Sunday, 30 September 2007

A Little Confused Post #2

In my previous post, I said that I would write a little about the tremendous service that we had and my home church First City Baptist in East London, South Africa on the 2nd September 2007. We have a different type of service on a Sunday evening. We begin with worship in the main auditorium and then move through to the hall for coffee and then we have the message where our pastor encourages the congregation to participate by asking question during the service. This was quite a radical change from the original format where we stayed in the main auditorium and has been working in the church for the past year.

This evening was a little different as when we completed the time of worship we moved through to the hall where the smells of cooking boerewors permeated the air. Before John preached we all helped ourselves to a boerewors roll, potato salad and coffee before John preached. We also had to donate some money towards a very special cause. Siya the chaplain of the aids clinic, Sophumelela is going to be getting married and in the Xhosa culture, he needs to pay Lobola before he can get married. As a church, we agreed to help with this and a substantial amount of money was raised to assist Siya in the paying of the Lobola. All of this is good and we are glad to have Siya as a pastor and elder of the church, but something has change the rules are different and this is why I am a little confused.

A number of years back to serve coffee and for that matter potato salad and boerewors, between the worship and the preaching of the word have been considered an abomination to the house of God and would not have been done and a theological reason would have been giving to stop this from happening. Years ago, we would definitely not have welcomed Siya into the church let alone, welcomed him as a pastor and elder because men had also found good theological reasons for this not to happen. Raising money to pay Lobola would have just been out of the question.

What then has changed? Have we come to understand the Bible a little bit more? Has God changed his mind? Alternatively, did we just realise that we had made some mistakes and placed our own interpretation on the scriptures to suit our particular circumstance and culture at the time?

If this is the case, what other issues are there in the church which we have labelled fundamental, which are just our manipulation of the scriptures to suit out our particular culture, circumstances and belief?

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