A man told me he was visiting another church, and a cell phone started ringing during the sermon. It rang several times, and finally a person answered the phone and proceeded to carry on a conversation while the pastor was trying to preach!
It reminded me of the time I was attending a Baptist convention when a cell phone went off during a sermon. A convention-goer answered the phone and headed toward the door to talk outside. As he was exiting, the man behind the pulpit said, “Tell them I’m not through with my sermon!”
Most of us have cell phones, and sometimes we forget to turn them off or put them on vibration. So what do you do when your cell phone starts ringing in church? Here are three bad suggestions:
1. When the cell phone goes off, stare at the person next to you and shake your head in disgust, as if the ring is coming from him or her. After a while your phone will quit ringing, and everybody will think the other person was the guilty culprit.
2. If everybody knows that you are the cell phone’s owner, answer it quickly and pretend that it is an emergency. You can say, “Really? Did you call an ambulance?” or “Is she alive?” Then run out of the church, and remove yourself from the embarrassing situation altogether.
3. If none of the above will work, you can stand up and announce, “It’s God calling. He says keep up the good work and be faithful.” After all, didn’t God say in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me and I will answer you...”?
The only problem with all of the suggestions above is that they break the ninth commandment (you know, the one about lying).
So here’s another suggestion: If you’re in the choir or somewhere else near the baptistry, toss the phone in the water. Or if you’re not near the baptistry, just confess your sin and turn the thing off.
Either way, the congregation will appreciate you, your conscience will be clear, and best of all, your phone won’t interrupt your worship again during the service.
Copyright 2008 by Bob Rogers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read this column each Thursday for a mix of religion and humor. For more “Holy Humor,” go to the Web page of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.