Monday, June 15, 2009

The conduct of Christian meetings

I often feel that I am a regular visitor or a visiting member of more than one denominations. The reason for this is that I am not committed to a church organisation/denomination and the rituals that it practices. Rather I am committed to Biblical truth. Any fellowship that thereby offers me an opportunity to share in truth, fellowship in truth, hear aspects of truth and deepen my understanding of G-d's word of truth, to that group people I will appear.

I commune with believers to take part in that spiritual meal that is issued through our obedience in gathering before the L-RD. For me, the word to be issued is the most important aspect of these meetings.

However the word does not have to come via a sermon or preaching. While it can come by song, testimonies and scripture reading, most often, I believe the word comes via interaction among the believers. I regret that the format of many churches allow for limited interaction when the word of G-d is to be delivered. There are rituals that are considered important. These traditions are maintained faithfully, despite not being commanded by G-d. Liturgy and programmed actions take place each Sunday or Saturday (Sabbath).

I prefer Sunday or Sabbath schools and Bible studies for their interactivity. In these aspects of Christian meetings, believers can ask ask questions, share their view points, engage in discussion that can help believers clarify doctrine and better receive or learn spiritual realities.

The format of Christian meetings should be interactive. Exchanges should be made, from the pew and pulpit. In fact, we should not even have any pulpit. Just look at 1 Corinthians 14:26 which says:
How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

This order by Apostle Paul does not give the impression that the delivery of the word is a one man show. Neither does it indicate that the people who will be serving or ministering in the meeting in a given day are chosen in advanced. Not even the songs seem to be chosen in advance. In fact, it seems pretty spontaneous to me.

Apostle Paul let us know how Christian meetings should be. The aim of the meeting is to edify. The procedure:
  1. psalm or song,
  2. doctrine,
  3. tongue,
  4. revelation, then
  5. interpretation

Note "interpretation" is apart of the meetings in which a "tongue" is given (1 Cor 14:26-27).

In Colossians 3:16, this order of meetings is also reinforced:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Our meetings should ones where teaching and exchanges are taking place, where people admonish in word, speech and song. Such meetings must be conducted in order, but with some level of flexibility, spontaneous presenters and allow for all to be able to make some contribution to what is said or sung.

1 comment:

M. Scale said...

I had to add this to the entry. I just came on Facebook today, and saw one of my former classmates had posted this comment:

I would like church a whole lot more if I could hold up my hand and ask questions when I disagree with something. But of course they wouldn't give people that option since there is so much to disagree with.

She posted this at 08:46 on 15 June.

Seems like my generation are really appreciative of interactive church services. Confirmation of what I have written here.