You get the feeling that the next civil war in the United States is going to be between the church folks that are ready to get back to normal church and packing the pews and those that want to shelter in place a little longer? It sure feels like we could see pastors going into the squared circle to wrestle it out to find out who wins. It was the same argument when all of this began was it not? I remember saying early on – according to your faith do whatever you want to do. That feels like a million years ago and it was only last month. This whole virus lifestyle we are adapting to seems to be evolving each day depending on the numbers. Now, I can almost see the argument that the church folks have that if going to Walmart is safe then going to church should be. I would almost agree but there again I have some: “have you ever(s)” to explore that might help or hurt – I don’t know. That’s coming up later in the podcast. Also, I want to invite you to take part in the podcast. Anchor.fm on my landing page has a link that you can leave a message. I want to start including you in the upcoming podcast. So – go to my page on anchor.fm and leave your message. I will upload it and will make you part of the upcoming podcast. Also, later in the podcast my wife Michi is going to sit in with me to just have a heart to heart and see what matters to us both. I really hope you join in with us and I really hope it will bring a laugh or two that might brighten your day. So, hang on to your mask Lone Ranger – here we go!
I have a friend of mine that is a Pastor and he’s a working/traveling comedian. He’s been featured and has done openings for the Huckaby show in Nashville and also has been involved with the Loretta Lynn festival. I am not going to name him on my podcast because I didn’t ask permission. He went on facebook like a few weeks ago and basically went OFF on the governor of his state because churches has not been deemed essential yet. His argument, like many others, was why was it okay to gather in mass at places like Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes and not be able to have church. As someone that enjoys meeting at church I had to agree for the most part. Then, I have also been following the news from Louisiana where a pastor defied orders to not hold services and was arrested – albeit for other charges, not just for holding services – and was released. On the day he was released he went and held services that night. He was asked to stop holding services again and then was placed on house arrest. During his facebook live broadcast he showed everyone his ankle bracelet and after service he was arrested again. It doesn’t take long to ruffle the feathers of the church and at the same token it ruffles the feathers of those hinging on the shelter in place being effective. The interesting turn of events with the pastor in LA is that his own attorney has been diagnosed with the virus. The guy that has been getting him out of jail contracted the virus. Before I potentially lose the few listeners I have I wanted to say that I saw a touching video of a pastor doing facebook live posts from his sanctuary where the members had sent pictures of themselves and they had been placed in the pews to give him faces to look at. He was touched by the kindness of the congregation. There are also pastors that are doing a great job with the drive in churches – where I assume that a honk is an amen and if they do donuts in the parking lot that’s akin to a praise break.
I want to go back to talk about the pastors that are getting on social media and they are demanding services be allowed to resume. So – hopefully in a lighthearted gesture I want to see if we can understand what is best here and calm down for a second. Here are my “have you ever.”
1. Churches have greeters at the door and so does Walmart, but have you ever been greeted at Walmart with a handshake and a hug? It’s hard not to do that in church.
2. Churches have ushers and volunteers to help you find your way around. Walmart has associates that do the same, but they don’t take your coat or hold an umbrella for you; and they most certainly don’t put their arms around you because they are so glad you came to see them.
3. Churches have secret assigned seating. If you don’t believe that get there early and sit somewhere different and notice how nice the person is that normally sits there. However, during service if you feel the hair on the back of your neck start burning – it’s the nice little lady that normally sits there. Walmart doesn’t have that.
4. Churches will start their services by singing a song and then they will walk around and shake hands and greet one another again. Still, you don’t constantly walk through Walmart like a politician on patrol. No one is giving you the right hand of fellowship there.
5. Some churches have pastors that spit when they preach – as the spirit moves on them. You may get wet at Walmart but it’s if you are standing too close to the produce when the misting system is activated.
6. People in church love to pass babies around from person to person – at Walmart they usually stay in the buggy.
7. At the end of the service, more handshakes and hugs at the church – still haven’t seen this at Walmart.
Now I realize you can have precautions to keep yourself from touching one another, but not all churches can house every member and keep the 6 feet apart difference. Some small churches only have about 6 feet from the pulpit to the first pew. The one problem I do have is nature of a lot of church leaders to push folks to come to church. They mean well but they sometimes put emotional pressure on people so there is a crowd. Now, if you are pastor and all you are wanting to see is a crowd then I can’t agree with you. If you are concerned about the tithing, again, I can’t agree with you. So, for all of you that have figured out a way to reach your churchgoers without putting them in some sort of harms way, I commend you. This is God’s way of getting you out from behind the pulpit and up and down the road. How long has it been since you stepped on someone’s porch just to see how they were doing and offer to pray for them right through the screen door? Find a way to keep doing what you already have the freedom to do. Have you ever stopped to think of how life would be if this didn’t go away for a while? Let’s stop all the bickering about the law stripping us of our rights and move within the parameters of what helps keep people safe AND what will bring honor to whom you worship. At the end of the day going beyond what you can do to maintain will be what matters.
So during our quarantine my wife and I have become gardeners, pressure washers, and most recently carpenters. We have been doing Facebook live with music and homeschooling. So I’ve asked her to help me out today and we are going to just talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of quarantine 2020 – would you help me welcome Ms. Michi!
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