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Did You See Jesus At Church Today?

Rev. John Simpson, General Superintendent
Baptist Union Of Victoria, Australia

Number 202

What do you mean, did I see Him?

You know, was He there? 

Well, of course, He was. That's what worship is all about. We come together to worship Him, to be in His presence.

How do we know we are in His Presence?

Because there's a real feeling of love, you know acceptance, of being one in Christ.

You mean, there is a special sense of being family? 

Yes, brothers and sisters in Christ.

Well then, where were the Richards?

Oh, they have a been in their bonnet at the moment. They got their noses out of joint because of the deacons. 

What did they do?

Well, nothing really. It's just that Sam has always wanted to be a deacon but he didn't make it at the election last week. He took it badly. Felt that people didn't like him.

Is that true?

Probably. He is a bit of a pain in the tail. Has too much to say. Likes the sound of his own voice.

Why did the Richards leave straight away after the service? 

They were in one huge rush. That's because Mavis Richards and Gwen McIntyre had a collision.

What over?

Their respective sons had a big argument at youth group and the families haven't being playing speaks ever since.

Why hasn't someone tried to sort it out?

Because each family is waiting for the other to apologise first. Besides, the Richards are never wrong so the McIntyres are losers no matter what happens. Black as sin.

Isn't there room for some good old fashioned forgiveness though?

Not this time.

Did you notice that Mrs. Anderson was waving her arms around during the singing?

Yes, she's charismatic. 

Did you notice that Mrs. Anderson was waving her arms around during the singing?
Yes, she's charismatic.

Does that mean that everybody who raises their hands is charismatic?

Some are, some aren't. If they've been to a Wimber conference they're almost certainly "charo." A lot of people didn't raise their hands though. They are the "trads." You know, the people who believe that it is the heart that counts. Hands were made to be put in pockets when it comes to singing. 

The trads?

The traditionalists? Well, the middle of the road gang. They were brought up originally on the King James Version. Some flirted with the Living Bible (it was more like the Readers' Digest), then they went to the Good News, now they're mostly with the NIV. A few got hooked on the Jerusalem Bible. The trads?
The traditionalists? Well, the middle of the road gang. They were brought up originally on the King James Version. Some flirted with the Living Bible (it was more like the Readers' Digest), then they went to the Good News, now they're mostly with the NIV. A few got hooked on the Jerusalem Bible.

Are they some sort of problem?

They don't get all that excited about too much but they usually turn up to church meetings. Easy going types. Not like the "fundos."

The fundos?

The fundamentalists. Know their Bible backwards. Have a hot line to heaven. Always know what's best for everyone. The Lord speaks to them a lot. He and they discuss intimate plans for the Kingdom all the time. They only come to church meetings when someone is about to become unbiblical.

Isn't it amazing then that most people seem to get along so well here!

Well, sometimes we do; sometimes we don't. When church is going well, it's great. But the wheel does fall off every so often. You can tell when there's something up.  

How?

The pastor recycles his sermons on love except he uses different texts but the points are the same. He's been on that lately.

Why can't people get along with each other... Like being the family?

Well, they do but it's a bit hard when someone or other gets steamed up about this or that. They don't come, or rush out early, or withhold their offering, or if they are very keen they will bring a split on. 

A split what?

A break away, a new church. 

What for?

Think about it. If you think you're right and have the truth and they're wrong but they've got the numbers and the buildings, then you have to push off and start up a new church somewhere.

So who's in the right then?

It all depends on who you talk to. It's always the other crowd who are devils incarnate. 

But that does not sound like love and acceptance.

Go easy, We're talking about people here. 

So you mean that being brothers and sisters in Christ doesn't always work then?

Stop being an idealist. You can't expect folks to get along with each other all the time. It isn't that simple. 

But you said that in worship there is love and acceptance for everybody. For the Richards, the McIntyres, the charos, the trads, the fundos. It's all there because Jesus is there.

Yes, that's right. 

But you said that in worship there is love and acceptance for everybody. For the Richards, the McIntyres, the charos, the trads, the fundos. 

Well, was He at church last Sunday or wasn't He?

Stop asking ridiculous questions. 

Rev. John Simpson

This article is reprinted by permission of the author. It originally appeared in Ministry Perspectives,
a publication of the Baptist Union of Victoria, Australia.

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This page was revised on: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 11:03:22 PM