A Sidekick's Blog

It’s Not Just Academic | February 14, 2016

Omygoodness,

Suzie had to jostle me to wakefulness today during a sermon that should have been impossible to sleep through. I might have really embarrassed myself today if not for Suzie! So thank you, Valentine, for poking me in church today!

We talked about it after church. Most of my readers know that Suzie and I come from a Charismatic and Pentecostal background. Those churches are known for shouting, dancing, and jumping over the pews over any little utterance, however meaningless. Now we’re in a Reformed church, where the Regulative Principle of Worship is taken very seriously (God is the One who gets to decide how He is worshiped, and we don’t get to make up our own ways of worshiping Him that make us feel good). It’s a good, sound, biblical principle. But there has to be some kinda middle ground between Charismatic emotionalism and Reformed fight-sleep-through-an-awesome-sermonism.

It’s easy for me to imagine, sitting through a service like today’s at my church, that the people don’t actually believe a single word of what they’re hearing. Because if even a fraction of it were true, they should be – well, shouting and dancing and jumping over the pews, frankly. That is especially true of any church that teaches the doctrines of grace rather than that semi-Pelagian “maybe-so, if…” doctrine.

I understand we don’t go to church to be entertained, for goodnessakes. That’s a given for a Reformed Christian. But does it have to be so devoid of emotion that it becomes mere academia? I should not be able to sleep or even get sleepy during the worship of Almighty God who has done and is doing so many awesomely wonderful things for His people! Especially during the highlight of the service when His word is opened and the truth is expounded.

I’m grateful to report that the elders of my church are doing some deep study and prayer about “waking up” the sleepy church services without violating the uncompromising Regulative Principle. But it’s easier for me to appreciate churches that have struggled with this before and come down on the side of at least partially rejecting that principle, if only to prevent accidents like the one described in Acts 20:8-12. Don’t feel too bad, pastor, the Apostle Paul had people fall asleep during his sermons too! But we shouldn’t need to go and raise some kid from the dead every Sunday because church puts people to sleep.

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1 Comment »

  1. You have a good point my friend. But it is hard to think of a lively RPW based service.

    Comment by keachfan — February 14, 2016 @ 7:45 pm


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