Those that do not bother to turn up to practice or who are not interested in learning a song to perfection should just shut up.
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, and as in all the churches of the saints. Let all things be done decently and in order...Kare oki te Atua i te tumu o te kononinoni pu ua, no te au ra, mei tei te au ekalesia katoa ra o te aronga tapu. E rave ra te au mea ravarai ma te tika e te manea.” – 1 Corinthians/Korinetia 14: 33 & 40.
Every time we as fellow believers in the Lord Jesus Christ attend church we always expect the spirit of worship to be high and powerful. By that I mean, the singing is lively, the preaching dynamic and anointing, the whole congregation alive and responsive to every direction from those leading the service.
But that is not always the case as the singers might be a little dead, the musicians drag, the preaching is like just talking and half the congregation half asleep and unreceptive.
We expect a perfect praise and worship but somehow we are just not getting there and we wonder what has happened.
Whose fault could it be, could it be the one leading the service, could it be those leading the songs and praise, could it be the preacher or could it be those in church just not showing interest and enthusiasm in the whole service? Whatever the case might be, there is always and must be a reason to the cause.
In Chapter 12, Paul illustrates and describes the church like that of a human body. Each and every organ of the body has a part to play to expect harmony and fully function and operate within the body.
They are not jealous of each other, do not covet each other’s tasks nor dispute against each other, do not isolate nor work independently, but with full coordination and articulation from the head all work harmoniously for the good and benefit of the whole body and not just part.
When one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers and responds; when one part rejoices, the whole responds likewise. Then Paul sums it all up at verse 27, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members of it”.
From verses 28 following, he sets out the structure for governance and operations of gifts within the church body.
Apostles, prophets, teachers, workers of miracles, gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues, not in a manner or attitude as to show others how good one is in this or that rather to let others know that however diversified the gifts may be but all united as one striving for the highest good to benefit all.
Finally in Chapter 13, is the bond, the glue that holds all in unity, oneness and in harmony -- the much to be soughted after and greatest gift of all the Agape, unconditional love of God. When love is tantamount in any form of family unit, church, government, worship and praise, then the Perfect Praise is not an impossibility anymore more.
We sometimes need to just attend, sit in and listen well to an orchestra show to marvel and be lifted high in the fine tuning of each and every instrument, the harmonious and articulation of each to reach perfection of play, sound and accomplishments to the highest of standards.
I have often heard many people say, it doesn’t matter how you sound or whether you know the song well or not, it’s what comes from within the heart to God. Then my question to such like-minded people is, “is that the best you can give to your God?”
God forbid, I do not think so. God expects more than just a ‘half-hearted, lazy or paarua’ praise to his name. Those that do not bother to turn up to practice or who are not interested in learning a song or do anything to perfection should just stay, do nothing but shut up.
Would a serious coach and captain field a player who does not turn up to training to play in an important game?
Perfect Praise can only be reached when it involves the whole of life and involves every aspect of our human lives. It’s got to be a build up from infancy, from within the home and environment that we live in.
A confused life, disoriented, indecent and disorderly is only conducive to more confusion and disorderliness.
What high standard God, parent, boss, business or any institution or organisation would expect anything less than what they are?
When all else is covered in the home, at work, at school, individually and collectively then perfection of praise can be expected also in church and elsewhere – a life of confusion, indecency and disorderliness only disrupts and hinders the peace and harmony that should be achieved and accomplished in the true fashion of Praise and Worship.
The Apostle Peter encourages the believers , saying, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy” – 1 Peter 1: 13-16.
Perfect Praise is nothing less than practice, practice, practice; commitment, commitment, commitment; dedication, dedication and dedication.
God save and bless the Cook Islands.
-Bishop Tutai Pere from the Apostolic Church.