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Are today's churches entertainment factories?

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

  1. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

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    As Christians we have the responsibility to follow the word of God and do his will always, both in and out of the church service. To say that we have to change with whatever is happening now, is saying in a way that God's word is not complete. I would disagree with this. He said, "sing and make melody in your heart to the Lord". I think this is pretty clear on what we are supposed to do. Now, I know he didn't expound on that and say, "...and don'tplay any musical instruments either", but did he really have to in order for us to know what the command was? Think about it, you tell your child, "Go next door and borrow a cup of sugar." An hour later they come back with not only sugar, but flour, milk and butter. You ask him why he did this and he tells you because you didn't tell him not too and he saw you borrow the same items last week. Kind of see what I mean? It doesn't make much sense. It doesn't make much sense to say that the servant can subjegate his own wants for what he is told by his master to do. God is my master and I want to follow what he says, not what I think me means.

    As far as the question is concerned, yes, I do believe that it is getting out of hand. Case in point, I just moved here from Texas and a buddy of mine their owns his own audio/visual company. He was asked by a Methodist church in Westlake, Texas to run audio for them one Sunday. Do you know what the nickname for that church building in Houston is? The MethoDome.:)
     
  2. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I don't recall Jesus ever saying "Go, and have reasoned worship of God", so maybe that shouldn't be the point. He DID say, "Go and make disciples", so maybe that's a better point. Paul said he was "All things to all men", so maybe we should try to "loosen up a bit" and reach out to everyone, even those attracted by instrumental music.
     
  3. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    Let us examine the verse behind the idea of "all things to all men" since this seems to be a pivot to entertainment and drawing people in by such means to convert them:

    31Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
    1 Corthinthians 10:31-33

    Notice that verse 31 says "all to the glory of God." How can we glorify Him? Does adding entertaining elements such as instruments glorify Him? Jesus provides the answer:

    21"Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
    Matthew 7:21-22

    Notice that Jesus says that only those that do the will of the Father is correct. Yes we are to teach and convert, but not at the expense of the message. When a group sings everyone participates. When instruments are used only a few can play them while everyone else can sing. Is this any different from a concert? It also divides the congregation into 2 different groups: those singing and those playing, not exactly a unified way to worship even if the instruments are their to "assist". The entire idea of worship is to venerate the Father in a way that He says.(my idea of reasoned worship comes from the reasoned approached to life the NT presents. Emotions have a place but are subject to reason. Not the other way around.) Its the same idea behind earthly fathers wanting respect from their sons and daughters by having them respect what the fathers say and want done.


     
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  4. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

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    NetDoc, can you provide an example in the Bible where God's people where allowed to change the law on their own, or if they were able to even add to it. Maybe then I can understand the idea you are refering to.:)
     
  5. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    No. We are not supposed to subract from or add to the "law". But in Christ we are FREE from the law:

    Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

    Galations 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
     
  6. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

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    While it is true, that we are no longer under the Law of the old testament, we are under a law, the perfect law of liberty. We still have rules to follow in our lives and our acts of worship to God.

    In the New Testament, which is our guide today, the apostle, Paul, says that faith comes by hearing the word of God and that whatsoever is not of faith is sin. This is another way of saying that if you cannot find command or example for an act of worship in the will of Christ (the New Testament), you should not do that act. (Study Romans 10:17 and 14:23)

    Thus, if an act of worship is done without scriptural approval, it is done without faith, for faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Because that which is not of faith is sin, it is unnecessary that the Word of God prohibit the act; it is only necessary that it be uncommanded. Hence, the argument that instruments of music may be used because the Bible does not prohibit their use, is wrong.

    God has always required that man obey His directions; faith is defined as man's obedience to God's will, and man's actions contrary to God's will are called sin. Although the way in which God deals with man changed at the time of Christ's death, God never changes. Thus, God (who expected obedience in Old Testament times) expects obedience in New Testament times. This includes our era, today. In speaking of historical occasions in the Old Testament, Paul, in Romans 15:4 said, "For whatsoever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope."

    So, it becomes clear then that in order to have pleasing and acceptable worship to God, which we are to do under the new law, then we must follow the examples and instructions given that we know are pleasing to God. I do believe that not following these examples in the acts of worship, or changing them to fit society's needs are therefore not pleasing to God, and thus are sinful.
     
  7. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

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    I think Christ is more interested in reaching out to those that are attracted to him by the salvation he provides, not the entertainment value of worship to Him.

    Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
     
  8. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    That is extrpolation of the scriptures at best and not a very good one at that. By making the extrapolation you have already violated it.

    Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. 20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

    Speak where the Bible speaks, and realize that all else is merely man's opinion. If the Bible doesn't condemn it, then I surely won't.

    After all... they didn't wear ties in the First Church. Do you allow ties in yours? How about floral prints? Microphones? Air conditioning? Even a Church Building??? The First century church met in the SYNAGOGUES! Why aren't you meeting there? That's the only scriptural place for a service. I don't recall them mentioning making any announcements during the service. And they conducted their services in Aramaic, and Greek... none were conducted in English.

    There is nothing about driving to church. Should all cars be banned? Truly, your interpretation of this will have you living like the Amish of old. No, this mindset has an appearance of wisdom, but not even you follow it through. Don't exchange the FREEDOM we have in Christ for a sack of rules.
     
  9. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    It's great that you "think" that, but do you have any scriptural authority for it? My Bible tells that God wishes for ALL to be saved.

    II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance
     
  10. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

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    They also met in homes and elsewhere, not just in synagogues. The example is to meet on the first day of the week. We take this as meaning that it really doesn't matter where as long as you follow the example and it doesn't conflict with anything else that we are to stay away from.

    I think you are missing the connection between the point on things that are acts of worship and things that are not. I will do a little more study on this and try to explain the different ways we extrapolate what we are to do as Christians.
     
  11. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    So now, where is the Scripture that tells us to stay away from instruments? You can't just impose "convenience" for one and not the other. Think about it.

    That's the point: DON'T extrapolate. That would be adding to the Gospel and a Galations 1 no-no!
     
  12. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

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    Okay, so what are the priciples of authority:

    1. God wants exactly what he ordered, no more and no less. God has given Hid complete and perfect order. "All scripture is inspired of God and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16-17) We need his authority for whatever we do in His name (i.e. when we worship Him in His name). "And whatever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Col. 3:17)

    God warns us against adding to or taking away from His word. "For I testify to everyone that hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away fromt he words of this book of prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." (Rev. 22:18-19)

    2. God's silence forbids more than his specific order. Some excuse their unauthorized actions in religion by arguing "But God didn't say not to?" But God's word says, "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son." (2 John 9)

    3. What "I Think" is not what God specifically ordered. "There is a way that seems right unto man, but its end is the way of death" (Prov. 14:12). God says, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as heaven is higher than the earth, So My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa. 55:8-9) We cannot guess what God wants or likes. We must follow what God has ordered, not what we think he wants.

    A great example of God's view on our relationship to His authority can be found in the stiry of Nadab and Abihu, who offered up a fire that was not the fire that was commanded to be offered up. (Lev. 10:1-2; 16:2)

    So, to the point, given the ways we identify (which is the word I should have used earlier) God's authoritative commands, what do I see as the authorized mode of music in worship? In the New Testament God only authorizes singing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16) Playing on instruments of music is not mentioned and therefore is not an authorized mode of musical worship.
     
  13. Hope

    Hope Princesinha

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    Didn't Jesus say something about worshipping in "Spirit and in truth"? It seems kinda silly and superficial to argue about whether musical instruments are proper to worship God with. As long as we are worshipping Him, and not the instruments themselves, or the instrument-players, then I don't see what's wrong with it!! NetDoc has made some very valid points, which I happen to agree with. I think so many become bogged down in the little, itty-bitty details, and totally miss out on the bigger picture. God could care less if we do every little thing, perfectly right, if our heart is far from Him. We just become like Pharisees, more concerned with the outside appearance, than what's in the heart.

    As long as the focus remains on God, and not on other things, I believe many different types of worship are acceptable and pleasing to Him. I've been to many different worship services, and the ones I most enjoyed and felt the presence of God were the ones that kept the focus on Him, and where the congregation actually participated. One of these was in Brazil, where, heaven forbid, they had electric guitars and everyone was jumping up and down and dancing! I didn't sit there grumpily and think, how dare they be so happy praising God---I thought, they are being their normal Brazilian selves, they are showing their love for God, and I'm gonna join them!! Woo-hoo!

    All that being said, yes, sadly, I do think more and more churches are emphasizing entertainment over real worship. But if it is real worship, I believe one can tell pretty easily---and it has nothing to do with whether instruments are used. ;)
     
  14. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Please provide a scripture for this heretical view.
    So stop making laws in his name. If he didn't say we couldn't do something, then you shouldn't either! Don't let yourself become a Christian Pharisee! All rules and no love.
    Then lets throw out this scripture:

    I Corinthians 2:15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: 16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

    God wants just ONE THING from us: OUR LOVE! Love is never static as you suggest. I have been forgiven much, so I must love much! My love is not confined to your narrow definitions. It is only limited by my creativity.
     
  15. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

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    I did and it was Col. 3:17. That is not very fair NetDoc, and you have seemed like a very fair person in all of your posts to this point. It is a biblical view, not a heretical one. I have, though my own personal study, found that while God indeed wants us to love him, he also wants our obedience. To say we love him on one hand and yet be disobedient to his will doesn't make much sense. I am telling you what I have found and what I believe. I am not a Christian Pharisee (Jesus refers to Pharisees as a 'Brood of Vipers') so please restrain from name calling in order to defend your belief and please keep sticking to scripture.

    Yes:
    John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    You are right. We are to worship him in spirit and in truth. A spiritual attitude and the truth of God's word!! What a wonderful combination!! That does not exclude us from following the truth of His word, it reinforces it.
     
  16. glasgowchick

    glasgowchick Gives Glory to God !!!

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    Hi Are you from the Church of Christ ? I am and You have answered well
     
  17. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Would you rather have a priest droning on in the pulpit for hours, while the congregation snore? There are traditional Churches for those who wish to go to traditional services; however, if it brings in the children with their parents, isn't it better for them to get a taste of religion than fail to do so because it seems 'heavy' ?:)
     
  18. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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    For an interesting forecast of where the original topic might lead, I commend to your attention the Fosterite Church in Robert Heinlein's classic "Stranger In A Strange Land".
     
  19. glasgowchick

    glasgowchick Gives Glory to God !!!

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    Hi Pilgrim, I think we are singing off the same song book here, I agree totally with all you have said reguarding music in churches..I agree we should speak where the bible speaks and silent where it is silent...God said we were to make melody with our hearts,,,, that is the only instrument we use..If God wanted instruments in worship he would have told us..Remember the folk that offered up strange smoke thinking it was pleasing to God, what happened to them ? God struck them down dead, they did what they thought was pleasing, they did something God never asked them to do...I know thats another story but it gets to the point that we need to be careful on how we worship God in our Church sevice.
     
  20. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Yes Glasgowchick,

    I worship at a church of Christ here in Orlando Florida. Traditionally, we are a'capella.

    Unfortunately, I find that there is nothing in the scriptures that would compel anyone to sing without instruments. While it's a wondeful tradition, it is nothing more!

    EEWRED... sorry. There should have been a smiley after "heretical". My point is that there are MANY differences of opinions that all have equal weight in light of the scriptures. Your view of no instruments is no more heretical than my view that they should be allowed. :D

    As for Christian Pharisees, I did not accuse you of BEING one, but I don't want you to go down that dark path either. If it appeared that I did, I apologise, and am also sorry that I did not see your post earlier to make this clarification.

    Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. NIV

    Notice, if you will, the "whatever you do" clause here. I would suggest that this more than implies that what was said before it is not the ONLY way to worship the living God. There is no prohibition of instrumental music, only the admonition to sing. There is also no prohibition of microphones or physical amplification, though none were used back then. There is also no prohibition of AC, though it was not used back then either.
     
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