Imagine two unchurched guests named Zach and Nikki drop in on Parker Hills one random Sunday morning. Mildly curious about the Bible, they’re attracted by the inscription on the church sign: “Bible based, Christ centered.” They conclude that an easy way to learn what the Bible says about Jesus would be to observe a gathering at PHBF.
Now at lunch, Zach and Nikki are processing their morning, trying to distill the service into key points that they assume are part of what the Bible teaches. Let’s listen in and see if their experience led them to “Bible based, Christ centered” conclusions.
Nikki: “I was kind of surprised the people were so nice. And so normal! Church people usually scare me a little.” Bible based quality? Definitely. God is good. He loves people. Nobody knows that better than Christians, and so no group should be more gracious, loving, and genuinely smiley than a Christian church.
Zach: “Apparently, Jesus must really have something to say! That preacher talked for like 40 minutes.” Bible based conclusion? Definitely. When God wants to break in on the world and get something done, invariably He starts by speaking. He created the world by His word. He warned Noah, called Abraham, and covenanted with the Patriarchs with His word. God spoke the Law to His people and their kings, spoke poetry to songwriters and sages, and spoke warnings to the prophets. And then when He finally came personally into the world as a Man, one writer put it: “The Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14). Jesus definitely has something to say, and so a “Bible based, Christ centered” church spends a good chunk of their meeting listening to Him speak.
Nikki: “Based on what I saw, I guess sitting down or standing up are the two sacred postures Jesus wants people in to worship Him.” Bible based conclusion? Actually, no. Scripture commands people to worship God kneeling, lifting hands, bowing down, clapping, dancing, standing, and more. God’s worth calls out a whole variety of physical responses from His people! God is so glorious and overwhelming, engagement with Him can’t be contained inside. Even when people are just standing before Him, they aren’t “just standing”; they are to “stand in awe” (Ps 33:8).
So, what’s the point? Stay tuned!