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Are today's churches entertainment factories?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Sunstone, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Are today's churches more in the business of entertaining than in the business of challenging us to lead spiritually fulfilled lives? Is the emphasis that some churches put on entertainment innimical to true spirituality? What do you think?
     
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  2. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Yes, some of it is entertainment. The preacher gets up there, he gives a talk...complete with jokes to make everyone feel better, everyone sings a few songs, there is some "special music," and maybe some "testimony time." That follows the pattern of our cultural entertainment very well.

    Not all groups do this, and I do think that when such a pattern is followed, it does harm spirituality.
     
  3. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Is it inevitable that churches increasingly add entertainment to their services since we live in an entertainment oriented society?
     
  4. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    No. It is inevitable if we keep starting new churches when we don't like what is preached. If the church is there to service you, not for you to conform to, it must become entertainment.
     
  5. Doc

    Doc Space Chief

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    Mine is very much opposite. Bad jokes, bad music, seems more like a funeral. It needs to be lively to keep at least the kids awake, but it still needs to enforce the message it wants to send out. Where as at my school, not my parish, its all singing and clapping hands and not much of a message. There needs to be some kind of balance. I mean it is a celebration, and we should celebrate, but I would like to get some kind of spiritual advice out of it.
     
  6. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Market demand rules! I wonder if any church today can wholely escape from the consumer attitude that most of us have. That is, the consumer is always right, and the product should be shaped to the consumer's wants. As you pointed out, No*s, that would surely lead to churches becoming more and more entertainment oriented.

    Doc, you've got a good point that some sort of balance has to be struck. Humans just aren't equiped to deal with endless boredom, even in religion.
     
  7. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    Many are entertainment. We are to worship respectfully and orderly. The problem with the idea of speaking in tongues is that it is not gibberish as thought of today but speaking in languages the person didnt learn on their own (Greek, Latin, etc) (see 1 Corinthians 14). A careful observer of Acts and the epistles would see that only the apostles could pass on the such spiritual gifts and therefore dont exist today. We now recieve the Holy Spirit through studying and living by the NT. Careful study of the NT shows that God calls us to reason not chaos and emotionalism. Emotions have their place but should be subjected to reason. See church qualities: Titus 2:1-10, 1 Timothy 2; 4:12-16; 5: 3-24. Worship is what an individual does not what they are a part of.
     
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  8. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Are today's churches becoming more secular via their tendency towards entertaining their congregations?
     
  9. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    There are some incredibly hostile attitudes towards some churches and how they deliver their message. It really doesn't matter HOW you get the message out, as long as you get it out!

    The churches of Christ have long contended that worship music be a'cappela. Really, you can not find this ANYWHERE in the scriptures except by it's absense. "The first church didn't have instrumental music" is the first line of defense for this. Well, they didn't have song leaders, microphones or AC either. :D

    Chrches must EVOLVE to keep reaching the masses. They do not have to compomise on any core values, but they do need to learn what Paul meant when he said "I have become all things to all men". We can't let spiritual snobbery stop us from reaching the lost.
     
  10. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    The churches of Christ believe that music must be a'cappela because of that silence. If God wanted instruments He would have said so. Microphones and internet are just tools to reach people. Adding instruments to worship is akin to adding pudding to communion simply because the Bible doesnt tell us not to. Outside the worship service there isnt a problem. I listen to music while i study myself.

    Too many people go to a congregation's worship to get something out of it. Instrumentals for instance are "fun" and are a large attraction. The attraction shouldnt be entertainment but to go and worship the Father for that sake alone. If that person feels uplifted after good for them, but that should not be the end goal.
     
  11. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I think mutual edification is also a legitimate reason for assembly.

    Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

    I don't see the worship service as defined in scripture as the Lord's Supper is, DO YOU? Instruments were used throughout the old testament and brought delite to God then. Why should that change now? No, too many times people twist scriptures to fit their opinions. In this case we twist scriptures that aren't even there! Go figure!
     
  12. johnnys4life

    johnnys4life Pro-life Mommy

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    What are you all talking about? The Old Testament is full of passages about praising God with musical instruments. Here are just two about one instrument, the harp (hehe I love this Bible search tool):

    Psalm 33:2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
    Psalm 43:4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.

    They should have more harping in churches, I say!
     
  13. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I think it hearkens back to ascetic roots.
     
  14. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    I'm afraid I differ. Christianity had competing churches for a while after Nicea and even the Council of Constantinople, granted they were schismatics. It didn't necessitate this kind of movement. What's going on strikes me more as modern culture's influence.

    I wouldn't say "more secular." I would, rather, say that they're gradually emphasizing emotion over doctrine.
     
  15. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    Instrumentals are under the Jewish law and do have have the danger of becoming entertainment. If there is any risk of falling into problems why even go near it?
    Besides,what was part of the law doesnt hold anymore: 3So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another--to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
    Romans 7:3-5


    As a matter of fact the worship service is defined in the NT.
    1) it is to be done every 1st day of the week. Acts 20
    2) teaching is to be done. Acts 20
    3) give as you have prospered. (Tithing is OT) 1 Corinthians 16:1-3
    4) the Lord's Supper observed. Acts 20, Acts 2:41-43, 1 Corinthians 10:15-17
    5) prayer Acts 2:41-43, Mark 14:22, Matthew 26:26

    Of course worhip should not be entertaining but solemn and reasoned. Reverance due to the Creator should be the prime issue. And what better to rever Him with than the one thing tha He gave us that no other animal can have? The voice, language.

    I agree that people often twist scripture to suit their wishes. Yes, edification is a part of the assembly but not the reason for the worship assembly.
     
  16. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    What do instruments have to do with the law???

    They are used as an expression of your LOVE for God.

    You cited scriptures that are GREAT... but none of them prohibit instruments or fun! Christianity is all about JOY not about gloom and doom. Sure, there are scriptures to back this up, but I am sure you know them already. :D
     
  17. cow_le_moo

    cow_le_moo New Member

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    I agree with a lot of points being made on this forum.

    Firstly I think anyone going to Church toi be entertained is mising the point. However I do not see anything wrong in church being entertaining.

    Yes God gave is a voice and language and yes He instructed us to use it. What about people who don't have the blessing of a voice to use? Can they not worship all the same?
    Just as God gave is a voice and language he gave us the ability to make music and I cant think of anything greater than using what God gave me to worship Him and complete his will on this earth.

    I also think getting caught up in the details of how we are worshiping is missing the point. I personally only worship in ways I feel cofortable. For someone who does not like to sing or has not been blessed with a talent for it should not be forced to do so other than by God Himself. Likwise instruments are just another form of worship and I don't see that they cause any harm if used with that intent. A problem should only arise if a person is not right with God. In this case when the time is right they will come to understand this and change their ways.
     
  18. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    Instruments are prohibited because we are not told to use them. They had instruments back then and if God wanted them used He would have said so. If the Bible outlined all the things He didnt want us to do it would be unreadable. Most people use the OT to support the use of instruments in worship. You do have a point, NetDoc, Christianity should be about joy. Its not wrong to enjoy worshipping God, but it is wrong to make that fun the priority.
     
  19. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Prohibiting instruments on the basis of "non inclusion" by the scriptures is short sighted at best. How about song leaders? There were many men who were qualified to lead songs back then but the scriptures failed to authorise their use.

    How about song books? There were written songs back then, but there exists no authority to use them.

    How about harmony? Harmony existed back then, but there exists no authority to use them.

    The "ban" on instrumental music occured from the over zealous application of "Speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent". It has also been used by some churches to prohibit kitchens... go figure! That doctrine needs to be refined though. It should read "speak where the Bible speaks and all else is merely opinion". This would allow the freedom that we have in Christ to come forth. Rather than drawing meaningless lines in the sand over things that do not really matter, we are able to be all things to all men so that we might convert some.
     
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  20. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    The question is though. Is that being "speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent" overzealous? What you listed: kitchens, song books, song leaders, and harmony are just tools. Instruments, however, can and often do replace singing altogether which violates the examples presented. There is a different between tools that assist and replacements that add in. Song books dont replace singing, neither does harmony. Kitchens dont replace worship either. I agree with you on the kitchen idea. Many people fail to realize that churches orginally met in homes or any other place that could hold the amount of people gathering and they had kitchens.

    Why present something that can overshadow the point of gathering? Reasoned worship of God is the point not entertainment.
     
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