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Church is no longer sacred

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Last time I wrote about funerals being the new place for people to actively market themselves and their “wares”. Interesting feedback I got from that, including a certain lady who told me to get on with the times.

Apparently, you can wear what you want — any length, colour, however tight, because it is no longer taboo. She said the departed, relatives and friends should already know you for who you are, so if you go to a funeral wearing jeans or a mini skirt, you are just staying true to form. Alright then.

Well, I guess I really am from the dark ages, because I still maintain that certain places require certain dressing and decorum.

Obviously I would not expect one to wear a sarong (Zambia) and tie a headscarf (doek), in a club, but neither do I believe one should wear a bikini to a funeral either.

I stand firm in the belief that even in places of religion, a certain dignified and respectful dress code should come into play.

Talking about places of religion, a good friend of mine posted on Facebook her shocking experience at her church, where she was sitting between two women.

The one kept chatting during the service, and even went on to take out her bag, spray perfume on herself and ask my friend if she would like a “dash of scent” as well.

I am not sure what the implication was in that gesture. Being in the house of God, she could very well have been practicing the concept loving one’s neighbour, after all, sharing is caring.

Could it have been that she wanted to show off her designer label perfume, or worse still, was she trying to politely hint at my friend that she could do with a bit of perfume on her?

On her other side was another lady who kept pinching her whenever the pastor said something funny. Again, was this a friendly gesture as in, pinch pinch, lets laugh together — or perhaps my friend looked as if she was falling asleep, and her neighbour felt obliged to keep her awake lest she snored the whole place down?

Her post generated so many other responses from people sharing their experiences, in particular from one gentleman who shared that a pastor had one of his flock, seated in the front row, winking at him and opening her legs suggestively.

In church. My, my, had you been that, what would you have done? Would you have suddenly gone into prayer and said unto the Lord, ‘Father forgive those that are here to distract me from sharing your word?” Or would you have called her up, prayed and shaken that demon out of her, as some pastors are known to do.

Another commented that a fellow churchgoer was busy playing video games during the service, and carried on even during prayer. I personally experienced a man, who let his cellphone ring? you know those loud ringing tones at full volume, and instead of switching it off, answers “Hello, I’m in church”.

And believe me, he didn’t even attempt to whisper. There was silence for a while whilst we all assumed he had ended the call, and half a minute later, “OK, tell them I will come there straight after church.” Ah! Our pastor who had stopped mid sentence, let him finish his conversation, and then kindly requested that everyone put their phones on silent or answer them outside.

So why do people go to church. For good marks, ie it is assumed that because you go to church people will always say good things about you. Is it to show off your latest designer wear, perfumes and other accessories?

I remember whilst growing up, going to church was the one place where you had to dress with dignity, very, very smart and be well mannered.

Fellowship occurred after service, not during.
Although we didn’t have cellphones, I believe we still would have had the courtesy not to disrupt the service to answer it, let alone let it ring.

While discussing this topic with another friend, she questioned the use of the church building as a place to generate revenue and sell services or products.

Her experience was that, just before the pastor walked in to preach, during praise and worship, a lady sitting next to her took out a big bag, opened it to show her its contents, and said to her, “Please support me, I am selling these things”.

OK, mine is not to judge, that is where you come in and help me understand this. I can certainly attest to the fact that things are a bit challenging, but was that the right place and time to do that?

Others have questioned the use of the church structure to hold non-Christian events that raise revenue, for example expo’s, music shows and pageants. I believe there is even one place where the venue is a club by night and a church on Sunday.

So the whole week, people will be making merry, in any and every way possible, and on Sunday, suddenly the place is supposed holy. I have also been told that one of the churches along Kwame Nkrumah Avenue even houses a bar. Again, let me not judge.

Feedback: oldschoolvalues@ymail.com

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