This past year, we have been visiting our area churches searching for a new church home. For twelve years we were a very active part of a Presbyterian church. Now we are without a church home. My husband would like for us to return to his church roots and that is Southern Baptist. I myself was a Southern Methodist. Since Methodist is closely related to Presbyterian we decided to explore the Baptist first.
Have you ever walked into a sanctuary and wished you could jump up and run out as the sermon started? We have had a few of these unpleasant experiences. One church was because they forgot to put the sign on the door that day that said, “No Outsiders Allowed”. But the others had to do directly with the Pastor’s style of preaching.
When their voices rose to the level of panting and shouting, we found ourselves painfully cringing. Wanting to put my fingers in my ears, I could not help but think of this as obnoxious. Now I know the excitement of the Message and how when telling someone you can become overwhelmed with emotions. But how can your soul absorb these precious, holy words when they are erratically pounding off of the sanctuary walls like a large rubber ball set loose? I can see the door of my mind closing to prevent harm to itself.
I feel a Pastor who spends a great deal of his weekly time on his knees before God, will show it in his face. And God will give you a sense of fixation upon such face and tune your ears up to hear what he/she has to say. Because it would come from God and your soul would joyously bathe in the sermon. Not an hour on your weekly to do list, but an hour you would not want to end.
The Apostle Paul said, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. …” (1 Corinthians 2:1-8)
So, I tried to figure out, why they feel the need to be overly boisterous during the delivery of their sermon and these are some of my answers.
1. To make sure no one falls asleep during their sermon.
2. Noise pollution is so abundant today that they have adjusted their volume to align with the new level of hearing loss.
3. For those members with heart arrhythmia, it is a great way to shock their heart back into rhythm.
4. They have not been on their knees enough with God, so the message may be more man-inspired than God-inspired.
5. Only the real believers will stay in the sanctuary, and the rest will be frightened away.
Now, I don’t know if any of my answers are true. And I did Google the web to see if there was preaching instruction in the bible like, “Thou shall shout at the tops of your lungs, and your face will reddened and you will sling your holy sweat across the congregation.” or something along those lines. Did not find it.
So, as we search for a new church home, please pray for us. I would like to keep what is left of my hearing and not end up with arrhythmia.