I have experienced several different church services, so how do I work if they are getting it right?

Asked by Erin

I have a question about pentecostals and charismatics. Sometimes they seem
so different. They do a lot of things ie. tongues, prophesy, raising hands
etc. I know these things are not bad yet when i went to a COC church it
just felt a bit wrong. It was too orchestrated. How are we to tell if a
church is getting it “right”? When we do things differently can there be
different interpretations of scripture or only one right and wrong answer?


Great question!  The great diversity of church styles is a bit confusing.  Like all of christian life, we need to look to the Bible for help.  The closest Bible link to church is the Christian gatherings of the New Testament.  They centre around caring for each other, praying together and reminding each other of the Gospel.  We get church ‘right’ when we focus on these things, and don’t get distracted by other activities.

The earliest church had eye witnesses of Jesus to tell them the Gospel.  We have the witness’s message written in the Bible.  Reminding people of the Gospel has to centre on teaching the Bible. This is where we connect with and experience God. Some churches get it wrong when they focus on other ways to connect with and experience God: tongues, rapturous singing, reciting liturgy, contemplating icons, meditation, chanting etc.  These place the focus on the individual’s personal experience.  Caring for people and remembering the Gospel are neglected.  The church is left in a dangerous and disobedient situation.

Sometimes differences can be OK, as long as it’s a difference in style not substance.  There are different styles of teaching the Bible, but if its not taught the substance disappears and we get church ‘wrong’.

Some Bible bits which are helpful include: Acts 6:1-7, 1 Tim 4:11-16, Eph 4:11-16 , 1 Cor 14:6-19
Also try searching the archived questions using ‘tongues’ and ‘church’ keywords.

I hope this helps.  Feel free to reply if you think of anything else!

Ian.

Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au

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