Ponderings by Doug

What makes the church, “real church?”

For some it is the music.  There are many ideas about real church music. One group doesn’t like any musical instruments in the church. They are so afraid of a musical instrument playing in the church they have installed metal detectors lest someone smuggle in a harmonica. They won’t even play a pitch pipe so you can find the F#, they just make you hurt yourself looking for it. Then there are the folks who like the organ music. The organ console must be on the right side of the church, and it should be a pipe organ to be real church music. There are other groups who believe, that unless the music is coming from guitars and drums, it is not the sanctified music of God. I can’t resist telling you that the Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus is the original praise song. If you sing the Hallelujah Chorus, you will find it is seven words sung eleven times. I know some of you believe that the only thing that should be repeated is the chorus of a hymn. I’m glad I pastor a church that has both kinds of real church music!

Then there is preaching. It is only a real sermon if the preacher never looks at a note.  He should trust the spirit to give him the words.  I went to seminary with a guy who said he really didn’t believe in a seminary degree, he believed that “God could use his ignorance!” God had lots of material with that guy. There are others who think real preaching happens with a preacher wearing the appropriate vestments reading in a monotone voice from a manuscript.

For some, real church happens when the spirit moves mightily, and people roll down the aisle throwing song books out the windows. Others think it is real church when people sit with the proper amount of decorum. There are various idea of kneeling and making the sign of the cross as signs of real church.

I went to a church in college, and they pulled out the box of snakes. They handled snakes as a show of real church. All I wanted to know was where did they want the new door I was about to make getting out of that building.

What makes the church, “real church?” You do! Real church is about demonstrating God’s love through Jesus Christ. I don’t know how you need to see God’s love shown to you, but I do know there are a plethora of churches in our area just waiting to show you that Jesus loves you and wants you to have abundant life! I hope you will find a real church! 

That is the point, when you walk in that church becomes a “real church” for you.


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