John Corson's Blog

WRITING & RANTING
for April 17, 2021

WAITING FOR TOMORROW
AND THE PURPOSE OF GOING TO CHURCH

Another Saturday Morning and I anxiously await with baited breath another Sunday in the Lord's House. I do say that with tongue-in-check because, as my three faithful readers and others who dare read these rants, know, Sunday's take a toll on me.

I do care for my church folks. I do try to lead them in a spiritual way. That leading is to the fresh spiritual waters of peace and I try to make available a worshipful atmosphere where all who attend can go away feeling rejuvenated in their inner being. Providing this spiritual charge comes at a cost. I spend a lot of time "preparing the food." It hurts when few come out to partake.

Back in the late 70's, while I was preaching in my first full-time ministry, I was told by a resident of the community where my church was located, that he would only go to church if he got something out of it. He had quit going some 15 to 20 years before. He never even attended on Easter with his kids, Mother's Day with his mom, or the Sunday before or of Christmas. He "got nothing out of it."

This guy was popular in this town of 350 and around the country surrounding the town. Imagine how quick the news spread when I told him to his face that the reason he got nothing out of church was because he put nothing into it. I said this to him while sitting around having coffee with several other farmers and workers at the local town cafe, but I didn't say it for all to hear. Unfortunately, a couple of the fellows heard it and my response to Bob was broadcast from there to Chicago.

Now I didn't know that he had hardly ever attended since he grew out and got out of the house. It was my understanding that something happened some 15 to 20 years before, when he was but in his early to mid 20s that upset him and gave him a reason to never go back to church. I later found out that he really never participated in church services except to just attend or helped out with church functions no matter how big or special. He just attended then stopped. He would take jabs at me at times saying, "Well farmers work all the time, even in off season, you only work on Sundays." He would say, "you have a lot of books in your library and for what? You spend all your time reading, not working."

I would carefully correct his analysis by saying such things as, I visit the sick, I visit those who need me, I prepare a message which takes time, I oversee the worship services, work with committees, the social and music teams, oversee the Sunday School. And as for my books, they are tools. You have tools in your garage and barns don't you. You use them for your work, right? I use those books for my work as well.

Bob would always say, "You think you have an answer for everything."

Well, I had the answer to his dilemma of not getting anything out of church. Far too many people go (correction - use to go) to church to get something out of it. They want entertainment, or to be the center of attention, or to be appointed to a chairmanship of an important committee or board. Maybe they go to see if they can get a leg up financially after a big catastrophe hits them like the loss of a job or a huge medical bill arrives. They go just waiting for something big to happen that kicks them in the shorts and lifts them high or, at least, makes them laugh.

In another church I served, I had a man who once served as a Deacon before I came to pastor there. He had resigned and just quit going to church altogether. His young daughter asked me to go and talk with him just to see if he could be softened up enough to go with her to a service or two. My two visits with him were of no avail. He said that he knew that it didn't look like he cared for God anymore. He was disappointed in all the people who attend church. "They are all hypocrites, me included. But at least I try to get a little better."

I asked him "How so? How are you bettering yourself when you do not attend for worship?"

He said that he worships God from home. "I watch Rex Humbard, Charles Stanley or a couple of other preachers who are either live or recorded from the previous week that are on television. You think I can't worship this way?"

I told him that in Acts 2:42 we find the four basic parts of a worship experience as practiced by the early church. They are 1) The Apostles' Doctrine, which is the teaching and preaching; 2) The Breaking of Bread which is communion; 3) Prayer and 4) Fellowship. I told him that I knew he could get the first three at home. He could listen and watch the TV preachers and get the Apostles' Doctrine, that he could prepare his own communion with bread and grape juice and that he could pray by himself in the privacy of his own home. But I told him that "I have yet to see anyone successfully have fellowship with a television set or with a coffee table."

I do have a way of cutting to the quick on things like these two examples. You get nothing out of church because you put nothing into it. I can worship at home, but it is only three-fourths worship.

Excuses! I heard a preacher friend once say "Excusers are losers." That is curt and to the point as well. I don't think my people at Windsor Baptist, who decide that they don't need church but once a month or a couple times a year. are losers. Quite frankly, they give no excuses! Well, most of them don't. They like to change the subject when told that they were missed last week or are being missed since they haven't been in a long while.

I have only had one person in my ten years there to boldly say that when he goes to church he expects to be served. I asked him, would you serve as well? His response is typical of the way most people think these days who have no care for the church. "I go to church to be served, not to serve."

I don't think he is going to get that privilege when the "Roll is Called Up Yonder". You can't get into heaven without serving God so he had better start now and use his earthly time practicing and preparing for such a service.

So tomorrow it will be revealed again how many people have an hour to an hour and a half set aside out of their busy schedule for spiritual rejuvenation. It's not that I judge my success by the number of people who attend. I just get saddened by the number of people who don't give an hour-and-a-half to God out of 168 hours in the week. And that is counting the time to drive to and from church!

Well, today I have to take both mine and Janice's cars in for a state inspection. I think everything will be fine in both cars. We keep them up all the time. We change the oil and filter regularly and on time. We rotate the tires every other change. Change the air filter every 22,500 miles and do all the other scheduled maintenance as per the maintenance schedule provided by the Hyundai dealer and manufacturers. We take both cars back to the dealer from whom we purchased the cars. They actually take care of the cars and we have had no problems other than the occasional flat tire or brake light go out, but that is not anyone's fault. Those cars will pass inspection.

Following that Janice was to get out and plant some more veggies. She has squash, cucumbers and something else to go into the ground today. Right now she is at a lady's group meeting, planning a couple of future events for the church and a mission project, then she will come home, we will go to lunch before the inspection and then she will plant while I ... read a book or watch some Barney Miller.

Until tomorrow, when I give my every Sunday account of the fun time spent at church, ...

Blog for April 16 Blog for April 18

Blogging

Blogs are about the blogger. It's as if he or she merely toots their own horns about the things they do, say and love.

My life is boring. I read, I watch Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. I listen to Andrew Wilkow. I engage in some conversation with those who are willing to listen (they being masochistic and enjoy killing themselves with my banter).

I plan on just laying out the things that bother me and the things I love. Nothing in-between. I hope you find whatever I put here amusing.