Entertainment as bait?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by christianyouth, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. christianyouth

    christianyouth
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    I have been pleased with the responses generated by my last post about the questionable practice of modern-day worship, so I figured I would keep up with the assessment of our current Christian trends, so here it is.

    Is entertainment a valid way to bring in people to the church? For youth programs, is it biblically right to go around and invite people to church activities by telling them 'it's fun' or 'there will be pizza'?
     
  2. ShotGunWillie

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    A.W. Tozer spoke much about entertainment, he died in 1963. This was before it reached its pinnacle of today. Today's church is more concerned about attendance than it is about saving souls. I heard an advertisement for a church on the radio in Keller, TX, "we are looking to provide something for everyone, especially the unchurched". Unchurched? Is that a term to describe the lost or a term to describe people who just don't attend church. I know several great Chrsitian families who no longer attend church because of the liberalization of the congregation and their changing of the worship service to bring in more kids. These same great Christian families have church at home. According to Tozer they are "cells" in the body of Christ. According to the "church" standards, they are unchurched, but not lost.

    That is the main problem with today's church, take Joel Osteen as an example of today's mega church pastor. He is wimpy, cowardly, and gives an ear pleasing message. He himself cannot state on national television that Jesus Christ is the only way into heaven. He had the opportunity to reach an untold millions and rejected the notion because he doesn't want to offend. Do you think Christ will stand for him, when he has not stood for Christ?

    Entertainment always starts off small in the church and then leads to more and more. Give an inch and they will take a mile.

    I don't have a problem with the youth group having a movie night watching "Facing the Giants" or "Visitation" or some clean Christian movie and telling them that we are going to have pizza for this special occasion, invite some friends. But leading people to church for the entertianment and then trying to give them the gospel, they are only there for the pizza not the word of God.


    We should not change the gospel to reach people, people should hear the gospel and change.
     
  3. Servent

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    Not sure about pizza being biblically right, but why not as long as they hear the gosple preached, God will do the rest.
     
  4. christianyouth

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    Let me make this more real by giving an example.

    My church is having a VBS soon, and is passing out flyers throughout the community. What is the VBS? 80%fun and 20% preaching. Is this a right biblical standard?
     
  5. J. Jump

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    How about churches giving away large sums of money or a house or a Harley Davidson just for showing up one Sunday. There is a church in SE Texas that has done just that.

    I've always liked the quote that I have heard and I'm not sure where it came from, but it says if you bring them in with a circus the show is going to have to even greater to keep them in.
     
  6. Scarlett O.

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    VBS? 80% fun and 20% preaching?!?!?

    Not at my church! I just got finished with VBS last week. It was 100% bible teaching and missions teaching. From 8:00 - 12:00

    True, we used bible-related crafts and bible-related songs and bible-related games. But every single thing we did was in connection with the bible or the missionaries that we studied for the that day. The children also memorized about 10 scripture passages in that one week, brought an $1,800 offering for the Louisiana Baptist Children's home, and brought supplies to send care packages overseas to some of our troops.

    It was 100% work, 100% bible study, and 100% fun!

    And over 20 children made professions of faith.

    Something else you may not know about Vacation Bible School. It is probably (so I've been told by my pastor) the most effective evangelical tool that Southern Baptists participate in all year long to reach entire families for the Lord.
     
    #6 Scarlett O., Jun 13, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2007
  7. webdog

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    Why do Christians feel they have to separate worship / preaching FROM fun? I fail to see in Scripture that God wants mankind to avoid fun and entertainment when worshipping Him. Church should be BOTH fun and worshipful!
    The comment by shotgunwillie about today's churches only being concerned about numbers is painting with too broad a brush. A true "church" is concerned primarily with discipleship.
     
  8. webdog

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    So...did you have 0% fun? :D
     
  9. dan e.

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    That's a silly suggestion.
     
  10. ShotGunWillie

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    A true church is suppose to be concerned about about winning souls to Christ and discipling those souls and keeping them in the church. Hence the reason there are so many false conversions and church attendance is typically low, because they aren't winning souls the way they should and holding those individuals accountable. You can't backslide unless you slide forward.

    How many "true" churches are there today? Not many. And in those true churches you should find plenty of room on the pews because people don't want True Christiantity.

    You can have fun at church, times of fellowship, times of different gatherings. But never should fun replace the teachings of Christ and of God. That is the problem, people replace that. "Oh, look at the numbers in youth we got when we had game night, let's do that every Sunda and Wednesday night", said the youth minister. Pretty soon God isn't the focus, fun is. Shortly following, Doctrine isn't the focus, self is. And so on....


    Show me in scripture that God said, one must have fun in order to maintain a relationship with me. God never mentions fun with worship or preaching. Fellowship, I can see that as fun, worship, shouldn't be fun, it should be time spent evaluating yourself and focusing on God, giving Him due Glory and learning more about his teachings and what his word says to you.

    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.

    There is a time and place for everything.
     
  11. webdog

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    The purpose of the local church is NOT to win souls, but to disciple local believers. It's the individual's job to spread the Gospel, and God's job to "win souls".
    Based on what....what you define a "true church" to be?
    This is nothing but opinion not substantiated with any fact. Please declare it as such.
    Can you privide Scripture that these are the only times "fun" is allowed?
    First part I agree...second part, not always.
    Show me from Scripture where having a relationship with Him is supposed to be void of "fun"?
    Speak for yourself. I have a blast worshipping the God that saved me!
    I'm sorry, your "proof text" is anything but. Has nothing to do with "fun". If you equate fun with "childish things", you must not be that enjoyable to hang with :)
     
  12. rbell

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    two extremes IMO:

    "it MUST be fun or we won't do it."
    "we must AVOID fun at all costs...there is no fun in serving God."

    Both should be avoided.

    We have a blast at much of our stuff. But we honor God in it, and fun is not the goal.

    But if I can make something fun, and through that fun open a door to present the Truth, and do so without compromising the Gospel, what could be wrong with that?

    • Where does the "80% fun and 20% preaching" come from? Who determined that percentage?
    • Is there a Biblical ratio we're supposed to follow? 60/40? 20/80? What?
    • Should kids hear 3 hours of preaching at VBS?
    • As we go and make disciples, isn't there something to be said for building a relationship, and earning the right to be heard? Some folks will respond to God's calling through a relationship that is built and cultivated. If God wants to use VBS, pizza, etc., to do that, fine. I'm tickled He uses me at all.
    Let's also avoid equating "true Christians" with folks who don't have fun...just like we wouldn't say "the more fun you have, the better Christian you must be." The first statement is in the pharisee camp...the second lies in the Libertine camp. I'll avoid both, thanks.
     
  13. Deacon

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    I was introduced to Christ after a teen drove me home following a church game night.
    He invited me to a meeting where the gospel was preached.

    They recently purchased a bunch of board games (imagine that!) and invited all the teens they could gather to come and play them.

    No preaching, in fact, I don't even remember there being a prayer.

    Isn't it in 2nd Hezakiah where it says you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?

    Pastors and churches shouldn't be the only ones preaching the gospel.
    Churches should create opportunities for their people to reach out to others and share the gospel.

    80%/20% sounds just fine to me, as long as it gives someone the opportunity to share the good news with those that need it.

    IMHO 100% Bible for VBS means you are preaching to the choir.

    Rob
     
  14. ShotGunWillie

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    Are you kidding me? The majority of my post was opinionated and is not based on statistical proof. Take a look around at your local churches and tell me they are preaching the true word of God. Maybe you need a discerning spirit as oppose to a spirit of acceptance.

    85% of Americans claim to be Christians, yet sin is alive and well, abominations forced down our throats daily and you are telling me that "true" churches are found on every street corner, where do you live?
    I fail to see the scripture in which God supports fun and worship at the same time.


    Who are they going to disciple, the elders of the church. If the church is not out winning the lost to Christ, who are they going to fill the Sunday School rooms or have the big worship service party you like to have that is such a blast and loads of fun.

    I never said that a man saves, of course God saves, through his word he convicts man's heart and reveals the sin and a need for repentance and a Savior. But who is going to deliver that message. Witnessing and doing it correctly is a vital part of the church and the Christian life. If it were not for people spreading the Gospel of Christ and winning souls to the Lord, you wouldn't be saved today.
     
  15. preachinjesus

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    I love going to churches and looking around during worship and seeing people frowning and being plain boring while singing songs about joy from the Lord and praising God and so forth. There is no reason to, imho, to not have fun and be entertaining.

    Remember Paul's credo in 1 Corinthians 9:

    19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

    The Christian life and expression isn't meant to be boring. We've got too many churches that are boring and one of the reasons that we're seeing masses of students and younger Christians leave the church.

    In our quest for strict biblicism we've robbed the Scriptures of their joy and release they bring. Christianity should be fun.

    Now, before someone accuses me of sacrificing holiness for entertainment, I really believe we can access and compell holiness through authentic fun and not cheesey commercialism. Entertainment which I am talking about is substantive and has a purpose, to break down barriers and allow people the opportunity to better hear God's movement on their lives.

    Sensationalism lacks authenticity. True authentic entertainmet and connection seeks to link people with their Creator and offer them joyful experiences and not cold, dead religiousity.

    I'm all for having fun and being real. Too many churches are dead, boring, dull houses of tradition that actually do more harm than good. We draw people in and allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives.
     
  16. webdog

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    A "true" church IS a Bible preaching Word of God church! Maybe you need to know what a "true church" entails before ranting about them...
    85% of Americans don't belong to "true churches".
    Likewise, I fail to see where it's condemned as you are doing.
    It's clear by this statment not only do you not know the purpose of the local church, but what a "true" church really is.
    Whoever God wants. That's not the main purpose of the local church, though.
     
  17. ShotGunWillie

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    Apparently someone needs to define worship service so I can understand a little better. VBS is not a worship service, they have a worship service, a little preached message and then fun and activities surrounding the word of God follow that.
     
  18. J. Jump

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    I think a better quote would be Christianity should be joyful. Fun is worldly. Christianity shouldn't look like the world. We are to be "in" the world, but not "of" the world.

    Unfortunately I think Christendom has WAY TOO much world "in" it today.

    And there won't be many folks that would agree with this, because Revelation 3 tells us that the majority of Christendom in the end will think that it is weathly and in need of nothing, but the reality is quite different, but there is a great number in Christendom today that doesn't want Truth to stand in the way of their agenda, even though it looks good on the outside. Many are going to be quite surprised I'm afraid when they find out they were workers of lawlessness when they thought they were doing God's will.
     
  19. ShotGunWillie

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    There is such an abundance of them though, they should, are you sure they don't? They probably want to have a BIG BLAST like you do every Sunday worshipping God. You really ought to invite them to your church, wait a second, that's not your job. You aren't to reach out to others, you suppose to diciple only those within the church, because the is the sole purpose of the church.

    I know this, that is why I said there aren't very many of "true churches" for that matter "true Christians", but what do I know at church I don't have a blast when the preacher is preaching, I am usually sitting in my pew listening to the words God laid upon his heart. We are learning about the persecuation of the Jews, its a BLAST and loads of fun.


    Please outline for me the true purpose God established his church so that one as ignorant as myself can be more educated and well learned as yourself.
     
  20. webdog

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    Fun is not sinful (worldly).
     

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