I grew up in a Pentecostal church. That statement alone should give you an idea of the discipline, by way of strictness at the time, that I was under. Those days for me as a youngin’ were intense. But it wasn’t until I watched a Christian reality T.V. show a few days ago, that something about the way the old saints worshiped stood out to me in a positive way. What I am talking about is their stand for holiness.
I watched a new series about preachers in a certain state one night due to the buzz created around the premiere. I watched from the beginning until the end, and when the show concluded, I didn’t know how to feel about it. The show documents the lives of different pastors; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Just because someone may be labeled a preacher does not mean that their life is without challenge. But I would hope that the way any controversial situation is handled is reflective of Christ on the inside. But we are human, and we do fall. And that was ever so evident in a few parts of the show.
If you asked me what I prefer, the old school way (of worship) or the new school, I’d say a resounding new school. The old school had way too many rules and it wasn’t fun for me. But in attempts to make the church more likeable to what we label as “the world”, have we totally lost sight of our standards? In the “old church” the banner for righteousness was held in such high regard. Members would rather stay at home and deal with their issues before coming into the house of God, rather than serving in ministry liked nothing ever happened. The reverence for God was so strong, that they knew they had to come before him correct. And so they strived as best they could to live holy. That, I can respect.
I am so careful not to judge situations that I have not been in, nor people for the choices that they make. Coming from a background where there was so much shame and guilt attached to someone’s short coming, I’ve aimed myself to be sympathetic. I wrestled with how I should feel after watching the show that night. On one hand I wanted be compassionate and understanding, and on the other I thought, God should be represented better than this. But one thing that was made clear to me that night is this: No matter what happens, if I fall, if you fall, if your pastor, your mother, your dad or anyone you may look up to falls (in sin), God’s grace is undoubtedly always sufficient. But the standard will always be holiness.
Written by: Shenelle Wallace