bread meant just that, it did not mean a communion wafer and a ritualized affair. People were actually together, hanging out, singing hymns, sharing, giving testimony, asking for prayer. This thing called “the church service,” is something that morphed out of that. Bottom line, it really was not that complicated, the most important aspect of the gathering was that the Holy Spirit was there, Jesus was preeminent.

Can this be changed? Not in any meaningful way. I do believe however that the time is coming soon when the enemy will tear down every religious building in the world that will not bow down to him, only then I believe will the Body of Christ return to its roots, by necessity. If we were to take the pastor out of the average church in America, the congregation would be at a total loss. For centuries they have taken on the role of spectator and not participant and this has rendered them, for the most part, impotent and reliant upon “the guy at the front,” and not the Holy Spirit.

Oh how I would love the problem that the Corinthian church had in their midst and Paul had to correct. Everybody had a tongue or a word or a spiritual song or a prophecy. Paul wrote and told them to limit it to two or three of this and two or three of that and let there be order in all of it. You can take a wild man, full of life, and tone down his behavior, but what can you do with a dead man? What would your church service look like if there were two or three tongues and then interpretations. Then two or three prophecies, then two or three songs initiated not by a “worship leader,” as part of a practiced program but by the Holy Spirit Himself through the vessels of His choice. I think I am safe in assuming it may not look like anything you have ever seen, but there it is, laid out, in the Scriptures, directions from God how to conduct our Sunday gatherings.

Part of the problem is that the vast majority of churches not only do not practice the gifts but do not even believe in them, so there would be no chance of a reverting to 1 Cor 14. The very service itself for the most part, has a design that would make it impossible for most congregations to gather in a Biblical fashion ( 1 Cor 14) even if they wanted to. So we are talking about something very radical here, very primitive, something that would counter endless centuries of the traditions of man. It now seems like if we were to return to the order of worship that was first laid down for us, it would take a revolution to bring it to pass.

But lets suppose we do have a willing congregation. What would that look like? Well, some of us may remember the different kinds of professors at college. Some were great teachers and many were not. They all had qualifications, but clearly there were teachers that you could tell were called to their profession. The best professors always included the whole class. They elicited questions on whatever the subject at hand was and through those questions and the response of the class, we were taught. These classes were always invigorating and these teachers had a great skill at keeping the class on topic because in every class there were always left fielders who would ask unrelated questions. To me, this would be the gifting of an elder or teacher in a 1 Cor 14 setting, gifted by the Holy Spirit to do what secular institutions do all the time.

We have fleshed this out. We had a series of meetings in Missouri a few years ago. People came from all over the country. There were many pastors there. We had three days of meetings without any agenda at all. We would start around 8 or 9am, gathered around in a large circle and someone would open with a prayer and a Scripture. 12 hours later we would finish. Throughout the course of a day there would be singing, praying, sharing, testimony, laying on of hands and none of it was scheduled, the Holy Spirit was our leader. Now, if a group of men and woman from varying backgrounds, mostly pastors ( who can be the most difficult to deal with because they are used to being in charge) can yield and follow the leading of the Lord through His Holy Spirit for 12 hours, how easy would it be to have this kind of service on a Sunday morning for a few hours or however long it lasted? Not difficult. It is not about the degree of difficulty, it is about yielding and surrendering to the Holy Spirit and having Jesus preeminent in the meeting. Ultimately it is about obedience. Scripture is out touchstone, it is from Scripture that we stand or fall. How does your Sunday morning service compare to 1 Cor 14. Not at all? Why not?

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 11 Comments »