For generations, Sunday mornings were filled with bustling households, searching their closets for their “Sunday best”, while preparing their families for the weekly pilgrimage to church. Earlier generations made religion and church attendance a non-negotiable part of the weekly, family schedule.
Years ago, services were filled with the King James Version of the Bible, while similarly phrased prayers, were offered from the older generation of the congregation. Some churches sang with the accompaniment of a piano or organ, some sang acapella. Some churches had choirs, others had only the congregation sing. There was always a well thought out, five point sermon given by the minister, with the hope of encouraging his members to stay out of Satan’s grasp, for fear of Hell.
This was the heart of American Sunday mornings. It was almost inconceivable, if your neighbor wasn’t in an organized house of worship on a Sunday morning, or Saturday, depending on their belief. Over time, those Sunday mornings have evolved into more seeker friendly Sunday worship services. They are designed to attract those who have either left their childhood lifestyle of attending a Sunday service, or to encourage individuals who never proclaimed a faith. They have come to see a need for God in their life and find an outlet for their discovery.
Now instead of our “Sunday Best”, we are encouraged to “come as we are”. The faithful organist has retired to the back row of the auditorium replaced by a band and singers. Lessons from ministers and pastors are now more applicable to real life and how God can be a strong influence in all we do. Rather than Him being thought of as a mean, old judge, waiting for us to mess up our life.
Having been involved with both types of churches, today my preference for worship definitely falls into the congregation of the latter type of church environment. Because I believe it provides a setting more forgiving of our sins and an atmosphere for everyone to know God.
Recently, however, I was blessed to participate in a type of spiritual time-warp with my family. While vacationing in the Midwest, I realized the value of my old fashioned spiritual upbringing, seeing how it positively influences my more “modern” approach to my weekly worship of God. I sat in the pews of an older church, listening to the congregation sing old hymns, as a gentleman stood on the stage leading, just as it was done in my childhood. I realized how a solid, conservative, spiritual basis for my beliefs has given me the tools to navigate life.
The sincerity of the minister’s lesson, however basic and lacking in eye catching slides, caused me to recognize that being accused of “clinging to guns or religion” was an attractive approach to life. Having a simplistic, Godly approach to what is right and wrong is truly important in our lives and country. This is a philosophy almost entirely lost within the marbled halls of government. Sometimes, in fact, rebuked by our country’s leaders.
The sociological/philosophical elite of our country have demeaned a biblical approach to life to such a large degree; Christians are on the defensive continually regarding our belief system. There is no need to be defensive about a Godly, conservative belief system. There should never be a reason for us to feel the need to apologize for believing in the sanctity of life, thus opposing abortion. Also, since God invented marriage, we should use His definition.
For all of us living in the more “modern era” of Christianity, we could use an occasional dose of traditional belief. Time should be taken to harken back to the forefathers of our faith, as well as our country. We should stand on their shoulders of conservatism and strong belief in God. Thus reminding us, that America and our values were not based upon a modernization of the Bible. America’s values were based upon the actual intentions of God’s word, which is still alive and well today.