The Case of the Departing Visitor – December 7, 2014

To the Members of Bethesda Baptist and to our Departing Visitor this morning,

I thought it would be wise for me to say something about the guest we had this morning.  Everyone in attendance witnessed his departure and many are probably wondering what happened.  It is important for our church family to know what he said and what your pastor thinks about his remarks.

When the gentleman entered our church, I was holding the door open for him, shook his hand, greeted him, and gave him a bulletin.  He said, “Hello” and walked directly to the auditorium, not saying another word, or providing me with an opportunity to give him a clipboard with a guest card on it.  The service then started so I intended to take the clipboard to him during the welcoming time after our first song.  Well, he didn’t make it through the first song.  Instead, he made a rather noticeable exit.  Therefore, I do not know his name, address, or phone number which is probably a good thing!

I was still at the door anticipating the Wordlaws’ arrival when he entered the foyer.  I opened the door and asked him, “Are you leaving?”  Without looking at me, he walked by and said, “I am looking for a church, not a nightclub.”  Hoping to talk with him a bit more on the matter, I stepped outside the door and said, “Sir, I’m sorry you are leaving.”  But he never turned around.  He stormed to his car, got in, and slammed the door.

Those are the events which took place today.  As far as I know, this man has never visited with us and I truly am sorry he did not stay and worship with us.  I do hope he found a service in which he could worship this morning.

Obviously his remark was directed to our band.  We had read Scripture, prayed, and sang part of the first song when he departed.  I can’t believe he thought the Scripture reading and/or prayer was like a nightclub.

Personally, I can say this man has never been to a nightclub if he believes that’s what he was seeing this morning!  Our band was leading us in worship, not attempting to entertain us.  I suspect our visitor believes any music which may be loud or involve praise songs or includes guitars and drums is inappropriate in a church.  Well, he is dead wrong and has absolutely no basis in Scripture for such thinking.  Your pastor prefers the hymns to contemporary songs and our band knows this.  But I also know that music does not come in one form and any music, properly used, can assist in the worship of God and raise praises to Him.  I do not believe our band ever uses the music they play inappropriately (as though they were performing in a night club).  They play to the glory of God and I am grateful they do!  They are extremely gifted musicians and I am grateful they are willing to use those gifts in the service of the Lord.

Our gentleman visitor today is confusing his personal preference with Biblical principles.  His remark was not only inappropriate, it was completely wrong.  He had an opportunity to sing praises to God, to read the Scripture with us, to pray with us, to learn about missions with us, and to hear God’s Word preached.  Instead, he chose to leave because he didn’t like the music.  I am sorry for him for, in the end, it was his loss.  Even if he went to another church, I suspect he was so upset on the inside he couldn’t properly worship.

I pray the Lord convicts Him concerning his attitude toward music and toward our church.  I also pray that he doesn’t spread false words about our church as a result of his visit today.  Please pray for him, brothers and sisters.

And, if he happens to read this post and would like to discuss his view of music and our service with me, I welcome the opportunity.  You may contact me at 636-233-0645 and we’ll find some time to chat.

Pastor Bruce

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