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Make It Better?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 0 comments

I hear a lot that the old ways of doing things when it comes to churches is "broken" or "not working". This makes me think, how can we improve the message of the Gospel? The only answer I can find is that the Holy Spirit gives us understanding.

John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."

This attitude of changing methods and techniques reminds me of those BASF commercials were their slogan was "We don't make the products you buy, We make the products you buy better." In my opinion the only way to make it better is to have a solid foundation of doctrine.

Instead, prominent pastors such as Rick Warren are promoting this program and entertainment centered ministry. I looked at a few of my area local churches web pages and found programs for anything. From cheerleading to fitness centers. I understand the method of reaching out to people and bring them in, but the result is in most cases is not building people up spiritually. Timm wrote on his blog about this exposed weakness.

In addition, everything must be a certain way or a "production" as Layne calls it. For example, ending at the exact time each week or having gruesome tryouts to sing in the choir. I just finished reading a book called "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory" by Randall Balmer (I guess it was also a documentary on PBS). In the chapter on Rick Warren it says "What about children? 'We don't allow children in the Worship Center,' came the answer. Saddleback, in fact, siphons all children off to the children's programs and doesn't allow kids under five in any of the venues. 'They'll destroy your service,' the pastor warned."

I will not leave out the arrogance that they have either. "Though the church dropped the word 'Baptist' from its name long ago, and Warren does nothing to advertise his affiliation, both he and the church are technically members of the Southern Baptist Convention. 'We remain in the denomination more for their sakes than for ours,' he told me."

After reading this book, it really opened my eyes to how many different worship styles of Christianity there are and how superficial they look. Switching churches because someone prefers one music style over another or they have sports programs for their children. Is this how we are to evaluate churches? By what is pleasing to our ears and what programs they have to meet our desires. By focusing on these attributes there is a high danger in turning into nothing more than a social institution.

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