Today I read a number of blogs that labored over things that happen during worship that might be distracting to the worshiper.
Worrying about whether or not our worship offering to God is distracting just seems silly. What is the Biblical precedence for this kind of thinking? I can't think of anything - sure there are passages that warn us about doing things for our own gain - but that isn't the same as worrying about being distracting.
When it comes to our worship offering we need to be concerned with excellence. Not whether or not person A or B is going to be distracted by something that is going on during the service. I have said this a thousand times: if somebody is distracted from giving God his due during our corporate worship offering, then the problem isn't the thing that distracted him in the first place, the problem is the individual's lack of discipline when it comes to worshiping God.
Back when I was learning to fly planes, I had an instructor who would jab me and throw things at me while I was working out particularly complicated problems. He did this while we were on the ground, he would do this while we were in the air. He would make me put on a hood and then make me put my head between my legs (as much as you can do in a little plane) then completely disorient the plane. Then he would say "OK, fix it. You have 10 seconds". So while I'm assessing and fixing, he would complicate things by hitting me in the head with the Snickers bar that he had in his pocket (this is probably why I don't like Snickers anymore).
While it was annoying, and even angering, it really helped me learn to focus in tight situations. Seems to me that if we want to make worshipers less distracted, the goal should be to allow more distractions during worship service (though, I'm not sure how to do this and accomplish excellence).
Here is the comment I was agreeing to that Aaron said I was incorrect to agree with. If you go to my post you'll see that it is ONLY this comment that I agreed to.
"Paul's point is to not intentionally cause your brother to stumble. Yet, our brothers have become very adept at finding petty issues to stumble over."
I gave examples of some issues in my life that have caused others to 'stumble'. The whole thing about texting in church is the context that was being discussed at the time, so these are the examples that most related to me. I was trying to figure out how I was incorrect in the situations by continuing to play sax in church and by not wearing a suit the following Easter. I was being judged in paragraph one for agreeing with the statement while Romans 14:4 was specifically quoted to me in paragraph 2 of the same post. I'm attempting to find out how I was incorrect. Maybe just using the label 'petty' is where I was incorrect.
to clarify what i thought you were incorrect about...........was the fact that you agreed with,
"Paul's point is to not intentionally cause your brother to stumble. Yet, our brothers have become very adept at finding petty issues to stumble over"
its wrong to agree with this statement. its not our job to decide whether or not they are being petty (that would include being "annoyed" or truly "stumbled"). but like i said in my other reply, that decision is between them and the Lord. so if they dont like something about the church, but most of the people do, its time for that person to find a church they do like.
in the end, their behavior is not for me to fix. (unless it is truly sinful...i.e., having an affair, doing drugs, stealing, lying all the time....etc, etc, etc....). but those issues are visible and provable. not just what i "feel" they are doing.
i hope that answers your question completely enough. if not, then let me know and i'll get back to you. but if i dont write back in 1 or 2 days.....try to be patient this time. no need to get upset.
We recently heard of a church that was just built and they installed cell phone jammers in the church. This way when you enter the main church area your phone has no signal till you leave. Harsh but I liked it :)
"So what about people who are required to do be on-call? Does this mean they can't attend a service?"
Our church meets in a school where reception is very spotty. In practical terms it means that when on-call I get up every 30 or so minutes and go outside to make sure no calls came in when reception was out. That seems more distracting than having somebodies cell vibrate.
we meet in a school and that's what they have available to us. it's a large auditorium/lunchroom, but most of the time there's a closed off partition between the two to keep kids from going into the back area and fooling with things. the only 2 exits are to the hallway or outside. The stage is on the one end. We don't use the stage, but that's where a screen for powerpoint is and a lot of electrical outlets are while midway through the room has only minimal outlets along the side wall.
agreed--i'm just a glorified grunt on call and can get away with 30 minutes without calling back. churches that do this could really cause a problem for doctors and others required to give a quick response.