Do you remember “playing church” as a kid? All the siblings, friends or cousins would be the congregation and someone would be the preacher on the soda crate. The preacher would try to mimic the preacher at church especially if as a kid you went to a charismatic church.

While playing church the preacher would say a lot of things mockingly like “praise the lord” and “can I get an amen” with a “hallelujah” here or there. Then maybe one sibling, friend or cousin would mimic getting in the spirit and start shaking and babbling as if they were speaking in tongues. Shirley Caesar has a song about this. You can listen to the entire track but the story about playing church starts at 3:15.

I was cautioned from an early age to not mock God, to not blaspheme the Holy Spirit, to not lie to the Holy Spirit, to not take the Lord’s name in vain, to give utmost reverence to God and to not make fun of people in church. As a result, at that early age, I learned to fear and honor God. However, like so many of us, when I became a teenager I strayed from the things I learned as a child and “played church” to make jokes or to be amusing.

How many people still play church? How many people are still trying the “fake it ’til you make it” route? Playing church is as fruitless as playing married or playing pregnant or playing rich. Here are some scriptures about that:

“Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:” Isaiah 29:13 (KJV)

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)

“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” James 1:21-26 (KJV)

I learned a long time ago, there comes a time when we have to grow up, mature and stop “playing church“. We have to look deep within, we have to search and examine ourselves to see if we are indeed true to ourselves and true to God.