28 February 2008

The Entertainment Value of Church and the Gospel

Ok, more television confessions. While I was watching the noon news there was a commercial for a local church. We're not talking large market television where I live so the local commercials have that 'homemade and low budget' flavor. Something I have come to appreciate since leaving California. I live in Kentucky now, where folks are just that friendly and homespun really is their lifestyle.

The commercial had a lovely picture of a church with a voice-over saying the church's name and location. Then they used a split screen with the church on one side and a string of fresh faces with sound-bytes on the other. Each friendly, smiling face used a one word descriptor of the church to entice people to come and attend. I am assuming they used the people in their fellowship to make the commercial. The folks came in all ages and sizes and they used some decent descriptors for a church; fellowship, support, and encouragement among them. Here's the part that made me cringe.... they had one little girl who was especially animated and perky and they spliced her in multiple times in between the serious words. Her one word description for her church? "Fun!"

That's right, fun. The gospel of Christ, the holiness of God, the desperate need for salvation are all trumped in favor of fun. What was that pastor thinking? Did he completely lose his mind and forget the reason for the church in the first place? You have got to be kidding me! People's souls are at stake and right here in the heart of the Bible Belt fun is the best thing you have to offer? No wonder the rate of depression among those who profess faith in God is the same as those who don't. People come in search of answers for the great pain and agony of their lives; the huge burden of sin on their consciences and instead of getting the truth they get a quick veneer of fun! How much fun can you have while you ignore the cancer of sin eating away at your soul?

Is it any wonder that our churches have become little more than breeding grounds for apostates, rabid atheists and skeptics? Does it take membership in Mensa to connect the dots between offering a man-centered gospel and producing completely self-focused professing believers who are willing to do anything as long as it feels good or entertains them?

We do not need a social club. What we do need is a remedy for sin. Why is that so hard for the people of God to understand?? Oh how grateful I am to Almighty God that he has seen fit to place me in a church family where He is the focus of our worship. A fellowship where having fun together is a byproduct of worshiping and enjoying Him first and foremost.

Please Lord, let me never take for granted the gift you have given me in putting men and women who are faithful to You and Your Word in my life. Like my friend James White says, what you win them with is what you win them to. Theology Matters.

1 comment:

Carla said...

For those who have been in the position of trying to find a local fellowship for themselves and their families, "fun" is just not generally on the list of things to look for.

Solid Bible teaching & preaching, Sunday school classes for all ages (with solid Bible teaching for all ages), Bible studies, outreach ministries and various other opportunities to both be ministered to and to serve the Lord, are what serious Christians are looking for.

While "fun" certainly is a by-product of healthy, Christ-centered fellowship (although I would be more inclined to call it joy, instead of fun), I would also be immediately put off by a church that used that as a reason for you to come and bring your children.