We had a fantastic HUB last night launching a new series about strange churchy things. So many of the things we do as Christians can seem so weird to those who aren’t used to the way we "do" church. We focused most of our attention last night on the strange aspects of baptism– and ran out of time, so we’re continuing it this next week.
Basically, we’re talking about what strange things we do/say because we have inherited a social/historical/cultural history of "church" and what strange things we do/say because we’re supposed to. In other words, we’re asking what things the church is supposed to continue to do and say and what things the church should change or stop altogether. Some of the things we do or say often have little to do with the Bible and more to do with our inherited preferences (eg. bowing heads and closing eyes for prayer). For those of us who are accustomed to "church", we can forget how weird a lot of churchy things can be to others.
For a moment, if you’re not permanently in this frame of mind, put yourself in the place of a church "outsider". What would strike you as strange about church? Check out these lists we came up with in just a few minutes last night- and feel free to add some more in a comment:
STRANGE CHURCHY THINGS WE SAY: Born again, sanctification, binding/loosing, sacrificial lamb, saved, flesh, sin, hedge of protection, passover, blood of Christ, body of Christ, deacon, elder, Trinity, leviticus, slain in the Spirit, -and my favorite- fornication. [Some of these sound like good movie titles!]
STRANGE CHURCHY THINGS WE DO: worship, raise hands, sing together towards a screen, stand/kneel, communion, baptism, confession, tongues, tv evangelism, child dedication, annointing, robes, lent, juice & bread cubes, responsive reading, offering, bowing head to pray, ask into our heart.