Friday, July 3, 2009

A Tale of Two Churches (maybe Three)

This is a story about two churches or, maybe, three, depending on how things turn out. The church in the story has been around a long time. It is a pretty traditional church. It looks like a church with steeple, a cross and pews. The pews became an issue. The pews had been in the church as long as anyone could remember. In fact, most people could not think of a church which did not have pews so that in some people's minds: churches = pews. In due time, some outsiders came along and it had been their experience that churches could have chairs. In fact, they preferred chairs when given a choice between pews and chairs. They kind of thought it foolish to have pews when you could have chairs. They thought since Jesus was seated next to His Heavenly Father he was seated on a chair, presumably. They brought this up when the church discussed whether to get rid of their pews and replace them with chairs. Not to be outdone, the people who preferred pews came up with a Biblical reference as well: somewhere it says, many are called but pews are chosen.

Still there was a third group in the church that was at odds with both these groups. And as long as they were discussing options for seating in the sanctuary, they just wanted to point out that the first Christians neither sat in pews or chairs! They stood! So, if we want to be truly Biblical, let's get rid of the pews and chairs and stand. Many times the Bible refers to God's People as standing in the presence of God. Their favorite hymn was Standing on the Promises.

At the last church meeting to discuss whether to keep the pews or replace them with chairs or get rid of both, a committee recommended a compromise plan. Half of the sanctuary seating would be chairs, half would be pews and one other section would be set aside for the Standers. Much discussion ensued. People left the meeting frustrated because they failed to agree on who would be up front, the pewsitters, the chairsitters or the standers.

It is hoped that this issue can still be resolved or where there is one church now, there will be three soon. A church of pewsitters, a church of chairstitters and a church of standers, each one feeling that they are the most Biblical. And there are already enough churches that believe that.

No comments:

Post a Comment