There are things that should never happen at church. I’m not talking
about the pastor’s wife delivering the Sunday sermon because he took ill
during the middle of the night. What I mean are those things that should never happen, but altogether too frequently do.
1. Chair dusting. Or its name in Christian circles: “pew pooting.” This usually happens after the greeting time, when you’re just starting to get
comfortable again, and someone who’s (very) late needs a seat. As you make way for them, you notice that particular aroma as Johnny-come-lately pips and squeaks his way to his seat. Pew pooting. Happens every week. (And I’ve done it. Sorry).
2. Speaking of the greeting time, or as I like to call it “strangers
making nice,” that stuff should be banned during cold and flu season.
I saw you surreptitiously blow your nose, and then hide that hanky!
I’m not shaking your hand, man–that’s what knuckle knocks and flying chest bumps are for! And forget “greeting one another with a holy kiss!” I’ll blow you one and call it done, ok? Didn’t the church board and elders screen the movie Contagion at their last retreat? Mwah!
3. “Communion cooties.” You know what communion is. Communion cooties is what you get when the tray with the juice cups, and “wafers,” is passed around. It always comes after the greeting time, i.e., after who knows how many hands have been shaken. (And ladies, we guys know y’all always wash your hands, but guys–as I are one–we’re onto you). I mean, come on, I’m supposed to reach my hand into that receptacle–the one with the tiny white wafers—and pull one out. To put in my mouth! In other words, it’s like reaching into the peanut bowl at a bar! Or maybe like Forrest Gump’s proverbial “box o’ chocolates”–cause you never know what you’re gonna get!
4. Speaking of “cooties”: moms and dads, just so you know: church is not
the place for your tonsil hockey. Save the healthy displays of marital
affection for the mall, ok? Church is not a place for love! (At least
that’s what the [insert old school mainline denomination here] told me). Not that I was snogging my wife at
church, or anything. Well, maybe not.
5. Winding the horn of Boromir during worship. Ok, this is church–not Middle Earth! We’re not schleping across Mordor with Frodo. There’s no vanquishing of Saruman the Multi-Hued. Ents are not at risk. Despite this warning, some congregants get in touch with their inner Gondorian and are compelled to sound their battle vuvuzela.
(Lest you doubt me on this: my wife and I visited a Charismatic church several years ago, and in addition to the burly bib-and-tuckered door guards (greeters), there was a man seated behind us with a horn. We thought nothing of it until… Until the praise and worship began, the people began speaking in tongues, and Sir Shofar put lips to horn – he must have smuggled it under his Mithril chainmail – and it sounded like either a rutting moose, or a dying elk. You decide. (For the Rivendell record, I’ve never–nope, never, ever–blown a horn at church. But I did do some time making a “joyful noise” as part of a worship team at a Nazarene church).
How about you? What have you seen, or done, at church? What weirdness have you witnessed?