Sunday was Canada day and so we crammed a lot in. One thing that keeps repeatedly hitting me, both on board, and during our trip is ‘Declaration’. What does it mean and how is it achieved? Rousseau coffee above has been in their business since 1857 and in seeing their ‘declaration’ we knew it meant coffee and arrived to purchase some pre-church. Adele and I wore our Navigators of faith T shirts to church, an easy way to make a declaration. As we walked around the block to Quebec Baptist church it was quite a surprise to see around 100 young ladies queuing to get in. We had popped in to get advice regarding coffee and the worship music was particularly good, had we stumbled across some unknown revival in the centre of Quebec? What followed was quite amusing because it transpired the church were unaware of this large group of young people arriving from a school in California. As we were also obviously outsiders it was initially assumed we must be either part of the group or indeed their leaders and so we got to share our story fairly quickly and quite widely. The logo being very clear makes it easy to say ‘this is the web site, just add .com’. As we had to head off for Montreal we sadly couldn’t stay after the service but were very grateful to attend and also for the sage advice about where to get good coffee.
What I found interesting was that the communion service was completely different to one my wife and I had experienced before. Differences between Christian denominations, and also within them, are not uncommon. What focused my mind on this though was that the sermon was about communicating the Gospel into today’s society. Not using strange words or rituals but speaking, as John’s Gospel did to the Greeks, into a current context and culture. It was a good sermon but it caused me some humour because whilst well intended, there was probably little awareness of two English folk not having a clue how the communion was conducted.
This caused me to reflect upon other churches where I have often noted similar occurring. They often convince themselves they are communicating well and then slap themselves on the back for a job well done. There is no external audit of churches, no quality control, they are fully self-regulated. There is a real danger to all modern churches that they are stating what should be done but not actually doing it themselves. To my mind this takes them nearer to emulating the Pharisees in Matthew 23 than their belief, that they are opening a straight way in the wilderness.
Link below to Matt. 23: