Updated: Mar 21
There needs to be some light shed light when it comes to people and their view on churches in today's world and also sharing the Gospel of Jesus. I understand some's view and opinion on churches of entertainment with settings of lighting and "show", but to say its only entertainment is a little low and a view that judges churches who do this. Let me share my experience with my mind frame of a church who uses lighting (what some say entertainment) and works hard about reaching the world for Jesus.
I was attending church service at World Harvest Church in Enid, OK one day. I was saying the exact same thing a lot of you have said about dimming of lights and using lighting. I didn't complain, as I hear and read so often, but asked God why on earth has churches gone into the entertainment sector with lighting and environment and God didn't answer. During the change over from worship to the preaching of the word, Pastor Brad Mendenhall came up and said "would you like to know why we use these lights and setup like we do?" I was amazed that God had put that on his heart to say and the answer was extraordinary to me. He said "we do this because it is bait we use as fishers of men to bring in people who need Jesus". It makes sense....the people of the church already has Jesus or should, but it is getting harder and harder to bring in the lost and we need bait to bring them in without compromise and not a mentality of no matter the cost scenario as well. I am not saying bringing in the worldly things into the church, but come on lights? That's stretching a bit much on worldly. Every church has it's way of doing things, but that is no excuse to judge churches that use this bait. As a matter of fact the same people who complain about churches and entertainment I see at Newsboys concerts worshiping Jesus with so much more than a few lights. You say it's a concert, yes you are right but are you worshiping Jesus there? Or are you worshiping the Newsboys? I see a mass worship to God in these concerts because that's what the God is doing through the Newsboys. Setting up worship experiences for people out in the world to bring in to Experience God in a different way with Praise and Worship music allowing the door to be open to come into churches to hear the Word of God. Are you worshipping at that concert in the same environment you condemn at churches when Gods not Dead is playing or I Believe is playing? Or better yet do you like Hillsong and Bethel and worship God at their concerts or even at home supporting their music for God while listening knowing they use the same bait you condemn? My opinion because of Gods answer to me...Its not wrong, it's a way of life for people who don't like church and they see the difference and come in thinking it's cool and then they see that God is cool ultimately allowing their hearts to be open in church to hear the Word of God preached by a preacher who shows the love of Christ and preaches truth in that love.
As Christian's let's stop judging churches who use methods thinking its entertainment while they preaching the true whole word of God and are living by it when it goes far beyond that. They use it as bait for the lost, don't get clouded with judgement on this. Not all churches have to do this, but we are all in the Body of Christ and we all have our part as a whole in our churches and we have a part as individuals. If we worried more about the churches preaching inclusivism, universalism, naturalism, pluralism ect.....as much as worrying about "churches using entertainment" we would be in an awesome standing with each other. If God and His Son are being glorified in a true manner than what right do we have to come against what is glorifying God?
I'll leave that one alone, but the second thing is growing more and more and I believe it is an issue to the body of Christ. People spreading the gospel and thinking that they can add to it. The preaching of the bible is separate than preaching the gospel. Jesus said preach the gospel not the rapture. Jesus said preach the gospel not share on Facebook how churches should and should not be while sharing the gospel. Jesus said share the gospel, not preach doctrine. We as Christian's are commanded to share the gospel so people can get plugged into the churches after salvation and be discipled to hear everything else from preachers not us! Am I saying if people have questions don't answer them, no, but you may want to know the truth before you answer. Sometimes the best answer is hey follow me into church and we can get that answer for you. Which brings up another issue. If your preaching the gospel without going or refusing to go to church, how on earth are people who hear the gospel from you going to want to go to church to hear the rest. How are they going to get discipled? We must set the example.
There is a sense of discipleship being skipped leading to inclusivism, naturalism, universalism, plurism, etc.. God has specific roles in the body of Christ for a reason. Pastors preach the word as a whole which includes the Gospel. They been trained and discipled to do this. I am seeing and hearing so many people with no training on the streets that they compromise the gospel everyday confusing people of who Jesus is because they get into preaching doctrine instead of the truth of the gospel. This is how the tickle the ears message gets spread. The gospel of Jesus cannot be manipulated or construed, but seeing the world today everything else in the bible is being attacked and people are manipulating its meaning for themselves and preaching this to others. This is why Jesus limited us to the gospel and not the whole word. Let the pastors do their work and let's do our part in filling the true churches with people instead of us trying to take on role of pastor. I say true churches because the itchy ears message is being preached everywhere. Let's all do our part in love with the gospel. There's no time in being wrong in how we share it. It is true that paperwork is not required to share the gospel, but that is no right to share doctrine in place of gospel. Once again let's do our part spreading the Gospel of Jesus and allow Pastors to do theirs which is doctrine and the full Word of God.
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