God is not the author of confusion
by Pastor Keith Hassell | May 18, 2011
In a follow up phone call to a recent guest to our church, they eagerly described the service they attended here as one of the best they had ever attended. I might have expected them to say it was the worship or possibly the preaching, but their answer surprised me. In their words there was such reverence, peace, and organization. The service was free from chaos. They felt the presence of God and love of God's people like never before. They proceeded to tell me that their appreciation was based on their previous experience in another church that was unorganized and chaotic and lacked the peace, love, and joy they felt here. Now, I have been around long enough to understand that people can say lots of things. However, I believe there is a principle behind what this person was saying. Unfortunately some churches have adopted the idea that "organization" and "order" are dirty words to God and are code words for "stiff, dead, cold religion". They believe that "freedom of the Spirit" means that they must cast off all boundaries and adopt an "anything goes" mentality where "wilder and crazier" and getting spiritually "drunk" is evidence of God's glory. However, you cannot find this kind of practice and behavior sanctioned in the New Testament church. Paul (who spoke in tongues and would be considered Charismatic or Pentecostal by our definition today), rebuked the Corinthian church for allowing things to get out of hand in the church services. While he encouraged the exercise of spiritual gifts for personal edification outside the church gathering, when it came to the church meetings, everything had to be done decently and in order for the edification of the church. The reason is that God is not the author of confusion. Confusion and chaos are the result of spiritual disorder. Biblical order is necessary to insure that God is glorified and that the people who attend the church gathering are edified. True "freedom" in worship takes place when we worship God within the boundaries of His Word and in loving consideration for one another.