Gimmicks

I had a dream this morning that I was attending church on Easter. It isn’t my church or one I’ve ever been in, but in the dream I’d been there before, because I knew the music was going to be different.

Before church I heard people talking about how they had come because the candy was better at this church. As the music started, people started crying and laying down on the floor. I wasn’t scared, but I was disgusted. The music was awful. The second song was supposed to be special. It was heavy rock. I moved so that I wasn’t in front of the speakers. The third song started, and was announced to also have a special instrument involved… a chain saw. At the same time, people were coming to the front, crying and praying and having hands laid on them, while altar workers stood with clickers, counting the number of people ‘saved’ or who spoke in tongues, I’m not sure which. One was from my first church, and the altar worker and a friend of hers were fighting over whether she should be counted.

The friend walked past me as she went back to her seat. She recognized me and saw my pants (not allowed in her religion). She told me she’d just had a sobbing moment, because she wouldn’t be able to spend Christmas with me because I was obviously lost, wearing pants. We hadn’t had plans; we hadn’t spoken for ten years!

And then I noticed what the congregation was singing: Your love like a river flows through me.

Gimmicks. Candy, special songs, special instruments, encouraging people to worship more ahead of time, counting responses… all are gimmicks. They can be used, within reason, to encourage people to come to a church (or to any other sales event) but they aren’t about God. They’re marketing techniques. But what disturbed me most was not the gimmicks in the dream (not even the chain saw music) or the rejection of my former friend, but the fact that in the middle of all the gimmicks, the fight, and the rejection, the song being sung repeated the words “Your love like a river flows through me.” That’s what haunted me as I woke up. The hypocrisy.

Advertisements

About thrugracealone

I'm a country girl raised city. I prefer open windows to AC, love a good thunderstorm, and enjoy hearing the owls and seeing lightning bugs. A bit old-fashioned, maybe, I can recognize many trees by name, resent elms and weeds, wish for a large garden and canning skills, and hope someday to downsize and get a few acres in the country. I am blessed with a terrific church, a good job, a sturdy house, two cats and a yard full of strawberries and mulberries in the right season. Some of my other favorite things to do are spoiling nieces and nephews, reading, swimming, biking, long walks, and blogging, of course. One of my favorite stories is creation. My abbreviated version goes like this: 1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth wasa formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters... And God moved... And God said... And it was very good. If God can speak to darkness, to an earth without form and void, and make something like this that we see everyday, and make it very good (and it was even better before the Fall!), He will surely make something wonderful out of the dark, void situations I sometimes find myself in. He has, and it's been very good. Two top posts: Can a Person Lose their Salvation? http://wp.me/p1CY5z-1R Baptism! http://wp.me/s1CY5z-baptism

Posted on March 2, 2015, in Christianity. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: