Thursday, January 07, 2010

A tradition of standing

I was thinking of a tradition in the modern church to use Sunday to help my class relate to how it is used in Mark 7:3-5, 8-9, 13.

Let me try it first on you. Many Sunday's in my church, a worship song is sung while the congregation is seated. Inevitability, during the song, however, someone will stand--perhaps because of a right heart attitude. Shortly, a person sitting nearby will also stand. Before long, other people stand up in what becomes a wave that sweeps over the whole congregation. Why?

I think of it as a tradition like "hand washing". It's certainly not a commandment, but why do people stand up? To avoid the appearance of not worshiping?

Perhaps other people do join in and stand to display a worshipful heart. However, my guess is that many people stand without the right heart attitude.

Jesus might say, "The act of standing does not affect the heart," or "The rightness of a person's heart is not determined by standing, or sitting."

Of course I could be wrong about all this. Am I off base?


Chris W said...

I think I don't think of standing as a tradition. Not in the way you are discussing it. Maybe if you are talking about the Hallelujah Chorus for which people traditionally stand but don't know why.

I am not sure a better example of a tradition is not the song service in itself. How many people are really worshiping God when we are singing? We think about lunch, we think about football, work, and even flatout sinful thoughts. Worshiping God is a great thing to do but it has been allowed to become something different. I am not sure that is really better, but......

servingHim said...

Thanks Chris for the feedback. It just seems like standing results from peer pressure (sort of a forced worship response), and standing does not relate to the condition of the person's heart.

I'll think about your suggestion of using the song service itself as an example of tradition. To bring it into question may generate more disagreement, whereas it may be too easy to agree with labeling standing as a man-made tradition.

Appreciate the help!