Jesus Christ did not sacrifice his life for this new cool vibes trend.
You were expected to sit through hours of service or mass as the minister took his time to preach the gospel.
Flash forward to 2017, where the millennials call this ‘boring.’ They no longer want this traditional church. Now, they want a ‘vibrant, groovy’ place of worship.
Recognising this new trend, modern churches caved in and found ways to give the congregation exactly what they want.
The result is a Godly club, a place where you get loads of great fast-paced music, tech, fashionable wear, everything but the most important thing, the scriptures.
Here, very little emphasis is placed on the Bible, the word of the person we claim to be worshipping, and the focus is put on the music, the lighting, the tech, all geared to attract the young, fun, hipster crowd.
In our haste to please this generation, we have forgotten the important things. We have forgotten that a believer without the scriptures is not a well-rounded Christian.
We have forgotten that the sad truth is that a lot of churchgoers only open their Bibles on Sunday, hence the need to load them with the scriptures every week.
Yes, these new ‘distractions’ will definitely get the crowd, but what about their spiritual lives, their souls, their relationship with God? Shoudn't we be just as concerned about these things?
I think we should. We need fewer distractions and more of the good stuff, pastors preaching the scriptures and a congregation ready to learn more about their creator.
Pastor Jonathan Fisk of Worldview Everlasting took the words out of my mouth in a 60-minute interview with Pastor Todd Wilken of Issues, Etc, a Christ-Centered, Cross-Focused Talk Radio.
He said, "So my question again is, 'Ok, great, you've got this person to have an experience in the pew, but did they walk out more of a Christian or less of a Christian?' And by that I don't mean growing in their righteousness, but growing in their belief and knowledge of the Word of God. When they walked out are they able to believe, confess, state what Christianity is, or do they just kind of believe in a pop, spiritual existence, a 'Moral Therapeutic Deism' to put the terms to it from Christian Smith's work, and there off 'live their best life now!' chasing whatever they want, and believing all the while that that's what Christianity is."
"When Paul says, I think it's in Colossians, that we should 'lift one another up, singing psalms and hymns, and spiritual psalms,' the whole point of it is to dwell richly in the Word, and that that Word would be part of our minds, to renew and transform how we think. So, yeah, you go ahead and have your 'exciting experience' but I tell ya, you know, I'm watching the 20-year-olds and they're having exciting experiences at the football game, and out hunting, and doing all sorts of other stuff, and they don't gotta come put money in a brass plate in your pew to have a good experience, in fact, they're tell ya that's pretty boring! No matter how exciting you've made it, it's not as good as what they kind find out there in the world, and it if we train them to judge truth based on 'fun,' which again, is what you're doing when you're basing things on experience or basically based on what I think is fun, then they're religion will be fun, and I hate to break it to you, but Christianity ain't fun! I love the religion, I'm thankful I'm in it, but it's not fun. It's one of the more painful, struggling affairs of my life. It's salvific, it's true, but it's not fun."
This episode was titled, "Christianity & Pop Culture: Technology in the Church." Honestly, I could not have said it better even if I tried.
Regardless of my issues with these new pop churches, I have to admit that they have some redeeming qualities.
The infusion of technology into the church is a welcome development. The non-judgemental vibes you get in these modern places of worship is something that traditional churches need to pick up.
Another thing they really do well is being real. Unlike the older churches that played it safe by avoiding controversial issues, these new ones are not afraid to be real and tell it as it is.
Here is where i take my leave.
No one is saying that the church, like other institutions, can not embrace pop culture, the church can. The problem is when we abandon what makes us what we are.
A church without an in-depth preaching of the word is like a buffet of side dishes without the main dish.
While this might be okay for a while, it is not sustainable in the long run. We need to remember that it is more important to have a church filled with souls burning for God, ready to be taught the word instead of one that just has people coming in for the music and the ‘cool vibes.’
Pop culture is okay as long as it does not overcome the right, Godly culture.