Standing Up for the Word
In some churches, the congregation is asked to stand whenever the preacher reads the opening text of his sermon. The first time I noticed this practice was while watching Pastor John Hagee on television ministering from his church in San Antonio, Texas. A short time later, I started making trips to Pensacola, Florida to attend revival meetings at Brownsville Assembly of God. Then-pastor John Kilpatrick also had everyone standing up as he read from the Bible during Sunday services (I don’t remember the other revival speakers doing this).
Since then I’ve visited additional churches where they “stand up for the reading of the word.” Recently I posted a question to my Facebook friends asking if they knew of any Bible verses supporting this. One pastor made reference to Nehemiah 8:5…
“And Ezra opened the book [of the law] in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up.”
People have argued for it or against it with Scripture as with other Christian traditions. Some believers choose to keep the Sabbath on the seventh day (Saturday). Others revere Sundays or all days the same. All of these are okay according to Colossians 2:16-17.
If I’m visiting a church, I will honor the pastor and stand up if he asks the congregation to do so. Otherwise, I prefer sitting when reading my Bible during a service. God is more concerned about our hearts toward Him than trying to follow a bunch of rules and regulations.
“Now therefore, listen to me, my children; Pay attention to the words of my mouth.” - Proverbs 7:24