We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Jonathan thought this was the coolest church service ever. Having only been to Lutheran services to that point, the idea of church where people would get up and cry and talk about their alcoholic parents and being beaten, going to school in awful clothes, having only bread and milk for food for a week - or alternatively, having husbands that went off for "affairs," - we had covered in our Ten Commandments teaching that "adultery" was stealing someone else's husband or wife, and I think he dimly grasped that something like this was up - and the police coming to your house or being teased at school... well my goodness, this is the most interesting church we have ever been in, Dad. Can we come back next week?
If somebody wants to testify in my church, warn me in advance. I ain't coming. In my opinion, it's for private.
Funniest thing I've ever seen in church was a wedding we attended at an evangelical fundamentalist Christian church. Wedding is proceeding normally when the good Reverend decided he had the need to do an altar call before the exchange of vows.
First time I've ever seen a congregation completely and totally baffled. :>)
we attend what most here would call a fundamentalist Christian church. folks sometimes do need to be reminded by the pastor what a testimony is: a declaration of the great things God has done. it's not to air the potentially gory, boring, private, [insert adjective] details of one's life.
Testimony is how The Lord Jesus managed to reach you and Save you. Your personal sins, or the things that you have been sinned against in, are between you and Him.
That's how I tell the difference. If someone claims to have come to Jesus, and then spends a half hour telling me about how badly they have been abused, I know they are faking it. Because if they really know and accept Jesus, none of that matters any more. Once I had found a "New Life in Christ", the old one was done.
So there's no need to revisit it, unless you are playing the audience. Apologies to anyone who feels the need, but it happens regularly, and I can see it when it does.
Once I knew Salvation, it was no longer about me at all.
And since I'm hardly a Preacher, I've been on this soapbox too long already.