The following is a new, previously unpublished writing by Jay Ferris, from November 2010.
Being the father of two sons, I had occasion to visit court rooms in various places and times. One of the very strong impressions that was made on me there was the importance of body language in the presence of a judge. On one occasion I witnessed a young man with hands in pockets and a slouched posture, severely rebuked by the judge for such contempt in his court room and presence. Body language most often speaks much louder than words. It was an impression that has stayed with me well into my adult life.
Some years ago I went on what might be considered a diplomatic mission. I went with the advice and consent of someone who at the time was one of the most recognized and recognizable elders of the Church in Charlotte. The mission was for the purpose of looking into whether or not a local “leader” might possibly be another elder in the city. When I got there a “worship” service was just getting started, and I entered the hall and tried to enter into what was happening. I couldn’t help but notice that “the leader/founder” and his assistants were not participating, but rather in the midst of things, even at the front of the hall, (in full view of those who were there). He and his assistant were engaged in conversation, including what appeared to be jokes, including body language, (hands in pocket, etc) that brought back to mind the judge’s rebuke of years before.
For me, I knew immediately that there was no eldership there appropriate to what God calls “church” in Charlotte or anywhere else, for that matter. The practitioners of such body language posture themselves as being above what is going on in the room, court, “church” hall, etc. I have tried to find Scriptural examples where such body language in the presence of God might have acceptance in Heaven. To date I have not found any. Now that I think about it, I think it’s called “contempt of court.”
P.S. There is a crying need to get the word “repentance” back, at least, for openers.