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View Full Version : should people be allowed to eat/drink during a sermon?



w_zez
Oct 17th 2007, 01:44 AM
i went with an old friend to his church recently, it was a nice church. except i noticed that people were eatting and drinking during the sermon which made it difficult to hear the pastor (with the crinkling of wrappers and slurpping of drinks). this church had a snack shop in their lobby which was nice, but i thought it was strange that people could take food in the main room with them. there was alot of people there and nobody seemed to mind, maybe i'm just old fashioned, but you know that sound when someone is finishing a pepsi with a straw? the very end of it? the sound it makes is loud. i finally just gave up on listening to the sermon because the noise was clouding his voice.
:B

always
Oct 17th 2007, 02:44 AM
you know God's house of worship is a sacred place, it seems as though at this church they are trying to make it less formal to attract ones.

If we learn to lift up Jesus, HE will draw all men

I think it is inappropriate minimize the sacredness of our churches, especially when we have no problems obeying prohibitions of food and drink in some public buildings.:mad:

Steven3
Oct 17th 2007, 02:46 AM
i went with an old friend to his church recently, it was a nice church. except i noticed that people were eatting and drinking during the sermon which made it difficult to hear the pastor (with the crinkling of wrappers and slurpping of drinks). this church had a snack shop in their lobby which was nice, but i thought it was strange that people could take food in the main room with them. there was alot of people there and nobody seemed to mind, maybe i'm just old fashioned, but you know that sound when someone is finishing a pepsi with a straw? the very end of it? the sound it makes is loud. i finally just gave up on listening to the sermon because the noise was clouding his voice.
:B

How long did he speak for? ;) and is it the same guy every Sunday?

h2jo
Oct 17th 2007, 04:08 AM
Everywhere is different, but I don't think I would like food while listening to the sermon. We are meant to be focusing on Jesus not our food and we're not in a movie theater looking for entertainment. Sometimes I wonder if thats what people have reduced church too.. entertainment!

I<3Jesus
Oct 17th 2007, 12:26 PM
I think it is incredibly distracting. I also have a problem with food in the classroom even though I used to be guilty of doing it. You are there to learn, not to chow down. People should get up a few minutes early to eat something. It takes me less than 10 minutes to have toast and coffee.

Whispering Grace
Oct 17th 2007, 01:20 PM
What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you. 1 Corinthians 11:22

Paul makes it clear we should leave the eating and drinking to our homes. In church we are supposed to be focused on and worshiping the Lord!

xSTEADFASTx
Oct 17th 2007, 02:24 PM
I dont see a problem with it.

Sold Out
Oct 17th 2007, 02:41 PM
i went with an old friend to his church recently, it was a nice church. except i noticed that people were eatting and drinking during the sermon which made it difficult to hear the pastor i finally just gave up on listening to the sermon because the noise was clouding his voice.
:B

I know Paul smacked up on the Corinthian church for making a spectacle of their gatherings in regards to food & drink:

"When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? what shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not." I Corinthians 11:20-22

Shame on that church......

Frances
Oct 17th 2007, 05:49 PM
should people be allowed to eat/drink during a sermon?

What apalling manners than to even think of doing so!!!

PrayerInMemphis
Oct 17th 2007, 06:23 PM
I have to be honest, if someone wants to eat a donut or drink a cup of coffee in church, I really don't really have a problem with it. that being said, there are plenty of churches out there that prohibit it for those that do have a problem with it.

in addition, my husband is a type-1 diabetic and sometimes he has no choice but to drink a coke or eat a snickers during church. how silly it would be for someone to decide that he's being disrespectful or sacreligious!

I can see how opening a wrapper or sucking through a straw could be rather distracting and obnoxious but it still seems a bit petty to me.

all that being said, there are far more interesting things going on in my church for me to be worried about whether the guy sitting in the pew next to me should or should not be eating that chocolate covered donut!

always
Oct 17th 2007, 06:37 PM
I have to be honest, if someone wants to eat a donut or drink a cup of coffee in church, I really don't really have a problem with it. that being said, there are plenty of churches out there that prohibit it for those that do have a problem with it.

in addition, my husband is a type-1 diabetic and sometimes he has no choice but to drink a coke or eat a snickers during church. how silly it would be for someone to decide that he's being disrespectful or sacreligious!

I think that ones would understand about the diabetic dilemma, and I'm sure that your husband would do what he had to do discreetly

but it is not, according to the scriptures appropriate to just casually eat in church. what is wrong with eating at home before church?

cheech
Oct 17th 2007, 06:51 PM
The only time I don't have a problem with it is if it's little children (I've seen little bags of cheerios floating around :lol:) or someone who is ill and needs to have something. I've been guilty of having a sip or two of bottled water a couple times and actually forced myself not to do it after that when I thought about it.

The last church we attended had some food and drinks in between services...around 10:00am. Surely people should eat before they get to church...I don't think an hour to an hour and a half is too long to go without food. Yes, wrapper noises are very distracting.

slightlypuzzled
Oct 17th 2007, 06:56 PM
As long as they share it with the preacher, I see no problem...


Now pass some warm Root Beer and a burger my way while I explain Supra-lapsarianism...

PrayerInMemphis
Oct 17th 2007, 07:05 PM
what is wrong with eating at home before church?nothing at all is wrong with eating at home. nothing at all is wrong with eating a donut you bought from the youth group at church, imo.

as I've stated time & time again, I have enough sweepin' up to do around my own back porch to worry about whether Jane Doe should or should not be drinking that cup of coffee during the sermon. plus, there are so many other things I'm focused on during church, I'm not even sure I would notice...and if I did, I would hope that right then I would say a silent prayer & ask the Lord to help me concentrate on more important matters(like the sermon, for example.)_ :lol:

it just seems rather trivial to me, I guess.:hmm:

always
Oct 17th 2007, 07:14 PM
nothing at all is wrong with eating at home. nothing at all is wrong with eating a donut you bought from the youth group at church, imo.

as I've stated time & time again, I have enough sweepin' up to do around my own back porch to worry about whether Jane Doe should or should not be drinking that cup of coffee during the sermon. plus, there are so many other things I'm focused on during church, I'm not even sure I would notice...and if I did, I would hope that right then I would say a silent prayer & ask the Lord to help me concentrate on more important matters(like the sermon, for example.)_

it just seems rather trivial to me, I guess.:hmm:


alright, wells lets hope the sermon at one time is on

When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? what shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not." I Corinthians 11:20-22
:lol:

Tanya~
Oct 17th 2007, 08:16 PM
i went with an old friend to his church recently, it was a nice church. except i noticed that people were eatting and drinking during the sermon which made it difficult to hear the pastor


For that reason, it shouldn't be allowed. It's also extremely rude! Having a snack shop in the lobby though seems to be encouraging it, so maybe they want it that way and don't consider it rude. Try another church.

TrustGzus
Oct 17th 2007, 08:50 PM
Hey W,

The Bible really doesn't address this directly as far as I see it. I don't think the verse in 1 Corinthians 11 about eating in homes applies. The context speaks of some of the Corinthians going home hungry and others getting drunk. The Corinthian church was a mess.

Churches in the New Testament met in homes. They didn't meet in large facilities with snack shops. So to take a verse from the New Testament context and apply it to the 21st century is a stretch in my opinion.

Each church should do as they see fit. If it doesn't work for you, then I would find another church. No church is perfect. Any church I walk into I will find things that I would do differently.

Personally, I've never cared if people eat while I teach.

tango
Oct 17th 2007, 10:55 PM
I'd say there are two issues here, one of whether people should be eating/drinking at all, and the other of the level of eating and the distraction.

Personally I find myself despairing at the fact that so many people seem unable to sit for more than a few minutes without an armful of snacks and a super-size drink. That said, if it's particularly hot or someone has specific requirements I don't see that taking a discreet sip of water or similar should cause any problems.

If people are eating crisps, rustling wrappers, chewing on crunchy things etc I'd rate that on a par with talking during the sermon, namely I'd say it's distracting and rude.

The fact you gave up on listening to the sermon because of all the distractions makes it very clear to me that it's detracting from the point of the service.

th1bill
Oct 17th 2007, 11:35 PM
I find it disrespectful to God and I would not return except to teach against such activities.

nagwalk
Oct 18th 2007, 03:55 AM
It should not be tolerated.

The only way I could tolerate food on the premises would be to feed the homeless after the service in the common/eating room.

w_zez
Oct 23rd 2007, 04:34 PM
nothing at all is wrong with eating at home. nothing at all is wrong with eating a donut you bought from the youth group at church, imo.

as I've stated time & time again, I have enough sweepin' up to do around my own back porch to worry about whether Jane Doe should or should not be drinking that cup of coffee during the sermon. plus, there are so many other things I'm focused on during church, I'm not even sure I would notice...and if I did, I would hope that right then I would say a silent prayer & ask the Lord to help me concentrate on more important matters(like the sermon, for example.)_ :lol:

it just seems rather trivial to me, I guess.:hmm:

so if the person sitting next to you cell phone rang out and the person next to you starting talking on it (just shooting the breeze and laughing), this would be okay with you?
what about other people sitting around you? and maybe the pastor who see's this? i would think people would be more considerate, and others wouldn't defend someone's thoughtfulness at such a time and place.
imo:hmm:

Trying2BHumble
Oct 23rd 2007, 07:11 PM
I do take my coffee into church to drink during the sermon - not during the singing as that is more a time of praise/worship while the sermon is more a time of learning (for me anyway). What can I say? I'm a coffee-holic, & the caffeine helps me TO focus on the hour long sermon. Hmmm...I wonder if I've offended anyone...(seriously)...:blush:

Theophilus
Oct 23rd 2007, 08:01 PM
Call me old school, but there are some things I just don't like to see in the sanctuary...and food and drink top the list. I make an exception for singers and people preaching, as a sip of water can help a dry throat(I speak from experience!).

I don't like to see guys wearing ball caps in there, either...it shows a lack of reverence. (Okay, Theophilus...stay focused! :lol:)

Look...I know it's not the building that's His Church, it's the people who make up the Church. Still, I think there should be some reverance for the sanctuary (it's called that for a reason, kids)...Otherwise, it's just like any other place in the world. Just as Christians should behave in a manner that's at a higher standard than non-believers, so to, I think, should the sanctuary be held in a different light than a theater, or a dining room, or an athletic event.

We go into the sanctuary to fellowship together...to worship God...to focus on Him, and not our bodily needs of food and drink. It may just be a room in a building...but for a time, it's a place of spiritual distinction. People should enjoy being there, as it's a wonderful thing to meet with fellow believers...but too often, the world (and Christians) just view it as another place.

When was the last time you spoke in hushed tones in the sanctuary? When was the last time you sat quietly, preparing for communion? When was the last time people sat in reflective silence during the offeratory? Time and again, I've internally winced at the casual approach people take to worship and fellowship.

Friendliness, and brotherhood, and warmth are all expected and necessary in church...but some humble awe and reverence seems to be sorely lacking in many churches these days...and it pains me. If you well and truly believe the Holy Spirit is in the sanctuary, working through the preacher, or the choir, or the teacher, or the kids' Christmas play...do you think it reverential to be snacking there? Even if you're enthralled and fully in tune with the Holy Spirit while eating your Twinkie...is it possible you're distracting someone less in tune with Him, and thereby somewhat robbing that person of a blessing?

It's not just any other place...and IMHO, we should treat it respectfully, and differently...even if it's just to have a higher standard of decorum and courtesy.

When Isaiah was in the presence of God, he knew he was unworthy. How worthy are you in His presence, eating a Slim Jim, distracting your pew mates?

Here's the thing: The person preaching has spent a great deal of time in prayer and study to bring you a teaching and/or a word from God. If the preacher is speaking for God, and you're back there ripping into bag of chips, you're not listening to something that could help you, and you may be keeping others from hearing something that could help them.

If you're so hungry you can't hold off...have the courtesy to step outside, finish your Ho Ho, or Snickers, or whatever you're munching on...and then rejoin the service. You've saved your seatmates the distraction, you've been a good example to impressionable kids...and you've shown some reverence to the sanctuary, and the One presiding there.

PrayerInMemphis
Oct 23rd 2007, 09:51 PM
so if the person sitting next to you cell phone rang out and the person next to you starting talking on it (just shooting the breeze and laughing), this would be okay with you?

funny you should mention this....back when I first read this thread last week, it brought to mind an incident that occured several months ago in church. I was seated next to a teenaged or college-aged girl who sat through the entire service texting someone on her phone. her phone would vibrate, she would jump for it, read the message & oftentimes show the message to the person next to her & then vigorously text back. this went on the entire sermon. I sat there & fumed over it for a few minutes & could'nt concentrate on the service no matter how hard I tried. but the Lord dealt with me on this towards the end of the service when I went up to the alter. during prayer that morning, He showed me how I was the problem, not her. He showed me how I let something so trivial rob me of my joy during one of the most enjoyable times of my week--the Sunday a.m. service. He showed me just how easy it had been for the enemy to divert my attention from a message the Lord wanted me to hear. He showed me that I had so much on my own plate spiritually, that I had no time to be concerned with the petty shortcomings of my brothers & sisters in Christ. and then He showed me how these petty shortcomings have no effect whatsoever on His plan for our church.

the Lord may want others to concern themselves with this type of thing--I won't speculate on that... but as for me--He's convicted me for it.

now....to answer your original question. no, a phone conversation during a sermon would be crossing the line. but that's a far cry from someone drinking a cup of coffee in the sanctuary.


what about other people sitting around you? and maybe the pastor who see's this? i would think people would be more considerate, and others wouldn't defend someone's thoughtfulness at such a time and place.
imo:hmm:?perhaps the coke machines & donut stands in the lobby suggest that the pastor & other members in our church don't have so much of a problem with it...?

as I suggested in a previous post, I think in large part, it depends on the church. some churches condone it, some churches condemn it. I don't think the churches that condone it are wrong & I don't think the churches that condemn it are wrong. obviously, they're both making accomodations for a wide range of believers....

brings to mind Dolly Parton's quote in Steel Magnolias(if I'm recalling it correctly); "oh honey, God don't care what you wear to church, 'long as you show up." well, I don't think He cares about that cup of coffee either, 'long as you show up...
;)

Semi-tortured
Oct 24th 2007, 03:09 PM
Anything that will distract people shouldn't be allowed. Eating and drinking per say is not immoral, IMO. I know that I have drank a cup of coffee or a bottle of water in church. But when you start bringing in foods that make noise, require concentration in eating, have certain smells for everyone to inhale, it DEFINITELY becomes distracting. I personally wouldn't have a problem with someone drinking some water or maybe coffee. (Like I said, I've done it) NO STRAWS though as that could lead to distraction.

I have sat in church, drank my cup of coffee from Coffee Bean and never lost concentration and never made a sound to distract anyone. Was I wrong for drinking that cup of coffee? I don't think so.

:2cents:

Jeanne D
Oct 24th 2007, 07:25 PM
Church is not a restaurant, it's church and you're there to worship God and fellowship. Save the eating and drinking for afterward.

Jeanne

w_zez
Oct 25th 2007, 04:37 PM
Hey W,

The Bible really doesn't address this directly as far as I see it. I don't think the verse in 1 Corinthians 11 about eating in homes applies. The context speaks of some of the Corinthians going home hungry and others getting drunk. The Corinthian church was a mess.

Churches in the New Testament met in homes. They didn't meet in large facilities with snack shops. So to take a verse from the New Testament context and apply it to the 21st century is a stretch in my opinion.

Each church should do as they see fit. If it doesn't work for you, then I would find another church. No church is perfect. Any church I walk into I will find things that I would do differently.

Personally, I've never cared if people eat while I teach.

i think opposite of that, i would care if people were distracting other people while i teach. alot of people won't say anything to these people because they don't want to go to church to argue or maybe fist fight with someone where they sit.

the excuse of no church is perfect, is not a good excuse (in my opinion) to allow wrongfulness. do you let people in the back row make out because you don't mind it while you teach?

each church should do as they see fit?
does it say that in the bible? because if it does i'd like to know where exactly. how far can a church lean into indulgence before it's considered wrong?

Tanya~
Oct 25th 2007, 06:34 PM
I think you make good points. There are a lot of churches that do/allow stuff that make me want to go :B. The Bible mentions 'love feasts' which were sort of like potluck meals. This was a tradition that churches continued for centuries. It was good because the people could get together and share in the word at the proper time, and share food together at its proper time. Sharing a meal is a good environment for building up relationships. There may actually be a church like that in your area and if there is, it would be worth visiting.

Ayala
Oct 25th 2007, 06:40 PM
My church has coffee, donuts, etc set in the front for AFTER church and it is to be eaten outside.

Susanna62
Nov 28th 2007, 12:15 AM
I can see that if there were a lot of people eating and drinking in service that there would be a lot of noise.

Sometimes when I'm getting over a cold I take a bottle of water to church. Otherwise I would be coughing a lot and I think that's more distracting. But I try very hard not to make noise.

I sometimes drink a soft drink on Sunday mornings in class. I hadn't really thought about it being a problem, but I don't want to distract people so I'll try to drink it before class in the future.

Brother Mark
Nov 28th 2007, 12:19 AM
Well, if my eating and drinking in the sanctuary causes another to stumble, I'll give it up. :D

Count me among the group that sees absolutely no issue with it unless it is bothersome to those around you.