Wednesday, June 16, 2010

#163-Worship Songs/Bible Verses Projected onto a Screen

 The 4 most important inventions of the Modern Era for apostolic churches:

  • Insanely long personality tests that get you to realize nobody likes you.
  • The idea that the few dollars you give to Sheaves for Christ not only somehow buys a missionary an entire car, but also that for every dollar you give you have an outside gambling chance that you'll get ten dollars back. (Here's the deal: How about I keep my money. And God gives the money he would have given to me as a reward, straight to the missionary, since the missionary needs it more?)
  • The word "relationship" as a trump card to any and every discussion about anything regarding Christianity and holiness. It's going to be a close call to which term gets overused so much that it loses all cultural linguistic value within our circles: "Relationship" or "Swagger."
  • Song lyric and Bible verse projector in church (And this is our focus)

The value of the projector is priceless. It's most important utility is twofold: 1) When a a guest comes in, not only will he/she be able to sing along with the song during worship which, without the projector, the guest would be left to feel like an alien in a strange land that doesn't know the native language. 2) The guest will be able to read the scripture that is being read aloud by the preacher and understand that the preacher "isn't making this stuff up" but is rather found in the Word of God. 

But the reality is, the value does not stop there.....

Rather, just like any and every bit of technology that is introduced, and like any rule that is preached, we apostolic laity do what we always do with such things: We take the rule and technology right up to their preacher-endorsed boundary, and just start beating the life out of that boundary line with a baseball bat. Like the girl who is told that skirts should go below the knee, and thus the girl only measures such a skirt length when she is standing up (leaving a whole lot of knee cap for pubescent boys to lust after when she sits down!), the projector too was permitted in church, but with caution that if we people from neighboring churches find out we have a projector in our church and we are seen walking out of our church, people will just assume we are playing rated R movies on the projector....(So therefore, we just don't go to the movie theater.......wait....I mean....errr... I mean church....wait....TICKED!)

But for serious now, we Apostolics have taken the projector that was brought into church as a tool for guests, and abused the living daylights out of it. Ask me how many Worship songs I can sing word for word: Zero.
Because I stand there during worship service reading the song as I sing it. And it's so relaxing! Of course the downfall is  when the person who runs the projector is a bit slow on their "slide changing" skills and thus when the wrong verse/chorus of a song is being displayed different from what is being sung, I become the most lonely man in the world because I don't know what to do....I usually have two options:

1) Just make an adjustment, and try matching the words on the screen with the music that is being played. Or you could just hum along to the tune of the songThis never works to perfection, but it is preferred over the second option:

2) Panic!  Switch on the nearest fire alarm and  realize there is no fire. To make up for this mistake, set your pew on fire. Panic even more. Lock the guy who runs the projector inside his little room to ensure his demise.
Push all the elderly and children out of the way as you make your way for the exits.  

Of course there are two other silent joys during worship service in regards to the projector and song lyrics: First, telling any and everyone around us if one of the worship singers doesn't know the words to one of the song (this has been on the decline with the exponential increase in "back-wall" screen projections where the song lyric slides are projected on the back wall for the singers to read)

The other joy is when a word is misspelled on the slide by the dude who runs the projector. Inevitably, when you see this word misspelled you first wonder if it is really misspelled or rather your previous understanding of how the word was spelled is incorrect. In the midst of this uncertainty, hope that someone else points out the word is misspelled so to find confirmation. After a consensus is found regarding the misspelling, tell everyone in whisper and giggles. And then look back to the dude who runs the projector every 15 seconds in pity, wondering if you should be the one to tell the projector guy of his error.

The last advantage of the projector for the lay person is also the most despised by the minister:
The bible verses on the screen allow us to not have to remember to bring our bible to church. 

I remember preachers demanding apostolic laymen the need to have their bible in church  before the days of the projector. This was a valid decree by the minister and it was not without results. But the moment the projector came into the church, and the bible verses were displayed on the screen, and immediately the actual practical utility for bringing your bible to church became minimal. So many (youth especially) stopped bringing it to church.

And at such a moment the war began. A war that only sees actual fighting every few months or so. But in short, the battle usually begins as so: The minister asks, "who brought a bible with you to church this evening?" Those who brought their bible are those who are going to heaven. Those who did not bring their bible go to apostolic purgatory wherein the apostolic cannot get out of purgatory until one wins a game of "Who can find the bible verse the quickest in your bible?" The horror of it is apostolic purgatory doesn't have any actual bibles!

But dear reader, if push comes to shove, and your pass is being written for apostolic purgatory by the ministerial decrees, I ask you to start taking your cell phone out in church and act like the bible is on there. The way technology has advanced, the bible on cell-phone/iphone is a common assurance, so whether or not it is actually on there or not is unimportant. It's just all about keeping up with appearances. 

Lastly dear reader, if further push comes to shove, and the accusations are not relented, simply remind the minister that if we are truly apostolic (and thus supposed to live as the apostles), then it is not your (you as the layperson)  responsibility to read the bible during church. Rather, there is only supposed to be one copy of each book of the bible in the church, and the minister reads it out loud to the congregation. And then holdfast to this charge and remind the minister that the apostles constantly refer us to The Word as something we should be listening to (not reading). 


  1. Projectors were incredible inventions.

    I don't mind being retro with a songbook either.

    What I don't like to see are overly-produced "sets" with the video projectors having matching animations for each song, flowers in the field, the cross, etc. Sort of cheesy for me. Reminds me of the church scene in the Four Christmases (Reese Witherspoon).

  2. "Stuff Apostolics Like" fits well into the subculture of Pentacostalism with a sort of "Mystery Science Theater" version of Apostolic church. Seems to me it might do you good to spend 17 years on a wooden Methodist pew (like I did) and see how long you last before gasping for air. Or try substituting "Stuff Apostolics Like" as your blog title for "Stuff Congressmen Like," and you would have a whole new world to cast your cynicism upon. You would find far more idiosyncracies and flaws in that institution than the ones in Apostolic church. Think, you could be the Morgan Spurlock of Blogland, spinning trite commentary upon all the institutions in America, heck, even the World! Why not start off in Louisiana...seems they have no shortage of slime there right now.

  3. Someone is a little defensive lol

    Why would you try to blog about a group you can't identify with. Keepin' it in the family.

  4. just to start, i want it to be known that I believe that God has but one church and one body and I'm not trying to bring any form of division into the body, just noting cultural differences within our movement as well.

    Seeing as how this blog is written from a primarily UPC perspective, let me add the Black Apostolic commentary as well (COOLJC, PAW, PCAF, WOCC, etc)

    With that said...

    I WISH WE ALL HAD A BIG SCREEN! LOL. One of the highlights of the Black church is what we call Jubilee songs, which are usually call and response songs that are 3-4 lines long that we'll repeat over and over again...and then there's "congregational songs" which are songs that are expected for ALL apostolics to know. But the problem comes into play when you have big conferences or unity services for different organizations everybody has their own rendition of how to sing a song and the words that go along with it. It's not like anybody can google it because most of the songs have simply been passed down since Azusa. So what you end up with is battle of the praise and worship leaders on the platform trying to bellow out their version and then a fight breaks out all over the place as to which version is doctrinally sound and which one fits the best and then the pastors and their congregations leave in a huff and vow to never fellowship with one another ever again all because of the other church's "fault" in the praise and worship service because God is not the author of confusion and the Spirit of God does not lead us to err so SOMEBODY might have a ghost but not the Holy Ghost....thus leaving us all in spiritual derision.

    THUS the need to have a conference on praise and worship and settle the score for now until eternity and then we can fully enter this dispensation of grace and use the last gift of God before the rapture...the big screen.

    Saints please pray for your African-American Apostolic brothers and