Sexta, 17 de Novembro de 2017
   
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Cold Churches

"Cold church" is a term that does not show in the Bible. The closest term is in Revelation 3.15-16, where Jesus says the Laodicean church was lukewarm. Jesus did not mean thou that the church was little excited, but that it was similar to the semi thermal waters surrounding that region (not cold nor hot). Being warm, those waters did not serve to quench thirst nor for medicinal purpose. Therefore, what Jesus meant was that the Laodicean church (or the "angel" of the church) had no use – it did not refresh the thirsty nor healed the wounded. Such as warm water, it could only serve to induce vomiting (v.16).

Few modern Christians understand this. Then, following mere interpretive insights, they believe the allusions of Jesus to the temperature of the church of Laodicea had to do with the type of service held. Then, with no basis at all, they consider warm or cold the church where:

 

1. People behave without screaming, crying, jumping or rolling on the ground during the service;

2. Service focuses on exposure of the Word of God and believers pay attention to it silently;

3. Songs of praise are balanced: there is no high volumes or dancing and choreography often lacking sense;

4. Prayers are made by one person at a time, so that everyone can hear the words of the one praying and consciously say amen at the end;

5. Worshiper’s emotions are expressed normally, free of hectic outbursts and bizarre behavior;

6. General environment favors learning, reflection, self-examination, confession of sins and conscious worship.

Interestingly, people who present themselves as Christian nurture genuine disgust for all this and say that these six characteristics are proper to lifeless churches that lack spiritual force and heat. For them, these features must be removed and replaced by others that, in their view, mark the "hot churches." These characteristics are the following:

 

1. People behave eccentrically, screaming, crying, growling, howling, crawling on the floor, giving laughter and imitating drunk people;

2. Service has no exposition of the Word. Instead, the "preacher" screams jargons, prophecies and victory sentences wildly screeching and making gestures in order to give authority and weight to the empty words he utters;

3. Songs take up most of the meeting and culminate in confusion, dancing and shouting, with instruments in deafening volume, which cancels reasoning and well-being, all with the goal of making the service more "exciting";

4. Prayers are made with everyone talking at once. The bedlam reaches its climax when the mass begins to utter what they believe to be "strange tongues", while many are tapping, gesturing, twisting their face and falling to the ground;

5. Emotions are seen as a measure of spirituality. So the more emotion a worshiper demonstrates more spiritual he is. With that in mind, people lose all sense of composure and adopt behaviors hardly seen in insane asylums;

6. The setting is absolutely unfavorable to learning, reflection, self-evaluation and to what Paul called "proper worship" (Romans 12.1).

According to the dominant evangelical mind, this second model is the one approved by the Holy Spirit, while the former is perverted, unproductive and unpleasant to God.

How far “Christian mentality” did get nowadays when reversing values - an undiscerning mindset, unable to approve things that are excellent (Philippians 1:10), calling evil, good and good, evil (Isaiah 5:20). Worse still, that boasts over it all, considering themselves the upper crust of Christian spirituality (Rev. 3:17).

God forbid his faithful servants from all these deviations and blunders. And keep them up above on the beautiful snow-capped peaks of true spirituality, far from noisy forests where pagan natives jump along with their wizards, down below.

Pr. Marcos Granconato

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