Last night, we attended an Easter play at a local church. The singing was wonderful and the acting was great. I have to say Peter was my favorite with James & John: the SONS OF THUNDER as a close second! They were great. Steve even enjoyed it. To my surprise, he was really laughing when the three guys dancing tripped and almost took out the Last Supper scene. I wasn't surprised that he found that hilarious. I was surprised at how much he was enjoying himself!
We loved the play, and everyone did a wonderful job. I do have a few complaints. Yes, I'm sorry!
1. The Lord's Supper was presented before any salvation invitation. All -- Christians and those who don't believe -- were invited to partake while "remembering" Christ.
The Lord's Supper is meant for believers only. 1 Corinthians was written to saved Christians who were members of a local church. Check out what God said about this through Paul:
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
1 Corinthians 11:27-32
How can one who has not accepted the free gift of God (salvation) and his cleansing power worthily partake in such remembrance? Or how can one who has fallen away or back-slidden in their faith stand before a righteous God with sin in his heart?
2. The salvation invitation was there, but I felt that the Pastor's words were somewhat of a social pressure or guilt trip. I'm saying this from the perspective of one who professes salvation and had no vested interest -- other than to see people experience the same joy and renewal of salvation that I myself have experienced.
Slips of paper were provided that allowed you to check off whether you "accepted Christ" or "recommitted to Christ" as well as an option to have someone contact you if you wanted to know more about Jesus. I love that they have a way to follow-up, including email! So awesome!
The instructions were for everyone, saved or not -- whether you wanted to be or not -- to repeat the salvation prayer the pastor recited. I didn't pray it. I'm already saved. I am assured of Christ's righteousness in me. It didn't seem relevant to me.
The pastor then said something along the lines of "Maybe you're here tonight because someone brought you and they wanted you to hear the gospel and be saved. Wouldn't it be such a gift/so great to be able to tell them that you got saved tonight? Maybe a family member has been praying for you. Mom or Dad? If you decided to get saved tonight, give them a call before Easter to let them know." If someone chose to be saved based on the gospel message presented and on all Christ is for them through His sacrifice, then GREAT! Tell them! But don't get saved to be able to PLEASE anyone! Not parents or family, not friends, not a religious leader, not yourself! Do it because you admit your sins, you see you need God, and that He desperately loves and wants you!
3. We didn't feel there was a clear statement that Jesus IS God. There was a statement that Jesus possessed divinity and He is the Son of God. Very important point missed!
4. There was an offer for individual prayer for healing afterward. I'm a little confused. Everyone is instructed to partake of the Lord's Supper, regardless of their spiritual state, and then they're told they can be prayed over for healing? What about 1 Corinthians 11:29-30 "For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep." Are they possibly being made sick by the ones who will be praying for their healing?
Please share your thoughts on these topics. I don't intend to sound judgmental or argumentative. I simply see some inconsistencies with scripture and would like to hear others' perspectives.
We really enjoyed the passion of the actors, the beautiful music, and the visual of all God has done for us through His Son, Jesus Christ. I'm really enjoying the Easter holiday this year. It means more to me each year as I grow deeper in my knowledge and love of the Lord through the revelation of His word. Growing pains are a sure thing for me! God gives more grace. =)
Thank you to all of the gifted actors and musicians who provided us with such an enjoyable evening! You were a blessing!