Standing For The Reading Of The Text


Nitpick warning: This post is going to be a nitpick about something that really doesn’t matter. It seriously doesn’t matter even a little bit. Probably even less than that. If you’re looking for a weighty discussion about deep things…what on earth are you doing here anyway??

Why do some fundy pastors have people stand for the text out of “respect for the word of God” (often citing Nehemiah in the process) but then let people sit for the rest of the Scripture passages?

If it’s necessary to stand for the text to avoid any disrespect, is it then allowed to disrespect verses that aren’t the text?

Of course, some fundamentalist pastors cleverly avoid this problem altogether by never reading any other Scripture during the sermon.

This has been a nitpicky post about something that really doesn’t matter. If you attempt to build a theological case about why it does matter, I will in all likelihood inform you that you really shouldn’t be on the Internet and instead should be hanging out in some place where everything is taken very, very seriously.

23 thoughts on “Standing For The Reading Of The Text”

  1. We don’t normally do this, but we’ve done it for missionaries. It was strange though, we stood out of respect while he read it in Spanish (which only one person could understand).

    Nit-pick away! It’s nice to have non-theological, light posts to snicker at. 🙂

  2. If you’ve ever prefaced a statement with “Now this might be nitpicking…” or “I know this is petty…”, you might be / have been a fundamentalist.

  3. we stood out of respect while he read it in Spanish (which only one person could understand).

    He may need some Biblical instruction on the incorrect use of tongues without an interpreter. 😉

  4. I’ve questioned this practice many times myself. It enters the realm of absurdity when it comes to “music worship,” meaning–in most fundy churches–and up-down, up-down, up-down from hymn to hymn until it’s time for the offering or the sermon. Maybe the whole idea started out as an attempt to promote good circulation, especially after all that cholesterol-choked food from the dinner-on-the-grounds.

  5. Ooh, Stan, I like that one! That’s so true! They did used to say that! It’s interesting though. We stand in my church now days too (not a Fundy church), but no one ever talks about how it’s out of respect or about the Biblical precedence…we just do it. Maybe we all had that Fundy background.

  6. Maybe its something left over from the catholic church. We stand always for the reasding of the gospel. It is because we are hearing the words of Jesus!

  7. I also like standing to sing because as Darrell said, it promotes proper breathing! 🙂
    But man, haven’t gotten so many good laughs for awhile.
    Especially the
    “Of course, some fundamentalist pastors cleverly avoid this problem altogether by never reading any other Scripture during the sermon.”
    How very true it oftentimes seems. Especially among those good ol’ “Fundevangelists” aforementioned!

  8. So true! This was a great, laughable morning read.

    Anyway, why bother reading Scripture during the sermon? All you have to do is read one or two verses, and put your own “spin” on them (translation: rip them totally out of context), and you’ve got yourself a great sermon!

  9. Sometimes I’d just as soon rather they not even read anything if they’re going to play that loose with the text. If you’re going to give me 45 minutes of your opinions and rants, warn me ahead of time so I can slip out and find a church where there’s going to be actual preaching rather than trick me into staying by reading a few random verses you found in Our Daily Crumb before opining.

  10. I like the practice of prefacing the reading with “this is the Word of the Lord” and ending it with “thanks be to the Lord Jesus Christ.” Very Catholic of me, yes. But it’s a nice reminder and kind of sets off the message with [inspired] [not necessarily inspired] quotes.

  11. As someone who both preaches occasionally and leads music often, I’ll spill the beans. Standing for singing does generally improve the singing, but if it goes too long the sloped floor gets uncomfortable. Ergo, it has more to do with ergonomics than reverence.

    Standing right before the sermon gets people’s blood flowing so we can get farther into the sermon before the slumber begins! Like the “last rest stop for 200 miles” sign: Last chance to stretch your legs for 40 minutes!

    “If everyone who ever slept in a worship service were laid end to end, they’d be a lot more comfortable.”

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