We've all been there: you're visiting a church and you begin surveying the place, looking for the telltale signs that this is a place of sound teaching, a place that will uphold the faith of Paul, Jesus, and Billy Graham.
One key indicator of sound theology that many people overlook is church seating. Here's some information about the theological stance of the church you're joining based on the type of seats they use:
Hard wooden pews - Generally speaking, the harder the pew, the stronger the theology. So this church is either really strong theologically or else Catholic.
Firmly cushioned pews - You're probably at an old fundamental Baptist church, especially if the pews are the classic avocado color that was so popular 50 years ago. Your church's theology is strong and unchanging, just like the KJV Bible.
Modern interlocking chairs - This is where we start to get to some bad theology. The chairs interlock with one another much like this church interlocks with the sinful ways of the world. Tell your pastor you want to go back to pews. Return to the old paths!
Folding chairs - You're likely at a church plant held at an elementary school. Probably OK theology but watch out because they'll immediately recruit you to help with the children's ministry.
Stumps in the woods - Oh no! You're not at church -- you're part of an ancient druidic cult! RUUUUUN!!!
Movie theatre seating - Soft, reclining chairs to match the soft, malleable theology of your celebrity pastor. Not good!
Not a chair in sight - If they've cleared the chairs away, be careful. You're at a Pentecostal revival night. Get ready to dodge people rolling around the floor like steamrollers. And watch out for the snakes - why'd it have to be snakes? (You could also be at a Russian Orthodox church -- the way to tell the difference is to look out for the smell of borscht.)
Seats with stacks of hundred-dollar bills lining the upholstery - You're at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.
Golden thrones - You're on TBN.
Your couch at home - Oh no! You're not at church -- you're just watching a preacher online. Go to church, you heathen!
What did we miss? Let us know in the comments, or fill out a complaint card and the ushers will be by shortly.