Category Archives: Church

On Pat Robertson, Alzheimer’s, and Marriage

In case you haven’t heard, Pat Robertson yet again said something controversial. I know, big surprise, right?

Basically, his argument (as I understand it) is that if someone’s spouse has Alzheimer’s, divorce is ok, as Alzheimer’s is inevitably fatal and the healthy spouse needs companionship. Where’d he come up with that idea?

To be clear, I don’t think anyone argues how painful it is to watch loved ones age, especially if they have a disease like Alzheimer’s. It has to be one of the worst things ever to see your spouse succumb to such an illness. Divorce can’t seem like that bad of an option when things are terrible and a person desires the companionship of another.

Regardless of the circumstances, I think Robertson’s stance is, in many ways, awfully un-Biblical. One of the most read passages at virtually any wedding is 1 Corinthians 13, which mentions that love “is not self-seeking.” One person divorcing another for the sake of their own companionship sure doesn’t sound very loving, especially in the face of a horrible disease. And what about Paul’s words in Ephesians 5: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church…” Christ loved the church to the point of death and hell, taking on the sin of all humankind for all time. Undoubtedly, that’s a high standard for husbands to live up to, but it’s what God intended for marriage, in spite of any illness, difficulty, or anything else.

What do you think?

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Earlier this week, as I was doing some job-searching, I came across a church looking to hire someone to lead contemporary worship. It looked like a pretty cool opportunity, until I saw that the position is only 10 hours a week. Sadly, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen a position like this with the limited number of hours offered for it.

Now, this isn’t a debate about whether or not churches should have a contemporary worship service, because a) contemporary is a word used for a wide variety of services and b) debating worship styles is about as effective as debating Pepsi vs. Coke. Totally useless.

My question is this: how can a worship service be planned, rehearsed, and executed successfully and with high quality while only budgeting 10 hours a week for it?

I do understand wholeheartedly that many churches don’t have the budget to hire a full-time person to lead a contemporary worship service. I also do not want to assume anyone’s motives, but I do question how seriously a church cares about the quality of their worship if this is all they budget for. Are they trying to lessen the workload of someone who also leads traditional worship? Are they trying to start from scratch? Is there demand for this style? Or are they following the crowd?

Personally, I believe that many churches do have good motives for having a contemporary style of worship. But I also believe that many of them do not realize that if they want to have meaningful worship, it takes more than 10 hours a week, especially if its building a contemporary worship ministry from the ground up.

On one hand, I’d argue that some of these churches might be better off if they either used volunteers or hired people from their congregation to lead, and perhaps that’s the plan. If that’s the plan, why pay money to post the opening?

On the other hand, maybe some churches shouldn’t add contemporary worship just because they believe it’s the thing to do. Sure, it’s awesome in many contexts. But if it’s not true to your community, don’t do it. And please, don’t do it because you think it’ll put more butts in the pews. That’s disingenuous.

What do you think? Is it better to offer a variety of styles but run the risk of lowering the quality of worship; or, is it better to stick to what the congregation/community can do best with the leadership it has? Am I setting up a false dichotomy between the hours budgeted for a positon and the results of the worship?

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