So I had an interview today with my College Pastor, it was for a paper that I am writing for my English class. Well the topic is Church Entertainment. Everything that he told me I pretty much already knew, but he gave me more details and described it better than I could.
Well I've been struggling with this idea for some time and I finally get the chance to uncover my thoughts to the world, well maybe not, but it'll bring me some satisfaction to be able to write this down. So to my point.
"our culture has been entertained to death." So we know what is entertaining and what is not. And churches lately have been trying to compete for the youth's attention. There is no problem with entertainment, I enjoy it, who doesn't enjoy it? But when churches become so enthralled on the way the message should be presented, then it becomes a matter of having everything right instead of paying attention to what is really right, the Bible.
Some people hate on Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale because it is so big and there is probably no way to have a real church community, but though it is big and difficult to have a real community, the whole atmosphere of the church is quite invigorating. Instead of making sure that everything is right, they make sure that whatever they are doing is for God's Glory and you wouldn't give God crap, you would give Him your best.
The message that Pastor Bob Coy gives comes straight from the Bible, he has some creative ways of giving us examples, but its not "let me give you one verse and explain to you what it means to me." NO!! it should not be like that. I don't want to give Pastor Bob all the credit, God is working wonders through him, so I give God all the credit, but Bob has gone verse by verse in explaining what the Bible is trying to show us. he doesn't preach a sermon on lust, or dating, or drugs, he might use them as examples, but he doesn't preach on them. Pastor Bob has been showing God's holiness and how we're not.
In the bible, people are not preached to because of their sin, but because of God's glory and grace the people see their own sin. The apostle Paul even explains that the more he knows about God's goodness and holiness, the more he sees the sin within himself. In Isaiah 6, Isaiah sees God and he can not even explain God's amazinness, but one thing he says is "“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”"
Isaiah understood just by looking and understanding God's glory that he is disgusting, he understood his sin.
I see people leaving churches because they don't want to be entertained anymore, they want to be fed. The message has also become too warm and fuzzy, it's not challenging anymore. Some churches might be afraid that if they give people too much to handle they won't come anymore, but when did Jesus try to make it warm and fuzzy?
Another point I want to give out is about Jesus. How many people do you think would go to his church? He only had 12 apostles and one even betrayed him. Not until did they understand what he was explaining did it make sense to them all. He gave many illustrations and stories so the people could understand, but it was not different from the truth.
So 4 things that the church should be is:
1. God glorifying
2. Christ centered
3. Preaching is bible saturated
4. and Life transforming.
Without these for main things, the church is basically dead, it's not moving anywhere. Its a bunch of friends getting together and hanging out. We have to be more like Christ, as idealized as it might be, we need something to look up to. And so I finish off with something that Pope John Paul II said,
“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.”
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