Take part on "Good Friday" and "Easter Day" against my conscience?

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Max Hase, Mar 25, 2015.

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  1. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    In general, "boycott" is not a good attitude to take towards one's church. I'm not in the best position to advise you because my conscience would not be bothered by a church that acknowledged Easter, but I do know something about keeping a guard on my heart regarding a church I'm not always pleased with. Attitude is very important.

    Would you be going elsewhere in a humble spirit, still appreciative of your home church, not feeling self-righteous about your decision?

    Or would you be going elsewhere in an arrogant spirit, intent on making a point, thinking yourself better than others, feeling unappreciative of your home church?

    Do not answer that question quickly or lightly. Take time to examine your heart and to get it right for worship. Proper worship is inherently a humble activity, and if you fail to worship with a humble attitude you will be the one failing to worship rightly. Your desire to worship rightly is a good desire, and it's good to pick a home church based on that, but I do think you need to pay at least as much attention to your own heart as you do to what those in leadership at your chosen church may be doing wrongly. The elements of the service are chiefly their concern; your heart is chiefly your concern.
     
  2. Miss Marple

    Miss Marple Puritan Board Junior

    Should we characterize worship, even if on a Friday, as a "burden?"
     
  3. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    The kowtowing to superstitious practices burdening the conscience is the issue.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  4. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    Well said Jack.
     
  5. Max Hase

    Max Hase Puritan Board Freshman


    Dear Chris,

    you are perhaps right that it is not a sin for simply being in my church on so called “resurrection Day”. But when I am in my church it is a temptation for me to take part at the service. For example: For the first song we have to stand up. When I do this than I not only show that I take part - in fact I even take part! Because to stand up belongs to our liturgy. I think that I have not enough courage to remain seated. I will be the only person how remain seated! Of course THIS is not the fault of my church. It is only my fault! But I fear the people. So the temptation is too high for my.

    And apart from that, Paul said that we should not eat meat offered to idols when the other person said, "This is meat offered to idols". That is a reason, too why I want not to go to my church next Sunday (or why I not celebrate Christmas with my own family). Suppose, everything I make in my church next Sunday would be right. (I don't think I am able to do this because I am too anxious. But suppose!) Even then this is not enough. It is important too what the others think what I do. The others would think, "He take part at this resurrection service, too". Of course they will thing that!

    To eat meat offered to idols is itself not a sin! But when the others think that this meat was offered to idols then it is even for my wrong to eat this with the others. This is the same with my church on so called “resurrection Day”.

    And dear Jack,

    a humble spirit is of course better than an arrogant spirit but this is not my question at all! This has nothing to do about my question. My question is only about what I have to do (and not to do). Even if I have a humble spirit I can do still things wrong. My question is about the later.
     
  6. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Max,

    Since you have another, non-Easter observing church, within reasonable distance you should go there. Problem solved. No need for endless agonizing over cases of conscience. But, even if you did not, you would be sinning by sitting at home and profaning the Sabbath day by absenting yourself from public worship. Your duty is to obey the fourth commandment and attend a church service somewhere; otherwise you are neglecting to assemble together. Do not use other people's violations of the second commandment as an excuse for your own (potential) violation of the fourth commandment.

    To assume that simply attending a service, at which something sinful takes place, is automatically sin on the part of the person in attendance is a ridiculous principle that would lead to a thousand absurdities. For instance, if a minister gets his exegesis wrong in a Sabbath sermon, am I sinning by listening to the sermon? He may have violated the third commandment by misinterpreting and misapplying the word of God, but it would be ludicrous to think that I should have absented myself from worship just because a church officer is sinning.
     
  7. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Max, Daniel has said what I would have. I do think if you have not done so, you really need to be upfront with your church's leaders. Case in point. Every Lord's Day there is something I cannot do at my church's worship because I believe we should only sing from the book of Psalms, but my church does not believe that. I made this clear to the elders when I joined. So they understand when I'm silent. What others members or visitors may or may not know or presume, I cannot help. I have not been a squeaky wheel to change our practice; I know where things stand as far as broader principles. But I do think we sing more psalms than we used to; and for the re-instituting of an evening service this month, the pastor told me we'd only be singing psalms. All that to say, I think what is sufficient is that you be up front with your elders and subsequently with others as need arises and pray and work for positive change as long as you are in that church.
     
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