Anonymous asked: Hey! about that wedding ring stuff, I want to confirm that in some cultures (mine, for example), NOT wearing a wedding ring can be an offense to your spouse (if you're married of course) and SDAs usually wear them. They are the symbol of marriage, just as the crown is the symbol of royalty (just a comparison, we don't have any royalty). Of course, they are not fancy and do not attract attention. And by the way, this site is awesome :)
This is in regards to our multipost on jewelry and its section on wedding rings. Thank you, Anon, for the input!
Anonymous asked: Isaiah 8:20 "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." In every decision we make as a church, this verse needs to be ingrained in our consciousnesses-- no excuses If we even stray a *little bit* from the Bible, then we are going towards darkness. " God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5
Thank you very much, anon.
Key phrase here being “To the law and to the testimony.” This verse does’t apply to everything - merely to everything related to those two points. Pretty much saying this goes with decisions related to the church as a whole.
Thanks for the biblical support, Anon :)
Anonymous asked: Yes I understand what you mean but I couldn't really explain my self fully with the limited space I get with the ask box. I don't really mean that having fun is a bad thing, its actually something good for the members of the church. But sometimes the fun that we bring in to church takes the whole meaning of being in church out.(I'm not sure if I make sense) Anyways God bless
I understand your meaning, and I agree. Anything to be changed about the church service should be considered before being implemented. So long as the changes don’t overwhelm what the service is meant for, I don’t see a problem. Otherwise, it might be more appropriate to set up another service.
Thank you :)
Anonymous asked: Just wanted to share. We had this problem in our church. A mother anounces that her daughter is bored in church and doesn't want to come anymore. Here wasmy response, Church is not a boring thing if you have a great relationship with God, I can come to church every sabbath and not truly love God then of course its going to be boring. But when you get that true relationship with the Lord, Church doesn't become 'boring', church is a place to continue your life with the lord and not for 'fun'..
I appreciate your input, but I fear I may have been mistaken. I’m not saying I want church to be fun. I’m saying I want church to be meaninful, and the way church has been for me for the majority of my life, the rite and ritual of the “standard” church format feels like it drains out almost all passion and honest praise, even if it doesn’t. It feels insincere. In addition, without that passion, I lose interest in whatever message is being conveyed by the pastor or the sabbath-school leaders, especially when said people have the idea that since they’ve been in the church longer, they know more and if you disagree with them they assume you’re wrong. Especially if they’re wearing a suit and you’re in a polo and jeans because anything more than that feels either tacky or otherwise uncomfortable. Personal experience, here.
Personally, I’ve been completely shut down because I questioned something that’s typically taken for granted in our church, something that’s assumed true because the Bible supposedly makes reference to it. I’ve looked through a lot, and I honestly believe that the Bible doesn’t mention it at all. And yet nobody’s willing to support their right to force that stance on others by backing it up with biblical fact. This has happened more than once with me.
Also, carrying off what I THINK was our original point, church is a place where not only people who love God attend, but also a place that other people can come, frequently early-on in their journey to Christ. It’s not just a place to continue your life with the Lord, but also a place where many people start taking steps in the right direction.
I’m not saying that every church out there has all these issues, but I’d be happy to find any that didn’t have any of them. I’d be depressed to find one that had all these issues. But the point is that these issues are out there. Every church has its issues, yes. But is that excuse to ignore them? Church being “boring” is an issue that can turn away potential brothers and sisters in Christ, and it doesn’t have to be “fun” to change that.
Even so… is it wrong for church to be fun? Does fun actively counter the meaning of a weekly assembly of (mostly) like-minded christians? Does it hinder the learning process? Would God look down on those who smile and laugh in His presence? The argument that church should not be fun simply doesn’t make any sense to me…
Thank you for your sharing, though, Anon. I apologize if I get a little ranty. Tends to happen every so often.
wheretheroadlies asked: I would just like to respond to the anon who said "It's very dangerous to take things into our own hands to try to change the church to make it more exciting/fun." Since when does the same old typical Adventist semi-evangelical worship service hold a monopoly on the Holy Spirit and Truth? If we are going to make any advancement for the church in this generation, we have to stop debating 1980s issues and start asking 21st century questions.
You know, I agree with you on this one. However, I believe the anon was referencing the fact that a “more exciting/fun” format of church service wouldn’t change the fact that it’s the Holy Spirit that brings people to Christ…. which, to be honest, is true. Conversely, a boring or grating church service can push people away.
As for what issues we should be talking about - we still struggle, as a church, with a lot of the same issues. Coming up somewhat soon is a piece Yvonne and I are working on in response to three people who asked about jewelry and dancing. Those are old issues, but they’re still completely valid.
It’s not that we need to stop debating old issues - it’s that we need a definitive stance and a solid resolution to those questions. Because there’s not always a solid answer to be had, and those that do have solid answers typically have different circumstances surrounding them that makes the old answers seem to have less hold on us in today’s world.
The differences in opinion come in when people disagree on how seriously to take the Bible and on whether or not circumstances warrant exception to the rules.
Always try to remember that everyone thinks that they’re right about how things are, unless they’re actively looking for what they think is right. I honestly don’t believe in the idea that our church has the “Truth”, because that’s far too absolute. I think we have a lot more of it than anyone else, but that’s irrelevant. We’re not right on 100% of things. Even the disagreements between our members shows that. If we’re all completely right, we wouldn’t argue or debate or any such thing. Our church wouldn’t be divided on things, and we wouldn’t have debates that decide our organization’s stance on various controversial issues. To say we have the “Truth”, capitalized and with the word “the” in front of it, implies that we’re right and anyone who disagrees with us isn’t.
Not coming down on you. Just explaining that I REALLY don’t like the use of that term. I believe it begets ignorance and belligerence. That’s all.
In regards to the original comment though, I agree. I feel like there needs to be a change, but that’s because while I do occasionally see a great amount of kindness and love for Christ, the worship and praise and everything along those lines seems stale, rehearsed, or merely by rote. And that bothers me. It’s brought on by the fact that everything tends to be scheduled. I don’t feel like it’s right to say “Okay everyone, we’re gonna sing some worship songs now. Time to sing praises to God even if you don’t really feel like it right now!” I feel like praise and worship shouldn’t be prompted by people, but rather a spur-of-the-moment thing that, honestly, kinda saps the heartfelt genuineness from the church service as a whole.