It does not really surprise me anymore to hear a phone ring during a Sunday morning class or even worship service. But I will admit to being shocked when I heard a ring tone once while I was preaching-
That incident (among others) prompted me to think about what constituted rudeness during the worship service. You probably can think of an avalanche of pent-
Here then are some of the rudest things people do in church, perhaps without consideration of the fact that we often have visitors among us:
God does not like it when people refuse to focus their attention when He is talking. He has called us to listen (to His Word). Moses told the Hebrews they would be blessed if they listened to God’s commandments (Deu. 11:27—NASB). Solomon said that when we come to God’s house we should “draw near to listen [“be more ready to hear”] rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools” (Ecc. 5:1).
Isaiah said that God awakened him “to listen as a disciple” (Isa. 50:4), while Jeremiah rebuked Israel because they “did not listen or incline their ears” (Jer. 17:23). It is hard to imagine anyone thinking that we can please God or be His faithful followers if we do not learn to listen in the worship service.
Everyone realizes that today we live in a distracted culture. We can be adequately described as sleep-
Some people even crash into each other (or fall into fountains in shopping malls) while walking because they are too busy Googling (or texting) to see another distracted Googler (texter) headed straight toward them.
People are so focused on everything that they cannot focus on anything. I sometimes wonder if the proliferation of fast food, sugary drinks, movies on demand, “smart” phones, and 24-
I (of all people) am not bashing technology. But could we lose the art of discipleship if we do not reclaim the habit of careful (actual) listening. That means when we come to the church building, especially, we should not just turn off our phones but also tune out (and put away) all other distractions so we can focus on what God is saying to us—through the preacher, the worship songs, the communion, and the prayers.
Let us not be rude to God. Do not just go to church. Sit up and hear/listen to the Word of the Lord. Do not talk, text, sleep, chew gum, drink coffee, or take calls when He is speaking. Listen as if your life depended on it, because your soul surely does.
Johnny Oxendine, The Beacon, April 16, 2018