A friend of mine (Jeremy) shared a blog post (written by Mike Livingstone) on his Facebook page. I had planned to respond to it, but the original post (linked below) is closed for comments. Frankly, that speaks volumes in and of itself.
In a nutshell, the original author chastises churches who use entertainment to get folks to come to church. He uses a book published in 1962 to make his points. Here are my thoughts.
Huh. Guess our church missed the memo. Yes, we sing some current songs during worship, but so did David as he praised the Lord. Though sometimes sprinkled with humor, Chaplain Johnson's messages at our church services are scripturally based and I would argue almost all of what comes out of our pastor's mouth is being read from the Bible itself. When it is not from the Bible, it is his explaining the words.
Air conditioning and comfy pews are a product of modern society. I don't see how either of those comes into play here. Telling people to take those out of church is like telling people they should not be blogging their thoughts, but should instead be using chalk and slate, copying it 400-500 times and then sending it by post to their friends and neighbors.
Sure, there are churches that seem to focus on skits and plays and musicals and whatever else to help get God's word spread to their congregations, but did we not see the same types of things over and over in the Bible itself? Of course, in the Bible, it was God doing those things: burning bushes, pillars of fire and smoke, plagues and disease. Wait. m I saying that is "entertainment?" Not exactly, but it is using something OTHER than the word itself to get people's attention.
So long as the churches being called out in the entry as backing their "worshiptainment" with the Word of God, then I see this no different the aforementioned singing and dancing and praising done by many, many people as described in the Bible.
As you read through the Bible, look for times when God's people danced, sang, etc. And then, see what happened AFTER that. See what happened BEFORE that.
We are to reach people where they are, not where we used to be 70, 80, 100 years ago. Yes, God's Word is infinite. But, if we are to share the Word, spread the Word, then we need to help people by reaching them where they are.
Does God's Word stand alone? Yes. But, so does every other word that people are subjected to each and everyday. Do people always understand what is presented in the Bible? Not immediately sometimes. The Bible is full of stories, imagery, parables, visions - some of which can be demonstrated and explained through the use of various "entertainments."
For me, whatever gets people to sit up and take notice and start to get into God's word is what we should be doing.
On the other hand, if Mr. Livingstone doesn't care for the type of worshipping going on at his church, perhaps he should find another that is more suited to his "style" of worship. And, yes, his comments are about the style despite his professing the opposite.
"Secret Church now draws tens of thousands of people via simulcast in over 50 countries around the world..." That's entertainment in itself. A rose by any other name...
(Original article: http://mikelivingstone.com/2014/12/17/the-heresy-of-worshiptainment/)
Share your thoughts...