We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Entertainment in the Church

I originally posted this a few months after starting the blog.  I thought it was time to repost.
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So many churches nowadays are following methods promoted by “seeker sensitive,” “market driven,” “purpose driven,” and even the emergent churches, that we are encountering a lot of entertainment-oriented services which have often completely changed the gospel message. Although this entertainment-oriented ideology is pervasive in the church today, it really isn’t new.  The following commentary is by A.W. Tozer:
For centuries the Church has stood solidly against every form of worldly entertainment, recognizing it for what it was - a device for wasting time, a refuge from the disturbing voice of conscience, a scheme to divert attention from moral accountability. For this she got herself abused roundly by the sons of the world. But of late she has become tired of the abuse and has given over the struggle. She appears to have decided that if she cannot conquer the great god Entertainment she may as well join forces with him and make what use she can of his powers. So today we have the astonishing spectacle of millions of dollars being poured into the unholy job of providing earthly entertainment for the so-called sons of heaven. Religious entertainment is in many places rapidly crowding out the serious things of God. Many churches these days have become little more than poor theatres where fifth-rate “producers” peddle their shoddy wares with the approval of evangelical leaders who can even quote a holy text in defense of their delinquency. And hardly a man dares raise his voice against it. … The great god Entertainment amuses his devotees mainly by telling them stories. The love of stories, which is characteristic of childhood, has taken fast hold of the minds of the retarded saints of our day, so much so that not a few persons manage to make a comfortable living by spinning yarns and serving them up in various disguises to church people. What is natural and beautiful in a child may be shocking when it persists into adulthood, and more so when it appears in the sanctuary and seeks to pass for true religion.

6 comments:

The Redeemed Gardener said...

I am really glad you re posted this. I usually just follow alone and don't say much but I must say keep up the good work of God!

Drew said...

The position of the writer is completely self-defeating. Opposition to "worldly" entertainment is what CAUSES mediocre "Christian" entertainment. There is nothing inherently immoral about entertainment, and thus no reason why we should have to Christianize it. Most the idiots who play the crummy Christian music in church will stay far far away from real (non-"Christian") music.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Drew,

No, the worldly entertainment is what is all about self and people get so wrapped up in it that their lives are wasted away on entertainment. I know tooo many people who have little time for anything else but entertainment.

What is "immoral" about entertainment is the same thing that is immoral about too much drinking or too much eating. It is not the end all as people make it to be.

Much of the entertainment is indeed immoral. Video - be it movies, TV shows, computer games - are very often rife with sex, foul language, gratuitous violence, etc. Audio, i.e. much of the "music" is debased with sex, violence and filthy language.

Unfortunately, rather than seek out real music, and appropriate entertainment, most people go for the filth, which is why it continues to expand.

Too many churches think they have to use entertainment do draw people in, and that is total rubbish. It is indeed a worldly way to reach people, and what you win people with is what you win them too.

A.W. Tozer, by the way, was a well respected theologian (I say that because it didn't appear you knew who he was).

Jehovah Mekoddishkem said...

"It is indeed a worldly way to reach people, and what you win people with is what you win them too".


I like your statement it's so apt and full of truth.. thanks

Anonymous said...

I spent many years trying to figure out why people write and listen to such crummy music. The pain from the wicked of the world. An open door of hope to those who are far from God. An open door of tolerance from their loved ones. There once was a time where religious music was the greatest in the world. A time when people died young and death was always close at hand. The pipes rang out and the plate was passed and it was surely filled because you did not know when the plate will be all you will have. The great music will soon return. But, let us pray that the sorrows will not stand together with it. For I fear and perceive the worst is and will be worse than before.

Anonymous said...

The Bible is clear...
Leviticus 19:30Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.
1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

If it takes entertainment to keep people in church, to teach them God's word, and hold their attention, then they should wait for vacation Bible school. If they want to mature in the Lord and His word, then true on your face before the Lord worship, is not worldly songs, movies, and bits from television.
We have to come out from the world and be different. Do not be conformed but be TRANSFORMED.