FEASTERVILLE, Pa. - (KRT) - The church is a converted machine shop in an industrial park. The choir is three young women, accompanied by drums and guitars. There is no offering plate. Communion is self-serve.
Sunday worship at the Well in Feasterville, Pa., is coffee-house casual, complete with couches and computer stations and an artists' corner. The 40 parishioners, some of whom carry their coffee and doughnuts into the candlelit worship area, favor jeans and shorts. Most are under 30.
The Well is one of a growing number of churches in the "emergent" movement, a disaffected segment of evangelical Christianity that rejects what it sees as the rigidity of the religious right and the timidity of liberal mainline churches.
Brad Jackson, a 33-year-old former seminarian who is the pastor, doesn't so much deliver a sermon as lead a discussion. Today's topic: Christian identity....
There are some good things about that church (thanks for the URL, John). They are probably reacting to the hyper-organized and choreographed norm of most churches. That they downplay age-segregation is encouraging, although they could go further.
"for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart"
2 Corinthians 10:7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? if any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.
Matthew 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, â€śDo not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.â€ť
I know I have to watch over my heart all the time, not to judge a matter from looking at outward circumstances. Keeping from the fear of man and the commandments of men, is a full time job. I am always looking at my own life and examining myself, if there is anyway that I am too lax and is there anyway that I may be like the Pharisee.
Matthew 21:31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
Matthew 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
Matthew 9:10-11 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Matthew 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
Mark 2:15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.
Weak Christians forming a weak congregation with a weak spirituality. Perhaps the males in this congregation let the women wear the pants in "the family." The reason why churches are going weak is because a weak family structure in the church has created weak Christian leaders who, in turn, produce a weak Christianity.
I turned on a local Contemporary Christian station yesterday only to hear a song about being depressed, in sin, and asking for forgiveness repeatedly.