Give Me That Old Time Religion

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I miss the way we used to have real fellowship with each other in church.
Sunday evenings we’d share how God had worked in our lives that week.
We’d testify to the greatness and goodness of God and give Him the glory, out loud, in the midst of the congregation.

I remember Margaret telling how she’d slept away about 12 years of her life because her husband drank and they were both miserable. Her husband sat next to her saying Amen! and Praise the Lord! when she recalled the day God literally woke her up and dried him out.
She broke our hearts and mended them in the very next sentence.
Then everybody was saying Praise the Lord!

We prayed and cried together for unsaved husbands and prodigal kids.
Love flowed freely and we didn’t talk about transparency, but we lived it.
Sharing our joys and griefs came naturally. Sure, we’d all dread it when certain ones stood to their feet. We knew it might go on and on and on, but we listened in love to one of our own.

We’d wait on God to see if He’d speak to us—through us.
Your heart would start pounding hard and you’d know the words about to rise to the surface were His, and they were for us all, afresh that evening. Our hearts burned for Him. Loving God was a shared experience. Thanking Him for His love and His good work knit our hearts and lives. We belonged to God, to His family, and to one another.

This verse from Colossians describes the thing I miss the most.
Body Life.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Colossians 3:16

Remember when we all ministered? We all were trusted to pray and hold a confidence. And we told each other the truth, in love. Encouragement, exhortation, and comfort offered without judgment or ‘advice’.
Let’s do that again.
Let’s see if Retro Church can make a big comeback.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

I’m yearning and burning for it.
Has God stopped working in His people?
Testimony doesn’t fit nicely into the tight schedule of the modern church service, but we’re the poorer for neglecting to praise and glorify our God.

I think that’s part of what has drawn me to a community of believers online.
When God works you tell us, and give Him the glory.
His presence in our lives creates a real hunger in others to reach out to Him for a fresh touch.

I’m asking God for a revival of that old time religion.
The kind where the children of the burning heart talk to each other about the One they love.

Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another,
And the Lord listened and heard them;
So a book of remembrance was written before Him
For those who fear the Lord
And who thought on His name.
Malachi 3:16

There’s the chance I may be remembering it better than it was!
Would you change anything about your worship experience? If given an opportunity would you share God’s work in your life publicly? Does the whole idea make you want to dive under the pew or run from the building?

20 Comments on “Give Me That Old Time Religion

  1. I think people are less trusting today and, therefore, less willing to open up and be real with others. However, when it happens, it is a tremendous blessing. As brothers and sisters in Christ we need to be transparent with one another so we can encourage, support, love and challenge one another. Be blessed.

    • Thank you for posting this! I totally agree, we need more fellowship and less religion in the church. Where is the exciting fire of the presence of God? I find it strange that I felt more of it when I was in the youth group than now as an adult…

      • My pleasure Crystal! A.W. Tozer called believers who long for a close relationship with God, ‘Children of the Burning Heart’. I love that 😀
        Have a great day!

      • Thanks for sharing that with me, Kelly Grace. I have always thought children could model this affection for God to us adults. God tells us to come to him like children.

  2. I love the idea Kelly. My church would need Jesus Himself to come down and deem it so for it to take place. Even then Im not sure it would happen. My part of the world is not exactly loaded with folks eager to speak of The Word moving throughout their lives. If you come across that Retro church please let me know and Im there!!
    I too love our online community because it allows us to speak freely about our faith. Two of my own siblings have ceased commenting on my blog and i believe its because i have stopped holding back my words of love and praise for the Lord. I know they believe but to actually talk about it this way might be too much for them. So sad.
    Come on Retro Church!!!!!

  3. I gave a testimony of my abusive past some years back and immediately 5 women ran to the pastor. “We don’t need that kind of stuff in our church!” Thankfully he backed me up. Sadly this is not something new.

    • Church is the first place a person like you should run to. This saddens me. So glad your pastor backed you. How could he not?

    • Clearly no love from that group of gals! I’m sorry you were hurt, but maybe God used the episode to grow them up a little in love. Praise God for a pastor who tended the flock, the wounded and the unruly 😀

  4. Excellent thoughts, Kelly. I’ve been blessed by my online community of believers. But I do miss the retro church, a most fitting description.

  5. Kelly,

    The more I read you, the more I like you – what an amazing thing this is! I agree with you wholeheartedly 🙂 I am on fire for the Lord, a kind of fire that cannot be contained within the walls of a church – no matter how charismatic – my passion for God has spread like wildfire! I’m God-social! Sadly, for most people church is nothing more than a boring obligation and God’s Word is just a few thousand pages of old history that doesn’t apply to them – they completely miss out on the chance to revive and kindle the fire within the body of Christ. But the online Christian communities are the exact opposite. I have never met so many people who live to praise God and His Word, who exemplify Christ-like character, and do so to bring others to Christ and to glorify God and all He is seeking no credit for themselves. I pray these wonderful online communities infectiously spill into the church for the betterment of Christianity.

    God bless.

    Jennifer – I Give God All The Glory

  6. I grew up in a Pentecostal church. I don’t go to church, but I know what you’re talking about.

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