I remember the first time it happened. It was a Sunday morning. I was in my devotional time with the Lord. He spoke to me and called me by name. There was no other experience like it - the Creator of everything knows my name. It was humbling and exhilarating at the same time.
It was wonderful when the Lord did it. It is wonderful when my friends or family does it. But I don't think that it should be done from the pulpit during a sermon.
We visited a church. There were quite a few things we liked about it. There were a few things that we weren't quite comfortable with but nothing that was too objectionable - until about half way through the sermon. It was at that point that the minister actually called by name one of his congregants whom he has obviously counseled.
" Look and Mary (Not her real name - I don't even remember what it was) and all the problems that she has", he said.
I couldn't believe it. I have been to different ministers for issues. If any of them had even mentioned me I would have wanted to sink into the floor. But then I thought that maybe there had been some sort of arrangement - even though "Mary" didn't look like it. I was almost ready to say that I was being too sensitive.
Then he said, "Look at John (once again not his real name). Can you believe the sins he has committed?"
Twice in one service he called out specific people and basically aired their dirty laundry. I felt so shocked I didn't know what to do. But one thing I do know, I am never going to give them a chance to call my name out as a poor example of Christian living. I can assure anyone who asks that I will never be stepping into that church again.
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