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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • That's What I Think: The gospel truth

  • I have worshiped my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all kinds of churches. Mostly I have been in Southern Baptist churches, for I was born into a Baptist home and was in church soon after my arrival. I will not claim to have been a church-goer all my life, but I have been in many churches as either a member or a visitor.
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  • I have worshiped my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all kinds of churches. Mostly I have been in Southern Baptist churches, for I was born into a Baptist home and was in church soon after my arrival. I will not claim to have been a church-goer all my life, but I have been in many churches as either a member or a visitor.
     
    A pressman at a newspaper where I worked way back yonder in time was a youth minister at a United Pentecostal Church. He invited me to a revival. I went. They had some fine musicians with a lot of spirit in their playing. The congregation had a worship style that I was not familiar with, and for a while I was wide-eyed, but after I realized the pastor was indeed preaching Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected and coming again, and the need for us to be filled with His Spirit, I recognized the gospel truth.
     
    I have been to a Church of Christ service a time or two. They sing a capella music, which is vocals unaccompanied by instruments, and when they sing in harmony it is mighty fine, mighty fine. The times I attended, the minister preached Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected and coming again, and the need for us to give our very lives to Him. I enjoyed the services I attended because they confronted me with gospel truth.
     
    My wife attends a Lutheran church when her health allows. I’ve attended with her a few times. The songs are old, many from the Middle Ages, and they are accompanied by a pipe organ. I like the music, and I like the sermons, because the pastor preaches Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected and coming again. He stresses the call Christ has for each of us. That is the gospel truth
     
    I’ve been in mega churches where they have praise and worship teams with light shows. I’m not a big fan of that worship style, but others are, and as long as the preacher talks about Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected and coming again, I think those services are just fine for you. They’re the gospel truth.
     
    Two or three Saturdays ago, I think it was, I attended the worship service at the new St. John the Wonderworker Orthodox Christian Mission.
     
    It was quite an experience for this lifelong Baptist boy.
     
    Deacon Joel Wilson, currently of Springfield, and Reader Michael Mogan, of St. Robert, conducted a service that Deacon Joel later told me is called Typica. It is not the Divine Liturgy, the Orthodox Church’s equivalent of the Roman Catholic Mass, so there is no priest present and no Eucharist is offered.
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    Most of the words read by the deacon and the reader were straight from the Bible, right out of both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
     
    This particular Saturday was right after bad weather. It was cold and sidewalks and steps were still sleet-slick.
    There were few worshipers in the Knights of Columbus Hall. Despite that, it was a worshipful atmosphere.
     
    Rows of folding chairs were lined up on either side of two large rugs in the center of the room. At the front were lattice screens holding pictures. Three large vases of fresh flowers added some color and some contrast to the winter still holding on outside.
     
    The music was minimal. The only singing was done by Deacon Joel and Reader Mogan. I understand that Deacon Joel’s wife sings beautifully, but she was unable to travel to Rolla that day.
     
    Deacon Joel spoke about Christ, about Good Friday when He was crucified and about Easter when he was resurrected. He also spoke about the Parable of the Widow’s Mite, the story of the woman who gave every last cent she owned to do the work of the Lord. The deacon said we should all do like the widow, which is to give our lives to Christ, holding nothing about ourselves back from Him, and rely on Him for care.
     
    “Let’s begin to ponder this in our lives. What can we do to grow closer to God and to give glory to Jesus Christ?” said the deacon. That, too, is the gospel truth.
     
    I often hear people complain, question and wonder why there are so many denominations in Rolla. My question is why does that matter? As long as Jesus Christ, crucified, resurrected and coming again, and calling each of us to follow Him, is preached in those Rolla churches, why does it matter that they are different from one another?
     
    R.D. Hohenfeldt, a Georgia native, has lived in Rolla since ’84. Currently, he writes regular columns for OzarksAlmanac.com and occasional columns on the registered forums of Smoker-Builder.com. On the night shift, he helps cover Rolla city and school government for The Rolla Daily News.
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