Revival Sermons

Other Forums => Sermon of the Month => Topic started by: Richard OFfill on June 21, 2008, 03:17:12 PM

Title: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Richard OFfill on June 21, 2008, 03:17:12 PM
"Whether we realize it or not, we are always moving toward our mental image of God. We do this not only as individuals but as a group in the church. If you want to know what the church will be like in the future, you can ask the religious leaders of today what they think about God.

"If our theology is going to be right, our concept of God has got to be right. Not only that, if our lives are going to be lived right, our concept of God has got to be right. A right concept of God is as important to our church life and personal lives as a foundation is to a building. If the foundation of a building is flawed or inadequate, sooner or later the building will be destabilized.

"I believe that many have a concept of God in this generation that is bordering on being decadent and is in fact beneath the dignity of the Most High God. For those who have this philosophy, this has resulted in a moral calamity."

These thoughts are from the sermon, Who Is Your God?   http://www.revivalsermons.org/sermons/who.shtml (http://www.revivalsermons.org/sermons/who.shtml)


Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: colporteur on June 21, 2008, 07:32:21 PM
"Whether we realize it or not, we are always moving toward our mental image of God. We do this not only as individuals but as a group in the church. If you want to know what the church will be like in the future, you can ask the religious leaders of today what they think about God.

"If our theology is going to be right, our concept of God has got to be right. Not only that, if our lives are going to be lived right, our concept of God has got to be right. A right concept of God is as important to our church life and personal lives as a foundation is to a building. If the foundation of a building is flawed or inadequate, sooner or later the building will be destabilized.

"I believe that many have a concept of God in this generation that is bordering on being decadent and is in fact beneath the dignity of the Most High God. For those who have this philosophy, this has resulted in a moral calamity."

These thoughts are from the sermon, Who Is Your God?   http://www.revivalsermons.org/sermons/who.shtml (http://www.revivalsermons.org/sermons/who.shtml)


I wonder if there are many of our people that are intellectually honest with themselves about how they persieve God. Then I wonder how many of us even well understand how we see God.

You mentioned in your sermon that it seems that belonging to the church theses days is seen more of a right than a privilege. Could this be in part because there is so little discipline? Could another reason be that opinion seems to be seen as much of or more value than God's Word?

I'm thinking a selfish heart sees God as there to serve whatever is desired like a self indulgent father. The mind is darkened to the point of thinking that since God loves He will not deny anything. It could be that our parents are crucial role models of how we see God.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Raven on June 22, 2008, 04:09:27 PM


You mentioned in your sermon that it seems that belonging to the church theses days is seen more of a right than a privilege. Could this be in part because there is so little discipline? Could another reason be that opinion seems to be seen as much of or more value than God's Word?

I'm thinking a selfish heart sees God as there to serve whatever is desired like a self indulgent father. The mind is darkened to the point of thinking that since God loves He will not deny anything. It could be that our parents are crucial role models of how we see God.

As to your first point, it seems like this would be the natural outgrowth of treating the church as some sort of pious social club, as is so common today.  Members "pay their dues," and therefore have a right to all the benefits and privileges.  Social clubs generally don't lean to heavily on ideas like discipline.

Concerning your second point, I wonder how much of this is due to the "name it and claim it" philosophy so prevalent among some church members.  They treat the Bible as some sort of smorgasbord of promises to pick and choose from according to their latest fancy.  It is true that, as the Son of man, Jesus came to serve, but as King of Kings, we are to serve Him.  He has promised us many things, but there are conditions, and even when we meet those conditions, the fulfillment of those promises is always according to His sovereign will.  Otherwise He would be unable to fulfill the promise of Rom. 8:28.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: colporteur on June 22, 2008, 06:28:33 PM
As to your first point, it seems like this would be the natural outgrowth of treating the church as some sort of pious social club, as is so common today.  Members "pay their dues," and therefore have a right to all the benefits and privileges.  Social clubs generally don't lean to heavily on ideas like discipline.

Concerning your second point, I wonder how much of this is due to the "name it and claim it" philosophy so prevalent among some church members.  They treat the Bible as some sort of smorgasbord of promises to pick and choose from according to their latest fancy.  It is true that, as the Son of man, Jesus came to serve, but as King of Kings, we are to serve Him.  He has promised us many things, but there are conditions, and even when we meet those conditions, the fulfillment of those promises is always according to His sovereign will.  Otherwise He would be unable to fulfill the promise of Rom. 8:28.

Do you think for us to impact the church in a way that will bring reformation from this will take a stronger approach or a softer one ?  Or is this too general of a question considering all the people groups and varying situations ?
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Raven on June 23, 2008, 04:01:47 AM
Do you think for us to impact the church in a way that will bring reformation from this will take a stronger approach or a softer one ?  Or is this too general of a question considering all the people groups and varying situations ?

Maybe a little of both?  Maybe we need to be more diligent and approach the issue of sin in the camp more strongly than we have done in the past few decades; but maybe we also need to a better job of exhibiting the spirit of Christlikeness while we are doing it.  It seems that in the past, when there was more discipline, there was often too little compassion, not enough in the way of attempting to rescue the sinner, once they were disciplined.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: CONCRETE on June 23, 2008, 07:02:06 AM
It could be that our parents are crucial role models of how we see God.

Absolutely!

Since our core belief systems are established at or around age five, or parents are absolutely responsible for this. This could make or break a child's view of God! Parenting is a high responsiblity!!!
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Jim on June 23, 2008, 10:04:47 AM
Maybe we need to be more diligent and approach the issue of sin in the camp more strongly than we have done in the past few decades; but maybe we also need to a better job of exhibiting the spirit of Christlikeness while we are doing it.  It seems that in the past, when there was more discipline, there was often too little compassion, not enough in the way of attempting to rescue the sinner, once they were disciplined.

Amen!  However, Raven, some will no doubt argue that being harsh, stern, telling it like it is, etc..etc.. is itself being loving.

Quote
A man who has the true idea of what constitutes perfection of character will reveal the same fruit which he desires to see in others. He will by precept and example give evidence that he is endowed with a kindly, genial disposition, imbued with refinement and tenderness. He will have the finest touch in seeking to cure the wounds and bruises of the soul. He will be a co-worker with Christ and His Holy Spirit to renew and strengthen, to beautify and bring into conformity to the perfect model.--Letter 78, 1893, p. 2. (To E. J. Waggoner, January 22, 1893.)

White Estate Washington, D. C. May 3, 1979 {9MR 209.2}
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: colporteur on June 23, 2008, 01:35:57 PM
Amen!  However, Raven, some will no doubt argue that being harsh, stern, telling it like it is, etc..etc.. is itself being loving.


I think Jim that the adjectives you describe are subjective. Some spoiled children, for instance, would say their parents are harsh and stern if they ever worked any correction.

I think it depends on who we are dealing with. Jesus was pretty stern and some would perhaps say even harsh with the Pharissees and with the money changers. Some would say the same about John the Baptist and Elijah.  I think we need to be very direct with those who play games and or are flagrantly working against truth. It is one thing to struggle with something but quite another to work to promote acceptance of such. An example in the health field would be meat eating. It is one thing to be humbly struggling with this but another to work with others who are struggling trying to teach them that it matters not and it would be another thing if they were undermining the church's health work in the community. I believe something like that should be addressed in a way that some would think stern.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Raven on June 23, 2008, 01:48:38 PM
Amen!  However, Raven, some will no doubt argue that being harsh, stern, telling it like it is, etc..etc.. is itself being loving.


Jesus spoke very plainly and told it like it was, but Sister White said that there were tears in His voice as He rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees.  I've not seen much of that when it comes to church discipline.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Jim on June 24, 2008, 07:38:29 AM
Cp, I think you may have a point but so often in our human nature I think we jump the gun the sometimes on how we deal with people. I believe I have a principle that will speak to both sides. However, I think that this reference is also very valid. When we take it upon ourselves to correct others.... do we really feel this way or have this attitude? 

Quote
Not until you feel that you could sacrifice your own self-dignity, and even lay down your life in order to save an erring brother, have you cast the beam out of your own eye so that you are prepared to help your brother. Then you can approach him and touch his heart. No one has ever been reclaimed from a wrong position by censure and reproach; but many have thus been driven from Christ and led to seal their hearts against conviction. A tender spirit, a gentle, winning deportment, may save the erring and hide a multitude of sins. The revelation of Christ in your own character will have a transforming power upon all with whom you come in contact. Let Christ be daily made manifest in you, and He will reveal through you the creative energy of His word--a gentle, persuasive, yet mighty influence to re-create other souls in the beauty of the Lord our God.  {MB 128.3}
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Lazarus on June 24, 2008, 08:46:08 AM
Jesus rarely seemed to have harsh words for the people in the pews, or on the hillsides, however.

He was most critical of the Pharisees and leaders who were noted for their strict adherence to certain rules and for their contempt for others and "sinners".
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: newbie on June 24, 2008, 09:48:19 AM
Jesus rarely seemed to have harsh words for the people in the pews, or on the hillsides, however.

He was most critical of the Pharisees and leaders who were noted for their strict adherence to certain rules and for their contempt for others and "sinners".
Yes!  Good point.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: colporteur on June 24, 2008, 11:57:05 AM
Jesus rarely seemed to have harsh words for the people in the pews, or on the hillsides, however.

He was most critical of the Pharisees and leaders who were noted for their strict adherence to certain rules and for their contempt for others and "sinners".

In other words those who were openly working against truth. Something that is often left out of the discription of the Pharisee is that they had a double standard.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Jim on June 24, 2008, 12:09:08 PM
I think that there is a principle in the reference below that you guys were getting at. Let me know what you think.

Quote
How different from Paul's manner of writing to the Corinthian church was the course he pursued toward the Galatians! The former he rebuked with caution and tenderness, the latter with words of unsparing reproof. The Corinthians had been overcome by temptation. Deceived by the ingenious sophistry of teachers who presented errors under the guise of truth, they had become confused and bewildered. To teach them to distinguish the false from the true, called for caution and patience. Harshness or injudicious haste on Paul's part would have destroyed his influence over many of those whom he longed to help.  {AA 385.1}

In the Galatian churches, open, unmasked error was supplanting the gospel message. Christ, the true foundation of the faith, was virtually renounced for the obsolete ceremonies of Judaism. The apostle saw that if the believers in Galatia were saved from the dangerous influences which threatened them, the most decisive measures must be taken, the sharpest warnings given. {AA 385.2}

An important lesson for every minister of Christ to learn                 
is that of adapting his labors to the condition of those whom he seeks to benefit. Tenderness, patience, decision, and firmness are alike needful; but these are to be exercised with proper discrimination. To deal wisely with different classes of minds, under varied circumstances and conditions, is a work requiring wisdom and judgment enlightened and sanctified by the Spirit of God. {AA 385.3}
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Slingshot on June 24, 2008, 01:14:03 PM
I think that there is a principle in the reference below that you guys were getting at. Let me know what you think.


Jim:

That is a GREAT quote! Thanks.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Jim on June 27, 2008, 09:50:23 AM
Here is what I believe to be some wise counsel when it comes to helping those who we believe have strayed or are straying....

Quote
About this time we commenced labor for our brethren and friends near Greenville. As is the case in many places, our brethren needed help. There were some who kept the Sabbath, yet did not belong to the church, and also some who had given up the Sabbath, who needed help. We felt disposed to help these poor souls, but the past course and present position of leading members of the church in relation to these persons made it almost impossible for us to approach them. In laboring with the erring, some of our brethren had been too rigid, too cutting in remarks. And when some were disposed to reject their counsel and separate from them, they would say: "Well, if they want to go off, let them go." While such a lack of the compassion, and long-suffering, and tenderness of Jesus was manifested by His professed followers, these poor, erring, inexperienced souls, buffeted by Satan, were certain to make shipwreck of faith. However great may be the wrongs and sins of the erring, our brethren must learn to manifest not only the tenderness of the Great Shepherd, but also His undying care and love for the poor, straying sheep. Our ministers toil and lecture week after week, and rejoice that a few souls embrace the truth; and yet brethren of a prompt, decided turn of mind may, in five minutes, destroy their work by indulging the feelings which prompt words like these: "Well, if they want to leave us, let them go." {2T 18.2}

Notice she didn't say that the work was destroyed by their "words" but their "attitudes" (indulged feelings). I want to quote more but I'm sure that most people here can go to the website and get it for themselves if they feel prompted. Ok... I can't help myself here is one more reference. 

Quote
When the lost sheep was found, it was borne home with joy, and much rejoicing followed. This illustrates the blessed, joyful work of laboring for the erring. The church that engages successfully in this work is a happy church. {2T 22.1}

Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Jim on July 12, 2008, 08:40:18 PM
.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: El on July 28, 2008, 09:30:40 AM
"Whether we realize it or not, we are always moving toward our mental image of God. We do this not only as individuals but as a group in the church. If you want to know what the church will be like in the future, you can ask the religious leaders of today what they think about God."If our theology is going to be right, our concept of God has got to be right. Not only that, if our lives are going to be lived right, our concept of God has got to be right. A right concept of God is as important to our church life and personal lives as a foundation is to a building. If the foundation of a building is flawed or inadequate, sooner or later the building will be destabilized."I believe that many have a concept of God in this generation that is bordering on being decadent and is in fact beneath the dignity of the Most High God. For those who have this philosophy, this has resulted in a moral calamity."These thoughts are from the sermon, Who Is Your God?   http://www.revivalsermons.org/sermons/who.shtml (http://www.revivalsermons.org/sermons/who.shtml)
I read this sermon last night for the first time.  And I am deeply impressed to read it again today.  At night, I sit out on my prayer deck and I look upward at the moon.  When the moon is full I am more deeply impressed to think What and Who is beyond.  What and Who is God?  I just had never concentrated on the glorious, frightful, demanding, loving, indescribable Being who is indeed God.  And I owe Him my allegiance to do the things that He has requested of me.  I wonder what is up there--A God grand and glorious, always loving me yet demanding that I show my love for Him by obeying what He has asked of me.  He does not want me to decide who and what I want God to be---He wants me to know Who he is and be what He wants me to be. I can envision heaven, angels moving with great organization but with tenderness for those they are instructed to watch over. I try to envision the sanctuary, but that is more difficult for me. I hope that I can envision Jesus in His earthly body in the Most Holy Place begging for my place in heaven.  It is beautiful but frightening.  But I can not envision what God must look like after I have read this sermon.  I had always thought that no one has seen God---yet this sermon says otherwise---am I wrong?  They saw splendor but indescribable thoughts of what the presence of God is like.  And I realize that I have not really spent enough time thinking of God and what He expects of me. Maybe my problem has always been what I wanted God to mean to me. Now I think that He wants me to know what He is, what He wants of me, and to be what He wants me to be. 
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: lily-of-the-field on August 24, 2008, 09:06:38 AM
El, I really appreciated your post.   I have only just found this thread.  How easy it is to have an almost Godless, Christless religion.  To act as though God is not even present.  As a people, and individually, we need to learn and talk more about God and His character.  To see Him in His majesty.  We cannot love and obey a God we do not know.   History has shown what happens when Christians worship a God they imagine and not the God who revealed Himself to the world in the flesh and in the scriptures.  The first angel's message is a call to fear God and to give Him glory.  We are called to reveal to the world the true, fullest picture of a majestic and loving God who is worthy of our highest love and affection and obedience.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: El on August 24, 2008, 04:12:48 PM
El, I really appreciated your post.   I have only just found this thread.  How easy it is to have an almost Godless, Christless religion.  To act as though God is not even present.  As a people, and individually, we need to learn and talk more about God and His character.  To see Him in His majesty.  We cannot love and obey a God we do not know.   History has shown what happens when Christians worship a God they imagine and not the God who revealed Himself to the world in the flesh and in the scriptures.  The first angel's message is a call to fear God and to give Him glory.  We are called to reveal to the world the true, fullest picture of a majestic and loving God who is worthy of our highest love and affection and obedience.

 

My feelings about God is that in His Majesty He loves us all and whatever His glory is, He wants us to be kind, full of His love and understanding.  Time is not going to last forever and each of us is responsible to make sure that we are ready for the day that our probation ends.  It may be tomorrow for each of us.  It has all been laid out in front of us and only our faith in God is going to give us the way of life that He wants us to live.  Who is my God?  He is the wonderful Father who gave us His Son so that we might live.  And the greatest commandment that He has given to us is that we love Him and love one another.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: kayyak on December 18, 2008, 09:19:27 AM
My view of God is totally different than what it was when I was Roman Catholic.  I now see God is Love.  As an RC I saw a "I'm gonna getcha" kind of God.

My opinion is that we learn Who God is early in life. 

Also, I believe as SDA we should have solemn respect in the Sanctuary.  I am grieved at all the whispering, chatting and soforth that take place in church.  Children learn early about the awesomeness of God in church.  They will learn that He is awesomely negative or awesomely lovely.  (is awesomely a word?)
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Larry Lyons on December 18, 2008, 12:28:38 PM
My view of God is totally different than what it was when I was Roman Catholic.  I now see God is Love.  As an RC I saw a "I'm gonna getcha" kind of God.

My opinion is that we learn Who God is early in life. 

Also, I believe as SDA we should have solemn respect in the Sanctuary.  I am grieved at all the whispering, chatting and soforth that take place in church.  Children learn early about the awesomeness of God in church.  They will learn that He is awesomely negative or awesomely lovely.  (is awesomely a word?)
kayyak, welcome to the forum!! I have never actually attended a Catholic service, but from what I have heard and seen in the media, it appears that they may have a more reverent attitude in thier sanctuary than we often do.
BTW, I don't think awesomely is a word, but it works.  :-D
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: kayyak on December 19, 2008, 01:47:39 PM
Thank you for you welcome.   Yes, the RC Church I was brought up in was very respectful. 

I have a question regarding the preliminaries.  There seems to be a lot of noise during the time (half hour) before the pastor actually starts preaching; announcements, children's story, lamb offering (kids running around like it's Christmas) etc.  Does all this have to take place before the service?  It seems like a lot of people take that time to discuss current events, I guess.  I mean no disrespect when I ask this question.  I thank God everyday for leading me into the SDA Church.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Larry Lyons on December 19, 2008, 02:30:36 PM
Thank you for you welcome.   Yes, the RC Church I was brought up in was very respectful. 

I have a question regarding the preliminaries.  There seems to be a lot of noise during the time (half hour) before the pastor actually starts preaching; announcements, children's story, lamb offering (kids running around like it's Christmas) etc.  Does all this have to take place before the service?  It seems like a lot of people take that time to discuss current events, I guess.  I mean no disrespect when I ask this question.  I thank God everyday for leading me into the SDA Church.
kayyak, I share your concerns. The casual socializing is especially disturbing. Announcements are usually oin the bulletin and it is not necessary to repeat them. The children's story and the children's offering could be dispensed with in my opinion. One pastor of a church I attended eliminated the children's story as well as the closing hymn. The closing hymn often counteracts any immediate effect the sermon might have had.

Did you watch Randy Skeete's sermon last night at the GYC meeting on 3abn? He interrupted his sermon to tell people to stay in thier seats and stop walking in and out. "You are in the presence of the King of the Universe," he said. Also he told them to turn off their cell phones. "Turn them off" he said, "don't switch them to vibrate."  I wish all of our ministers were willing to do that. I believe it would be well received by the majority of people.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: kayyak on December 19, 2008, 02:57:18 PM
Thank you for responding.  I am glad I am not the only one that feels this way.   I wish our church would stop ALL the preliminaries.  The closing Hymn doesn't seem to help much because people are gathering coats, purses, Bibles etc..
Actually, I would sooner leave with what has been said on my mind.  The hoopla in the foyer doesn't help much either. 

Horray for Randy Skeete on 3ABN. 

I wonder if this has ever been brought up at Conference sessions.  I feel guilty for complaining, but that is the way I feel.   
:-(
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: reaching4heaven on December 20, 2008, 07:01:14 AM
"Turn them off" he said, "don't switch them to vibrate."  I wish all of our ministers were willing to do that. I believe it would be well received by the majority of people.

I agree they should be turned off (except for medical on-call situations of course) but it would be a blessing in the church we've been going to if they were switched to vibrate.   :roll:

Reverence in the sanctuary is evidently a topic that is not discussed so people can feel comfortable in the church. My feelings are that it's not the living room at home so it shouldn't be treated as such. We did have a Sabbath School teacher mention it during one of the recent lessons, everyone agreed but nothing changed.

Those churches that have children roaming the aisles for donations can teach the children to do so in a respectable manner - although I have no problem with eliminating the practice. I was raised in the Methodist Church and was taught to sit quiet in the sanctuary and the majority of the people did likewise. It's difficult raising a child to do right when the majority around them are leaning over pews talking & laughing. If we are stopped on the way to a seat by someone who will talk long I ask that they come out of the sanctuary to speak. If greated in the pews by a long-talker I say that we'll talk after the service - we try not to go in too early before it starts to avoid the situation. It's made more difficult when Adult Sabbath Schools are held in the sanctuary - so easy to continue chatting after the lesson is over. I would be all for teachers to remind people at the end of the lesson where we are and that talking should be taken into the foyer to preserve the sanctity of the sanctuary and give a quiet place for those who would like to pray before the service.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Raven on December 20, 2008, 02:16:08 PM
kayyak, I share your concerns. The casual socializing is especially disturbing. Announcements are usually oin the bulletin and it is not necessary to repeat them. The children's story and the children's offering could be dispensed with in my opinion. One pastor of a church I attended eliminated the children's story as well as the closing hymn. The closing hymn often counteracts any immediate effect the sermon might have had.

This is often true, but it  doesn't have to be that way.  If there is a hymn that fits well with the sermon it can be a fitting benediction, but if there is no planning ahead of time, it can indeed counteract the message of the sermon.  When I preach I try to pick hymns at both ends of the service that are relevant to the subject of the sermon, but that is not always possible.  And it may be that in those cases it would be better to dispense with the closing hymn. 

We rarely have a children's story because there is usually no one with the talents do it.  Once we had a pastor who told children's stories that were more often more relevant than his sermons.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Soli Deo Gloria on December 22, 2008, 06:04:41 PM
My view of God is totally different than what it was when I was Roman Catholic.  I now see God is Love.  As an RC I saw a "I'm gonna getcha" kind of God.


God is indeed Love. But, there is an important balance to be struck. He is also a God who promises to pour out His wrath on unrepentant sinners (See Romans 1)

We are being saved from the wrath of God as God in Christ has acted as our substitute if we believe.

There is a lot of Graham Maxwell's theology being taught in Adventism. and liberal protestantism, only stressing the Love of God, and denying the necessity of a blood atonement. and denying the wrath of God.

God has many attributes which include Love, Omniscience, and He is Holy. I like the reference above to the lack of reverence in the sanctuary. This is unfortunately true in many protestant churches.

We need to ever be mindful of the Holiness of God as expressed in:

Isaiah 6
 1In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

 2Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

 3And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

 4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

 5Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

 6Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

 7And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

 8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
----------------------------------------------------

Stan
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: kayyak on December 22, 2008, 06:39:03 PM
This is the view that I have of God now.

Psa 89:14 Justice and judgment [are] the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: Dora on December 22, 2008, 08:43:06 PM
As we sit near the front of the sanctuary, I am usually out in the foyer before people really start talking, so I just did not realize how bad it has gotten until this past Sabbath.  I had to come back in to find the SS Superintendent to ask him a question, as he was still at the front of the Sanctuary.  While talking with him, I realized that toward the back and middle of the church it sounded like a party, with loud talking and laughter, from several people.  I stopped talking with the superintendent, and said, "I cannot believe all this noise."

If everyone only knew how God looks at His sanctuary being treated, I wonder if they would act the same.  Below are excerpts from T5, the chapter, "Behavior in the House of God."  I am going to pray about it, and I believe I will take copies of this from T5, and give it to our pastor and the church leaders, asking what can be done about the desecration of God's sanctuary.  That whole chapter is well worth reading, but it will be a miracle if people will read even this much, and realize the wrong we are doing if we participate in such actions.

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                                                                                          Behavior in the House of God
  When the worshipers enter the place of meeting, they should do so with decorum, passing quietly to their seats. If there is a stove in the room, it is not proper to crowd about it in an indolent, careless attitude. Common talking, whispering, and laughing should not be permitted in the house of worship, either before or after the service. Ardent, active piety should characterize the worshipers. {5T 492.1}
     If some have to wait a few minutes before the meeting begins, let them maintain a true spirit of devotion by silent meditation, keeping the heart uplifted to God in prayer that the service may be of special benefit to their own hearts and lead to the conviction and conversion of other souls. They should remember that heavenly messengers are in the house. We all lose much sweet communion with God by our restlessness, by not encouraging moments of reflection and prayer. The spiritual condition needs to be often reviewed and the mind and heart drawn toward the Sun of Righteousness. If when the people come into the house of worship, they have genuine reverence for the Lord and bear in mind that they are in His presence, there will be a sweet eloquence in silence. The whispering and laughing and talking which might be without sin in a common business place should find no sanction in the house where God is worshiped. The mind should be prepared to hear the word of God, that it may have due weight and suitably impress the heart. {5T 492.2}
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: colporteur on December 26, 2008, 01:24:25 PM
Common talking, whispering, and laughing should not be permitted in the house of worship, either before or after the service. Ardent, active piety should characterize the worshipers. {5T 492.1}

Dora;

I have noticed that Mrs. White did not say that it should not happen but that "it should not be permitted." 
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: GraceVessel on December 26, 2008, 04:18:29 PM
"it should not be permitted" needs to take place from the administration of the church down... with the whole congregation buying off on the idea... so that it's a social interation and work vs an "us vs them" encounter.  Looking for non confrontational ways to deal with the issue... moving outside the church instead of the foyer after SS etc, keeping doors shut to the Sanctuary, having greeters gently remind people to be quiet entering the Sanctuary...

In other words... get together with a group of people that want to model a proper worship attitude and it will spread.

with kind regards,

Gracevessel
Title: Re: Who Is Your God?
Post by: colporteur on December 26, 2008, 08:07:04 PM
"it should not be permitted" needs to take place from the administration of the church down... with the whole congregation buying off on the idea... so that it's a social interation and work vs an "us vs them" encounter.  Looking for non confrontational ways to deal with the issue... moving outside the church instead of the foyer after SS etc, keeping doors shut to the Sanctuary, having greeters gently remind people to be quiet entering the Sanctuary...

In other words... get together with a group of people that want to model a proper worship attitude and it will spread.

with kind regards,

Gracevessel

Such as with the elders? Typically your suggestions have a very limited effect for good. I believe this needs to be emphasized often as it seems to take great restraint for our people.