Wednesday, July 6, 2011

NEXT UP...

They have replaced pews with padded folding chairs.

Instead of a pulpit, there is often a see-thru podium on stage, or maybe a music stand.  One time I saw a guy using a TV tray - even had a can of Pepsi on it.  Made me want  Cheetos.  

Sometimes guys just stand up there sans any stand at all.  These guys have usually memorized their sermons and don't need notes.  Either that or they forgot to write a sermon that week and are wingin' it...er...I mean...are following the prompts of the Holy Spirit as to what to say next. 

Apparently, the Holy Spirit doesn't write sermons during the week either. 

Preachers in suits and ties are nearly extinct.  Now they wear their golf clothes to preach in (easy transition to the links), or maybe beach clothes (Beach and Preach Wear), or whatever they happen to have on at the time.  If you preach in what you clean your garage out in, you can preach and then go clean your garage out without having to change.  

If you preach in your jammies, you can roll out of bed, preach, then head back for a nice afternoon snooze without missin' a beat.  And if the congregation wears THEIR jammies to church they can get their afternoon nap in DURING the sermon.  All very handy.

Which reminds me, all Preachers are doing is matching the congregation's fashion sense, who often look like they've come from showing livestock at a County Fair. I wish they'd bring me a corn dog back with 'em next time.

Your friendly neighborhood song book can soon be sold at auction as an authentic relic of "life in the last century", having been replaced by 3 huge monitors and your own personal Praise Team Singer / flag-waver.

Even church buildings are getting harder to find (at least church buildings with anybody still in them).  Now they meet in old Target stores, empty bars, private homes.  I saw one church that met in a bar, in the round with Lazy-boy recliners instead of pews.  Had I not been preaching somewhere already, I would've preached my best audition sermon on Job and joined in a heartbeat.  

When it comes to unusual places of worship, I prefer the "Car Church"- tends to have smaller congregations but you get to see some country in between songs.

The Church Bulletin is quickly being shown the door by email and Facebook.  Which makes me feel bad for future generations.  The old-time church bulletin was the last place on earth  you could still get a contact high whiffin' the "just printed" ink.  Tut...TUT. 

All this "new" stuff can put me in a pretty bad mood if I let it.  Makes me miss the way things were, the people I used to know, the important way it influenced my life.  It's painful to see what meant so much to me thrown to the wayside and in a way that makes me think no one cares.

And then I think - 

BOO HOO, GRANDPA

Guess what?!  "Gunsmoke" and "The Banana Splits Club" went off the air about 100 years ago and surprisingly, we no longer have any use for a thing called, "rabbit ears".

And here's another newsflash: rotary phones were fun (and slow and heavy and hurt your finger) but you can't put one in your pocket and carry it around with you and then expect it to give you directions to Wal-Mart! 

The reason for this is: the world has changed since 1941 and 1978 and 2001, and some of what used to make sense THEN, doesn't anymore.  Some wise, good, sensible words of wisdom THEN simply don't apply any more and never will again.

1978 advice:
"Don't sit so close to the TV you'll fry your brain."

2011 advice:
"Aren't computers great?  Let's sit in front of these little TVs for 22 hours a day!"

So when it comes to some of the surface changes I see in the church, I'm probably feeling what the old guys felt who saw them first bring in pulpits, and song books, and church buildings. 


OLD GRUMP
What's this? 

YOUNG GUY
It's called a pulpit.  

OLD GRUMP
Pull-a-what?  
YOUNG GUY
Pul-PIT.  You preach from it.  See?

OLD GRUMP
I don't want a stupid pulpit.  Where's my preachin' ROCK?!


Look, I wish they'd dress up for church - they don't.  They barely dress up for funerals and their own WEDDINGS.  So boo hoo.

I wish they'd sing the songs I used to know, they make me feel good, remind me of times and people I used to know.  But so what?  The songs they have now praise God, uplift people, teach.  I just don't know or like them as well.  So boo hoo.


The point to all this?  

Sit in a pew, sit in a recliner; 

Wear a suit, wear jeans; 

Knock on a church door at 10am, knock on the door to a secret catacomb under the streets of Rome at midnight...

As long as you're KNOCKING, I hear tell the door WILL be opened unto you.  

Imagine that. 


So until I can get my time machine fixed, guess I'm stuck  dealin' with this ever-present, often annoying, "present" stuff.  Not thrilled about that, but  the recliner idea does have my attention.

As together we stand and sing.

BP 

1 comment:

  1. partner in crimeJuly 6, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    guess you hit the nail on the head.... I really dislike the preach and beach outfit! But point taken.. knock and door will be opened.

    ReplyDelete