Sunday Scrutinization: The Empty Pipes
At the church where we were regulars, but now only visit occasionally, there are organ pipes on the back wall, behind the pulpit. We went there tonight for services and I was reminded of something the pastor told us about those pipes. Those pipes are not the actual, working organ pipes. They are just there for show. The words of Jesus in Matthew 23:27-28 says:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. “
So this morning at our new, regular congregation we read Romans 12-16. A chapter was read and we talked with the people around us for a couple of minutes about what jumped out at us. When all chapters were read we all brought up the things we talked about, then we brought up any questions we had. We got to the questions regarding chapter 13, and of course the issue of resisting the authority God has placed over us in the form our government was mentioned. Someone made a disparaging remark regarding the current leader we now have in these here United States. Our pastor went a little off on a unity speech. He spoke about how even if he disagreed with the current politicians, he would back up those in the church who might feel offended by anyone who speaks against what God has ordained over us. We, as the Church, need to be completely aware of what may cause any division among us and stop it where it may rear its ugly head. I have been guilty of making remarks that would divide, and will be extremely careful in the future about any of these situations I may put myself in. I have learned with family not even to honestly ask why they think what they believe, because they instantly see this as an attack.
At tonight’s services the same subject was addressed: Unity. With a different emphasis. A story was brought up about how there was money enough to redesign the sanctuary. The congregation was told that the sky was wide open as to design. There was opportunities to put forth color schemes regarding walls, ceilings, carpet, and pew cushions. Ideas came in, there were votes, leading designs were brought forward, others were eliminated, then there were two left. Votes were made again and a winner was finally declared. Unity was maintained within a situation that could have destroyed the church. I turned to my wife and said something to the effect that this type of problem was huge in First Century Church. Of course I was being sarcastic.
These three things had connections in my mind. I faced true conviction of my sinful behavior, then saw an almost superficial discussion on the same topic at the same time noticing how we as Christians put up a fake facade; a facade that doesn’t matter. I appreciate the views God gave me this morning and evening. I thank you God for whatever you need to show me in your time. I praise you for your sovereignty over the leaders we have here and in other countries. I don’t necessarily look forward to the day that may come where we may face harsh persecution in this country, because I have daughters now. But, it may be the only thing that truly unifies us, ignoring what doesn’t matter.