Well, it’s here; Church Rules Part II. I’m sure there could easily be a Seven-Part series on this subject. In fact, now I’m thinking I will just quit my day job and start caravanning the country in a Prius, interviewing random pastors on the unwritten church rules they wished their congregation understood. Sadly, this won’t keep the PG&E bill paid; but man, it would be great fun!
Recently I read on a favorite blog (Stuff Christians Like) that a pastor finally broke down during a summer sermon and reprimanded his congregation to “…put some clothes on!” And based on the plethora of comments you all submitted on Church Rules Part I, this appears to be a major issue in our own home churches. So without further ado, I bring you the next important church rule:
1) Put ‘The Girls’ Away: this is the kindest way I can think to approach this delicate topic. Yes, Proverbs 5:19 says “…may her breasts satisfy you always…” BUT NOT AT CHURCH. It’s abundantly clear that several of us have been victim to seeing too much of someone else’s body parts in God’s Big House. God made us beautiful and naked; but ladies, ever since Eve made a fashionable leafy frock, we should follow her lead….and then some, especially at church. Of note, seekers come as you are; if the “girls” are out a little more than mennonite churchy acceptable – honestly I could care less – I’m thrilled you’re at church (although it really makes me wonder what the Seeker-Churches in Las Vegas are like). But the church veteran, greeter and usher…please put ‘em away. Don’t make the Youth Pastor feel uncomfortable and burdened to bring this to your attention! Props to Liz, Matt & Heather for a good laugh and suggesting this topic.
2) Cell Phones (Turn Them Off): this is so obvious that I considered not even mentioning it. Yet it continues to be an issue. It’s nearly a written rule when you see this ‘reminder’ in bright lights on the big overhead count-down screen prior to worship time. While it does bring a laugh when a Ghostbusters ring-tone starts playing during communion, it also messes up the Holy vibe. So please, turn it off. (Note: I’m so paranoid about this happening to me, that I leave my phone in the car when going to “Big Church”…it would be my luck that something would go wrong with the silent setting during the quiet, come to Jesus, moments)
3) Silence Your Wristwatch Alarms: First I’m shocked that some still wear those old-school, size of a pager, digital watches; the ones you can play Pong on. Nothing is ruder than hearing a watch alarm go off to let the pastor know “Hey buddy, your time is up – let’s wrap this up because a Grand-Slam breakfast is waiting for me at Dennys!” Wait, I do know what is ruder…when that same person hits the “snooze” on the alarm so it goes off again in 7 minutes. Now that is rude. And you WILL get the pastor evil eye, don’t think he doesn’t know exactly who you are.
4) Crybabies Don’t Belong at Big Church: no I’m not talking about the husbands that get dragged to church by their Jesus-lover-of-my-soul wives. I’m talking about the small children that whine and whimper through an entire service. Yes we can hear you; we can all hear you. Props go out to Heather for suggesting this rule. Typically there are amazing over the top great Sunday School classes to keep your children safe and entertained; equipped with tremendously patient teachers, Hi-Ho crackers, crafts and flannel board stories. No one can resist the flannel board! Or there is the “room”. At my childhood church we had a special soundproof room at the back of the sanctuary made just for crybabies. It had a smoked glass window where moms could sit and enjoy views of the stage while the music and message was piped in. It was a private place for exhausted flipped out moms and their fussy kids. And best of all, they could nurse their fresh cute pink babies in privacy – all while not missing a moment church. Wow, nursing during a sermon – now there is an awkward addition to “putting the girls away”…
5) Church Attendance While Contagiously Sick (stop it!): I’ll admit it’s a weird dichotomy. We come to God and church for healing – but the healthy members would rather you stay at home that ONE Sunday. There are lots of options that God approves of: you could listen to the message online if your church provides this super cool alternative, or you can always catch the Crystal Cathedral’s ‘Hour of Power’ on TV while you’re in the contagious bout of your cold, flu or scurvy. Maybe even watching Evan Almighty for the 14th time while doped up on NyQuil could count. While it’s true that I want to whole-heartedly believe in God’s covenant on germs (previously covered here), but let’s not push our luck. If you’re super sick, please stay home. This also applies to obviously feverish children being dumped into Sunday School and sickly teens going to youth group. Props to Beth on this topic.
Well, I still have a bucket of ideas and have only touched the tip of the iceberg. It’s inevitable that Church Rules Part III will appear one day. Huge thanks to all who participated in the lively discussion of comments on Part I. You all make me laugh and smile to no end!
If you have any other unwritten rule you want ranted, roasted and reviewed – I’m all ears. Leave your awesome comments – which also make me smilie! And of course the bonus is getting props to show off to your friends and family how smart and witty you really are!
Another thing that makes me smile…when pastors slip up. I’m not laughing AT you, I’m laughing WITH you. Somehow we put our pastors on celebrity status and they aren’t suppost to make mistakes. But really, we are all human, including God’s ‘perfect’ messengers. And I’m telling you now – if those “Girls” aren’t put away – this type of stuff that is on todays clip could happen to our beloved pastors. Enjoy the good laugh. Man I feel this guys pain…