Ten Things Not to Do in Church
Going to church is a central part of a Christian’s life. Church is the place where people go to worship and praise their God. Hence the church is a sacred place for Christians and all activities done in the church should be honorable to God. Rules ,regulations, statute and observations are very integral part of the worship experience. Therefore any violation of these ordinances may be considered sinful or sacrilegious and may not be entertained. If you have never been to a church or have been restricted to going to one church, here are 10 things you should not do in a Jamaican church.
1. Do not sleep : Sleeping in church is a huge no no. If you are tired its best if you stayed home. It is very disheartening to a leader or speaker in a church service, if the congregants are sleeping or worse, snoring. When you sleep in church you are robbed of the joy of the whole worship experience and would not benefit from the spiritual empowerment or lift that comes with the service. In many rural parts of Jamaica people still get on their knees and pray in church instead of standing or sitting in their seats. One night during a church service in a rural district, everybody went on their knees and they were praying. When they were through praying and started to sing a new hymn, one sister was noticed still on her knees. When the usher went to inquire what was wrong, the lady was fast asleep, head on the bench and still on her knees. You could see the embarrassment on her face when the usher woke her up.Of course there was endless laughter and sniggering in the pews behind her. So if you have a weakness for sleepiness see the doctor or ask for healing but for heaven sake do not sleep in church.
2. Don’t go scantily clad: Dressing for the beach or a party or a fashion show is quite different from adorning yourself for church. The church preaches against lusting and the covering of the body and for a woman to walk in dressed in a mini skirt that keeps climbing her thighs, and if she bends or sits, exposes her or wearing a tight top with low cleavage, where the breasts are trying to force their way out of the bra, this might incur the wrath of the preacher or in some cases be told by the ushers that you cannot enter the sanctuary. On one hand it might be argued that sinners should go to church as they are until they are converted but on the other hand it might be said by the defenders of the faith that people must conform to rules. Pastors would not be want his male members tempted to lusting after a beautiful dame who exposes her thighs and breasts during their sermons. Avoid being called Jezebel or an agent of Lucifer. Do not dress scantily to church. Cover up the assets.
3. Don’t always volunteer to read if you can't –There are some persons who enjoy the spotlight and will do anything to get in the spotlight especially in church .If you know that reading is not your calling , just allow the abled ones to do so. However many young people and children usually wait in anticipation when these even up non readers take the podium. This provides a few minutes of comic relief for them. Its really annoying and embarrassing when these persons read. Chose your audience carefully and don’t bore or aggravate other who go to church to relieve themselves of the stress and strain of everyday life. Try reading class and when you have improved by all means go and read in public but until then don’t read in church.
4. Don’t gossip in church : Gossiping robs persons of their time which could be used for evangelistic work .It is very unhealthy for persons to be gossiping in church. That 15 minutes just before service starts is prime time for gossiping. This is the time to observe those entering the chapel and making critical analysis of their dressing and current stories about particular individuals. One would have thought that this pre-service time would be used to prepare oneself for the day’s service but it is used to make uncharitable remarks and pollute the mind of the weaker listeners. Used the gossip minutes as prayer minutes and you would be a better person. Don’t gossip in church.
5. Don’t flatulate : Although church is seen as an extension of the family, it doesn’t mean that the way you behave at home should be transferred to church. Therefore remove the intake of beans from your meal if you will be going to church afterwards. The fact that you may be skillful in silently squeezing the offensive air out, that stench will not escape the nostrils of persons near you. You may be immune to the smell but don’t cause others to have respiratory failure because of you toxic anal release valve. Don’t flatulate in church.
6. Don’t arrive late: If you make it a habit to be late for church, stop. It’s a bad practice. One of these days the door might be closed on you. Don’t bother try to make a grand entrance when all are seated, because if the service started without you being there then you are not that important .
7. Exchanging seats : You have arrived late and now you are asking someone to move to a next seat so that can have their seat. Its annoying. If you want a good seat please arrive early.
8. Don’t swear : Church is definitely not the place for swearing. Of course someone might offend you during the service like some ill-bred children behaving like they are possessed by demons and want to disturb the service. Shouting at them or the adult next to them “what the…is wrong with these…..!!.”(fill in the blank) is unacceptable, that is not the language for church. So don’t swear in church.
9. Don’t constantly use you phone: Unless it has the bible application and you are using it to read the lesson then you should not be texting and talking with your contacts during church service. It will annoy the person next to you and even more annoying if the volume is on. Leave the phone at home or in the car or turn it off until the service is over.
10. Don’t say amen if.. : If you were not paying attention to what was happening in the service, don’t go shouting amen. Amen means that you agree. So if it was announced that sister Beatrice fell and broke her leg then shut up, that is not an amen moment.
In conclusion going to church is a serious matter and it can be fun but do not treat it lightly. Hence no swearing, no phones, no late arrival ,no gossip, dress properly ,no sleeping, no unqualified volunteers and no false amen.