A Church Gone Wrong :: By Suzanne T. Immen

This morning, I am a rock “crying out” (Luke 19:40) because the Holy Spirit gave me a very real nudge to write this article.  Hopefully you can relate to this phenomenon, because when we commit our lives to Him He becomes a very real presence.  The story that I am about to share must be handled with delicacy.  I am going to publicly indict a mainstream church that has strayed away from the Bible, God’s holy words.

In this church there are many true believers.  Like the church of Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6), there are many people there who “wear white robes.”  They are my friends.  They love their church and they turn a blind eye to how it has evolved.  Hence, I write with caution.  Since I study Bible prophecy, though, I cannot turn a blind eye.  This morning, I am a LOUD rock!

First of all, I am a lifelong church pianist, and I even have a CD to my credit.  I have played for churches for over forty years.  I grew up in a wonderful church that was founded on the Bible.  I learned memory verses, played Bible sword drills, watched flannel board stories, and wrapped bandages for missionaries.  I have written a devotional book called “Sue’s Scribbles in the Sand: Real People. Real stories. God’s REAL presence in our daily lives.”  It is no wonder, then, that I am going to tell you a story.  Jesus is my inspiration.  He was and is the master storyteller of all time.

One night, a woman showed up at choir practice to join the choir.  We rejoiced because we were in need of new members.  Then, one Sunday morning, I looked over at the choir, and she was knitting.  Not only did she knit, she would ask the woman next to her to hand her items from her knitting bag.  The pastor was preaching, but I have no idea what he said as I watched the woman knit.  The Holy Spirit inside of me cried “blasphemy.”  I had a very violent reaction and almost went into “teacher mode,” grabbing it out of her hands.  Fortunately, the Restrainer restrained.

After the service, I asked her if she would do me a favor and not knit in the choir loft.  I told her that I thought it was sacrilegious and totally inappropriate for a WORSHIP service.  She didn’t say anything, but I ignited a church explosion.  She wrote a letter stating that she should not have to choose between the choir and her knitting.  She distributed her letter to every choir member, including the pastor and the choir director.  She offered a “good” reason; she stated that she likes to knit the words of God into her projects.

So, what happened?  The matter went to the governing body of this church.  I informed them that I would resign because I do not go to church to watch a woman knit.  I then received a call that they had voted.  They voted to let her knit, and they would accept my resignation.

Now, my daughter calls this little fiasco, “Knitgate.”  However, for clarity, we need to dig deeper into this situation.  First of all, people can justify anything that they want to do, while God clearly tells us what is acceptable to Him through His word, the Bible.  Whether knitting in front of a church during a worship service is right or wrong, the Bible presents the final answer.  It is found in Romans 14.  The whole chapter addresses those situations where one Christian thinks something is sinful while another Christian brother does not agree.

The solution is simple: if one Christian’s behavior offends another believer, then that Christian should abstain… So as not to harm the one who feels it is sin.

But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died” (Romans 14:15, KJV).

There was a biblical solution, but it was not followed.  I even asked a member of the governing body to read Romans 14.  She scoffed at the idea.  I offer one more verse for consideration:

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

Friends, without the Bible, what do we have?  Without the Bible, what will happen to God’s churches throughout the world?

 Sadly, those days are coming—indeed, they are already here!

 Suzanne T. Immen,

A child of God who is watching and waiting with great hope!  Come, Lord Jesus!