Christians from everywhere are called to follow Christ in everything. Christ likeness means thinking like Him, talking like Him, doing things like Him and being a model of Christ. I believe that I share the same thought with every believer in the world on this. In this post, I purpose to bring glory to Jesus even though it may cause some discomfort with those that delight in a non-Christ like behaviour yet they call themselves Christians.
Surely I am not against enjoying one’s life but unveiling a difference perspective that may have been overlooked by many. How I wish for those that are implicated and get to read this article would not take it personal or even have an attitude of rebellion but be objective and take a swift Holy Spirit consultation and then do the right thing. May I also say that no one needs to justify themselves on what I am going to unveil but doing a self and/or a collective introspection as the Christian community would help. Unfortunately, acknowledging a widely accepted mistake, repenting and doing the right thing is one of the very difficult things to do for most Christians, particularly the leaders. I also want to remind readers of this blog that all I do is give suggestions on how to live a holy life and let the reader decide what to do. I do anticipate strong contrary views on what I’m about to talk about but being led by my innermost being, I will say it anyway.
There is an old concept that I learnt as I grew up in my early age. It is being mindful of ‘What would Jesus Do’ in a situation one faces. The idea is to help the believer make a decision whenever in a dilemma. Some things are not straight commandments from the Bible but this concept can be useful in making Christ like decisions.
Why should I bother, especially because I know this is an issue that hits on Christian leaders, my leaders that I love so much, and yet I still will be attending church and brushing shoulders with them? I know while its online it might not put me as much on the spot but once I take it off line to the print media, radio station and television, the reactions may differ a lot. I am ready to take the shame of being a source of controversy because I am my brother’s keeper (1 Corinthians 8:13, Romans 14:13 – 23). I am responsible for the person that is going astray from slight oversights and God will count me responsible for them. Ezekiel 3:18 – 19 gives me no grounds to be silent.
Next I will discuss two things that are largely overlooked by Christians yet they are not at all Christ like. I know that this model is coming from the world and this has been a great oversight by many Christian leaders. I know that for some Christian leaders this might have not been their preferred model but have been slack or rather they have been ashamed to openly reject it.
Church sitting arrangements and the conditions of such arrangements
There is a relatively new trend on sitting arrangements in churches today. I know that some have actually done away with the name ‘Church’ but what I mean is the house of worshiping God. It does not matter whether you call it a church, a centre, ministry or whichever name you use.
Most churches today have special chairs, sometimes it’s a complete lounge suite, where church dignitaries sit. It could either be the pastor, bishop, deacons or invited guests that are allowed to sit in those chairs. In some churches there is even a coffee table to let the church dignitaries enjoy some coffee or tea which the service is in progress. I have learnt that in some churches there are some special chairs that are better than the rest where the only people that sit on them pay a special amount to sit on each time they do. I’m not aware of other treats that are given at this section but I’m sure you can follow on what I’m talking about.
Church leaders and dignitaries have brought themselves a huge burden of fighting thoughts that come to mind as they elevate themselves with this gesture. I can imagine the courage it takes to sit in this section in these churches. Each time you sit on these chairs or lounge you fight thoughts that come with every suspicious eye contact in the congregation.
Think of the person that pays to sit on the special offering chairs when he no longer can afford to pay. Such a person could be forced to live a lie by creating a debt to maintain his status in church. If this person fail to get the resources, would he or she not prefer absconding church than to take the embarrassment that comes with failing to maintain a church created status? The church has blindly created discomfort.
VIP section in Christian festivals
I have a full article addressing this concern on my website holinessadvocate.com. I don’t know in other parts of the world but in my country and in South Africa, Christian festivals have adopted the worldly standard of segregating the congregation. I believe that Christian festivals are largely arranged for Christians. So I believe I wouldn’t be wrong saying that Christian festival organisers split Christians into two; the rich and the poor.
Do you know who goes to the VIP section? It is pastors, church leaders of all groups, politicians, managers and some business people that are willing to pay more to assume a status of being better than everybody else that sits at the commoner’s section. They take the status of being better than the others. The draw card is money.
People should not be segregated by their affording capacity. This is not Christ’s model. People are the same before God. Even if you are a politician, from royalty or whatever social status you have, but all that should fall off when you get into the house of the Lord. When we gather into the house of the Lord we are there to worship and focus on Him.
The Big Question
What would Jesus Do? If Jesus were to be invited in your church today, would He sit on the lounge and enjoy tea while brethren are singing or would He prefer sitting somewhere else? On the other hand, would Jesus take the VIP sit if He were to attend the Christian festivals we host today? A good Christian would do what Jesus would do.
My conclusion is that both practices are conformance to worldly standards, a direct contradiction of what the Bible teaches (Romans 12:2). The concept of having better people than others, it does not matter the reasons, is not of God. These practices are a form of pride in small doses and in disguise. God hates a proud look (Proverbs 6:17). It is also living a lie because it makes those that afford to secure a sit in the VIP space and those that sit in the lounge suit think they are better / VIP, yet in God’s sight none is better than the other.
You be the judge.