When Church becomes a “Jump Up”

Since arriving in Barrouallie new Vincentian phrases have become part of my vocabulary. One of the most common is “jump up” which is Vincentian for party with loud music, and people dancing in the streets.

Vincy’s love to party, so they will take any excuse to have one. This has resulted in weddings, funerals, and holidays being celebrated by jump ups.

I can sort of understand this (not agreeing with the music or activities) but can’t stand when Church becomes a jump up.

yesterday I referenced attending a funeral at a Seventh Day Adventist Church. My reason for being there was to sing with Church members (and share the Gospel) but it still wasn’t a comfortable situation since the pastor of the Church openly preached false doctrine.

Even overlooking the false doctrine (which I don’t) the service itself was one big jump up:

  1. There were singers who sounded as if they where auditioning for American Idol
  2. People going into “glory fits” (uncontrollable shakes) during the service along with strangely well-planned weeping and wailing
  3. Loud music with a drum and electric guitar
  4. People shouting and waving their hands
  5. And a sermon that made everybody feel good about themselves

An hour and a half later I led a very different Service

  1. We sang hymns without accompaniment
  2. Instead of a packed house we had less than twenty
  3. The sermon wasn’t filled with glory fits and hand waving, but taking notes and looking at their Bibles
  4. And the service ended not with everybody feeling good about themselves, but a fresh challenge to share God’s Word boldly

To be perfectly honest its easy to be jealous of the energy and enthusiasm of jump up services…thats why we must realize emotion doesnt affect the heart.

You see the religious unsaved of Barrouallie may attend Churches with “exciting worship services” but their hearts are still sinful. There will still be a part of them that realizes thing aren’t right between them and God.

In desperation these people turn to their pastors who tell them “just be faithful and loving then God will take you to Heaven” but in their hearts they know thats a lie. So they try (and fail) to make God happy again every day, with no answer but “try harder tomorrow.”

A true Christian on the other hand doesn’t base their relationship with God on emotions or feelings, but the shed blood of Jesus Christ

As the Pastor tried to explain Sunday afternoon at the funeral how being good leads you to Heaven a Church member sitting beside me shook her head and said “no.” Later as he continued explaining false doctrine two members looked at me and shook their heads.

Here were people who KNEW the Gospel, and clearly called out heresy when they heard it! People who had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. People who sat under preaching of Doctrine (long before I came) that isn’t as exciting as a jump up service, but ministers to the heart.

The world is filled with Churches that emphasize emotions or experiences that draw people by the hundreds. But we should not be tempted to do the same.

Because heart change beats emotion every day of the week

Published by John Wilburn

teacher, and disciple-maker in Barrouallie St. Vincent

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