The Amen Corner

It is by grace we are saved…but oh the ways we try to make make grace even better! {{insert *wry-and-weary-half-smile}}

I grew up in church where “talking back” to the pastor as he preached was not only welcomed, if there weren’t enough people doing it, the pastor might chide:

“Can I get an ‘amen’?”  or

“It’s getting awfully quiet in here.  Somebody say ‘Amen or Oh, me.'”

“Amen” is supposed to be sort of a wonderful, “Yes!  So be it, Lord!”  Oh, if only that were the only way we church-peeps used it.  *sigh…

Even as a really young girl, I noticed that an awful lot of the people saying “Amen!” were sort of the least joyful, meanie-face-type of Christians.

AMEN the amen corner

Doesn’t this awesome photo just remind you of the fire and brimstone preacher in “Cold Comfort Farm” screaming out “There’ll be no butter in hell, I tell ya!!”???  If it doesn’t, you must watch the movie.  Then it will.

If the preaching was against gossiping or people not going to church, there’d be this “amen section” of people you didn’t want to cross.  The preacher would wind up, powerfully make his proclamation and then the sourest faces in the front three rows of pews would raise their determined noses into the air and shout “Amen!  Amen!!!” with pretty much the same fervor as two guys chest-bumping in victory and grunting loudly at a football game where their team just scored a touchdown.

Even at 5 or 6 years old, I could tell, that with at least some of those people, they felt they were past reproach and in an exclusive club, telling-it-like-it-is, above whatever the sin of the day was.  {{Did I mention I began my judgementalism early?}}  Anyway – some people seemed less about ‘amening’ the truth of the Word of God or even being an encouragement to the pastor that he was right-on than in making sure other people in here better hear this ‘cuz they need it!!!  The problem with this method of “helpful discipleship” is that no one in the sanctuary is quite sure who the recipient/or group of recipients was to be, so the enemy-of-our-souls sorta uses it to crush everybody there with accusation.  Poo.

amen outdoor church

When I got old enough to want to amen something, I knew down deep that I jumped pretty harshly on sermon points that, in reality, exposed my own weaknesses – but not at myself {because there was this view-blocking log in my eye} – more at other people who had them too {people with those little specs Jesus talked about}.  Maybe amening loudly would make everyone else think I was way above it.  If I nodded my head and looked all pious – everyone else would know I had conquered and was above them spiritually speaking.  {{Right.}}

Amen prepare to meet god

These days, most churches don’t have a real old fashioned out-loud-amen section.  But a quick scan of Facebook the past few weeks and I have seen actual posts, not limited to, but including these:

News Flash: The earth revolves around the sun.  This might upset people who think the world still revolves around them.

I’m not judging you, God is.

I’m currently correcting some crap problems in my life.  If you don’t hear from me, you’re probably one of them.

It’s a Facebook status, not a diary.  Learn the difference.

Oh, it’s snowing outside.  I better update my Facebook status for all my friends who don’t have windows.

If you don’t like the life I am leading then quit reading my posts.

If you are a Republican {or Democrat, or Christian, or not a Christian, or any number of possible labels} we aren’t friends.  I will be unfriending you.

The mean-spirited Amen-section is alive and well.  On internet profiles everywhere (and I am sure, sometimes even on this blog, true confessions).  And oh, don’t you just KNOW each of those comments is directed at somebody specific?  But since we don’t know who, 127 people will run for cover.

We have seen the enemy – it is us {church-peeps}.

Thank-You, Lord, that we are growing in grace and learning to say Amen!  So be it! to You, to Your Word, to Your ways.  Thank-you for churches that let us participate with shouts of hallelujah and applause becuase we are so grateful we cannot contain it.  May we keep learning and keep growing in grace.  AMEN!  And the Amen-corner said “~~~~”

Can I get a witness?

NOTE TO READERS:  I actually grew up in the 60s and 70s and not in sepia-tone.  We actually had colored photos and didn’t dress like pilgrims or Civil War-era people.  Just FYI.

3 thoughts on “The Amen Corner

  1. Loved this never thought to listen to the loud amens to know who was maybe struggling with a sin. I was so naive I thought they all were not sinning. No really I was convinced for the longest time that people at church didn’t struggle with sin. Very naive. As for facebook….Im growing to dislike it so much. I still want to believe people are perfect and none of us are. Maybe fb makes me know my own sins of impatience and judging hmmm You always make me think. Drat I dont want to sit in that corner

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