Thursday, April 13, 2006

Home Assemblies

I posted on the subject of home assemblies on my main blog yesterday. I wrote that I tended to favour holding church meetings in homes.

This raises the question of whether I would request that those attending a home assembly in my home remove their shoes. This is perhaps a peculiarly western question. I gather that in most churches in India, shoes are removed, reflecting Indian culture (and the state of Indian streets). I expect this is the case in other Asian countries.

It is vital not to cause offence. It would be very wrong to adamantly insist on somebody removing their shoes for a fellowship meeting when they did not feel comfortable with this. Even more importantly, it would be wrong to exclude somebody from the assembly because they refused to remove their shoes.

However, making a polite request is a different matter. In a the home assembly there is likely to be a level of trust and intimacy that will recognise the needs of individual families and homes. Thus, there is likely to be an understanding that everyone wants to keep their home clean.

Most church buildings have quite dirty carpets, due to the heavy use they receive. A home in which church meetings are regularly taking place is likely to receive a lot more wear and tear on its carpet or flooring unless those attending remove their shoes. Thus, it is perfectly reasonable for a home that hosts assembly meetings to request shoes-off, but not to insist upon it too rigorously. Such a request is in the same order as advice about car parking or requests not to smoke. In a church I attended in Finland, the congregation were expected to remove their coats and put them in a cloakroom, something I had never experienced in England. Though it was not winter when I visited, this practice was presumbably instituted with the snowy Finnish winter in mind.

Those attending could helpfully be advised to bring their slippers.

Perhaps a shoe-less home assembly would be reminded of Moses and Joshua removing thier shoes on the sacred ground of the Lord.

34 comments:

Redeemed said...

Hi Matthew,

Just wanted to acknowledge that I did read your post on Worldview, but I had a long week and had no time to research on that topic to comment anything intellectual.

Therefore, please accept this as my letter of acknowledgment.

I see no problem in suggesting to people that will be attending those meetings to bring a pair of slippers. You make some really good points!

Carey said...

*laughs* Matthew, you're cute. Of course, people should take off their shoes at a home assembly meeting. I certainly do.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sarah, thanks. I am always delighted when you comment, but there are always so many things to read. Please do not feel under any obligation to read and comment on everything I post.

When you go to church in Canada, are you expected to put your coat in a cloakroom?

They were very big on removing coats in public buildings in Finland. With the harsh winters, I thought it might be the same in Canada.

Carey, good for you.

It is nice to know I am cute.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Carey said...

*chuckle* Just thought I'd remind you. ;-)

Redeemed said...

Matthew, thanks, you are nice.

I never feel under obligation, I just like to comment on your posts, because I enjoy your blogs! That particular subject, I don't know much about. I enjoyed reading the comments other people left.

Our church has a cloakroom. We use it for removing our boots and changing into our church shoes. That you are expected to do. You don't walk in with your messy winter boots, Pastor Larry will get you!

However, you are not expected to remove your coat. It is not a general Canadian thing.

Last year though, our Pastor did ask the church members on a Sunday evening ,I believe, to remove their coats and hang them in the cloakroom. Having heavy coats just hanging on benches here and there was obstructing the view to some people in the back.

Pastor Larry truly belives in mainting the church nice and clean for visitors' sake. Something we all agree upon!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sarah, thanks.

Do people never get the church wet from snow on their coats? Finns seem really strict about coats coming off.

I hope I would get on all right with your pastor if I ever met him.

God Bless

Matthew

Redeemed said...

Coats seem to dry up quicly. It's those boots that get the floor and the carpet really dirty and wet.

I have not doubt that should you ever meet Pastor Larry he would just love you. He loves people, young and old, on fire for the Lord and wanting to serve Him. I think all of our young men are first generation believers. Their parents are not saved. Pastor Larry adopts them as His own.

Plus your street preaching experience and your cleanliness would serve you well in His eyes!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

You are right, boots bring in more dirt. That is why this blog is not called 'Coats Off at the Door, Please.' Though in England, people always take their coats off when visiting a home, but not their shoes.

I expect chruchgoers in Finland change their shoes in the winter. They certainly take them off in homes, even in summer.

Perhaps you might mention me to your pastor.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Carey said...

And me too, just for kicks! LOL

Redeemed said...

Matthew, you really make me laugh. Not coats off at the door, good one!

If the subject ever comes up, I'll be sure to mention you and put in a good word!

As for Carey, I will have to mention you soon to Pastor so we can pray for your safe trip over here. I've already mentionned you to my best friend.

I still think we should hold our first annual Christian blogger meeting, maybe in England, since we all came to know one another through Matthew.

Carey said...

Sounds good to me! I'd love to come back to Worcester. Will bring camera and be very snappy happy.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Back to Worcester, Carey? I did not know you had been here before.

If you come, you are welcome to have it at my parents' house. They will not mind. Just give me a date.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Carey said...

I was in Worcester briefly about six years ago. We may have just driven through, I can't remember.

You will probably visit Dallas before I can get to Worcester. I can't afford to visit you and Sarah in one summer!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Wow! Carey in Worcester.

I hope I can afford to come. Hopefully I shall. Have you spoken to your father about it?

God Bless

Matthew

Carey said...

Carey in Worcester... watch out! LOL

My parents liked the idea of you coming over for a few days after you were done in Dallas. I can pick you up from the airport and get you situated in Dallas. Maybe we can go to the opera (depending on the cost). Or do anything you like... such as visiting a grocery market. *chuckle*

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I am very glad that I am welcome.

Opera in Europe can cost over £50.

I shall have to get planning.

God Bless

Matthew

Carey said...

Fifty pounds! Goodness. Won't be that expensive... unless you are wnating to rent a private box. LOL

I'll e-mail some info.

Carey said...

Actually, now that I look at the prices, they are around 42 GBP for the balcony seats. Private boxes (on opening night) are around $400 (226 GBP)! And front row seats in the middle are $1,020 (576 GBP)!!! Let's see... in Canadian dollars that would be... $1,168! Yuck.

Redeemed said...

Whhaaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttttttttttt

That's just crazy. My Bible cost me $45, so let's see, for that amount of money, I can buy 26 King James Bibles!!!!

Now shoes, a nice pair of shoes cots me $40, so that would make 29 pairs of shoes.

I have never been to the opera. I went to Broadway once in NYC and I loved it. I saw Aida, and loved it so much, I bought the CD.

Carey said...

Oh man! I'd love to go to Broadway. The only musical I saw live was a highschool production of "Oliver Twist" about ten years ago.

I've seen "Turandot" (absolutely stunning), "La Boheme," and... *scratches head* I think "The Barber of Seville" and "Carmen." Been to a bunch of orchestra concerts. My fav. was Divorak's New World Symphony.

Redeemed said...

Oh, I just remembered our conversation on your blog about your favorite French opera.

I had guessed La Boheme, am I right????

Broadway is really amazing, I really want to go again!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I hate musicals.

Opera is an expensive business.

God Bless

Matthew

Carey said...

*rolls eyes at Matthew*

Nope, Sarah! But I did mention it in the last comment...

Redeemed said...

Lol, Matthew.

I was "dragged" to broadway at first. We had tickets and I figured who has tickets to broadway and does no go. So I went against my will.

I LOVED IT!!!! Maybe it also depends on the musical.

Carey, I do not know my operas and none of the ones in your comment sound French to me, so this is just a crazy guess...Turandot????

Carey said...

Nope - although that is my fav Italian opera. Turnadot is sung in Italian, but is about a Chinese princess. Go figure. *shrugs*

Matthew, your turn to guess.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

La Traviata? Or is that Italian?

Carmen?

I cannot think of many French operas.

God Bless

Matthew

Carey said...

*DING DING DING* You won the prize! Carmen it is!

Redeemed said...

woohoo, Now I know!!

Carey said...

Yay! *dances* Oh wait... am I allowed to dance here? *chuckles*

Redeemed said...

why not? It's just crazy wacky happy dancing!

*Gone dancing with Carey*

Carey said...

*twirls with Sarah*

*falls over due to dizziness*

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Yes, you can dance, as long as you take your shoes off. I do not want to see any scratch marks here.

God Bless

Matthew

Redeemed said...

*dancing with Carey wish no shoes, only socks*

Carey said...

*dancing barefoot with Sarah*