Living in the middle of the Bible Belt, there are churches on almost every corner. I should know, I’ve been visiting quite a few over the past few months. The time finally came where it was time to find a church for me and my future family, instead of continuing to attend the church where I was raised with my parents. It has been a long hard journey, and unfortunately I cannot say that journey is over.
It has shocked me how many differences there are, even among churches of the same denomination and conference. Over the course of my visiting, I’ve been to eleven different churches.
Some sing hymns. Some have praise and worship (which I can’t stand). Some are blended.
Some use King James Version. Some use New International Version. Some use English Standard Version. One used New American Standard Version.
Some used notes. Some gave topical sermons. Some gave expository messages.
All of that is a matter of preference. What bothered me was the total disregard for scriptural requirements in a worship service.
These requirements are found in I Timothy 2-3. These requirements are not popular, but they are straight from scripture. If they are ignored, how can any of the gospel be intact?
Churches should have a leadership organization of Bishops (pastor or elder) and Deacons.
- Be Blameless
- Not given to wine
- Not a striker
- Not greedy of filthy lucre
- Not a brawler
- Not covetous
- Of good behavior
- Have a good report with them which are without
- Rule his own house well
- The husband of one wife
- Given to hospitality
- Having his children in subjection
- Sober (of sound mind)
- Apt to teach
- Not a novice
The requirements for deacon are similar:
- Not doubletongued
- Not given to much wine
- Not greedy of filthy lucre
- Hold the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience
- Husbands of one wife
- Ruling their children and their own houses well.
“Let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.” (I Tim 3:12) Being a deacon or a bishop is not something you can obtain, then grow into. You must be qualified before you receive the office.
In addition to this, I Timothy 2 requires that services be conducted by a man.
“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (I Tim 2:11-14)
I cannot see how anyone can ignore the fact that the services are to be conducted by men, who meet certain qualifications (for the record, of which I fall short). Not only must it be men, but it the men cannot be brawlers, but be strong in the faith (not a novice, holding the mystery, etc.)
Furthermore, they must both rule their household well and be the husband of one wife. Does this mean God cannot use you if you have a child it rebellion or a wife that has left you? Of COURSE not. But, your place to serve God is not in a place of authority over a congregation. It is a higher standard for those in authority.
Why did I write all this out? Because in those ten churches, I have seen women do a children’s sermon, oversee the communion service, and be part of the deacon board. I have seen a divorced man take the pulpit and preach a sermon about relationships. I have seen a man whose son openly mocks the teachings of the church stand in front of his congregation and brag about the greatness of his family. And, I have seen a man who calls himself a man of God invoke elements of witchcraft into a sermon.
It makes me sick. No wonder the world does not have any idea about the holiness of Christ. The church ignores the doctrine they claim to promote because it is antiquated. I believe with every fiber of my being that the Word of God is not antiquated. The straightforward requirements for the church to follow are not antiquated.
If the church starts ignoring portions of scripture with which it disagrees, where does it end? First creation was not done in a literal six days. Abomination becomes an alternative lifestyle. It doesn’t matter what you believe, or how you manage your house, as long as you are a good person. Don’t worry about worshiping God, just give to the needy and you’ll still get to heaven. It would all be laughable, except I have heard all of these things.
The Church MUST get back to the unconditional truths of scripture. It is not popular. There will be a push against it. Me just saying this will quite possibly cost me some friends. But if you can show me from scripture where I am wrong, please do so. I am just human. I can be wrong. But scripture is Divinely inspired and the Holy Word of God, which is exalted even above His name. 
- I Timothy 3: 1-7
- I Timothy 3: 8-13
- Psalms 138: 2