"Entertainment for the Heart"?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Music Man, Sep 21, 2002.

  1. Music Man

    Music Man
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    This is more of a comment on worship in the church than specifically on music, and I apologize if this has already been discussed before, but this comes from a recent experience of mine that has me concerned:

    My wife and I went to a movie, and you know those ads they show before the previews begin? A local church had an advertisement that about made my blood boil! Their slogan for the ad was "Entertainment for the Heart." They also had a line in the ad that said, "Come to __ where church is done for you."

    It used to be that as I would lament the shift in the focus of "worship services" to entertainment, I would say that the shift is generally unintentional. But, when I saw a church come right out and admit to degrading worship to the same level of significance as the movie I was about to see, that was too much.

    Is anyone else as concerned about this shift as I am?

    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Chris
     
  2. redwhitenblue

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    Actually Chris..you need to understand that for the most part that statement "Entertainment for the heart" is actually very accurate. The worship service in any church should leave ones soul feeling uplifted and soothed from the everyday grind they go through. I personally wouldn't take offense at that but I guess others might.

    Karen
     
  3. Music Man

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    Thank you Karen for your reply. I have a question. Who should be the one being entertained? God or us? Here is a definition of entertainment:
    The reason I give the definition, is because this church, and unfortunately so many others, "market" the benefits of God, while they neglect speaking of our responsibilities toward God. We are the ones who should be entertaining God. I know that sounds weird, but here is a quotation that may explain it a little better:
    Yes we should leave a worship service feeling uplifted and soothed, but, that comes as a result of us entertaining, praising, worshiping God, not being entertained.

    Here is yet another quotation, then I will close:
    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Chris [​IMG]
     
  4. Molly

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    I am offended by that advertisement...here's why: It reveals a low view of God and a high view of man. That is contrary to Holy scriptures and quite contrary to what church should be.

    What we have to understand,there are many in churches today who do not know God,nor want to serve Him...they want what they can get from it. That's why the Saddleback "Purpose Driven" philosophy has become such big church business. Not good news for us who fear the Lord and want to worship in Spirit and Truth.

    I agree with you,music man...very offensive indeed. [​IMG]
     
  5. Rev. G

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    Music Man:

    Are you just trying to stir up trouble? Just kidding!

    While one may come away from a worship experience feeling uplifted, that is not really the point. You do well in asserting that worship is for God, not for us. This should not even be an issue, and would not, except for the fact that we live in a day and age when the Church has lost her moorings.

    Rev. G
     
  6. JonathanDT

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    My first reaction is to be offended. I read Karen's post, and I can partly agree with that. Still though, it saddens me that some have resorted to advertising that appears to present Christianity as just entertainment.

    MM, I agree that God should be the center, however for evangelistic purposes it's very hard to tell people that they're insignificant and God is what matters(Which is basically what your second quote said).
     
  7. redwhitenblue

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    Why do we automatically think that only God must be "entertained" through worship? Yes God is the main focus of worship..and as his children we should take joy and be "entertained" by giving him praise. I know when I go to services after having a bad week or even a so-so week it totally overwhelms every part of who I am from spiritually to physically to emotionally and thus it does entertain my heart, there's nothing wrong with that but it's actually healthy.

    Karen
     
  8. Music Man

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    Thanks JonathanDT for your reply.

    And therein lies the problem I have. We present Christianity (and therefore everything we do, including worship) as being entertainment for us. A couple of examples of this getting out of control is a church in Houston hiring Wacky World, an "edutainment" company to design a $595,000 Soul Train City and Hangar area complete with Disney-style life-size animatronic figures for children and teens. Or a church in Springdale, Ark. also hiring Wacky World to design "Toon Town," a children’s sanctuary featuring a children’s baptistry built inside a fire truck so that when a child is baptized, a bell rings and he or she is sprayed with confetti.

    I know those are two extreme examples, but that kind of insanity is what happens when we feel we need to "entertain" people into the kingdom. I mean, what kid would not want to be baptized in a fire truck like that? And, how on earth any church can justify spending over a half million dollars on animatronics, etc. is beyond me.

    Horton's point in the chapter that quote came from was that in our theology man keeps getting better and better. In our evangelism, we should tell people the truth of their depravity. Don't they have to be lost before they can be found? If we are not depraved, why do we need a Savior? Whenever this notion comes up that we should not tell people how bad they are, I always think about the instance where the rich young ruler comes running up to Jesus, asking Him what he must do to be saved. What did Jesus say? He essentially told him that he was a bad person, that he had not kept the law perfectly from his youth as he thought he had. Why should we do any differently?

    Karen, thanks again for your response. I agree, there is nothing wrong with what we gain from worshiping God. That is great! The problem is, when we become the focus of worship. When we go to a worship service in order to have our needs met. That is when our motives are wrong. Yes, we will gain from worshiping our Creator, but we should worship Him, not because we have to, or because of what we get out it, but rather because we want to be with Him. We should so delight ourselves in Him, that being in fellowship with Him (worshiping Him) is the desire of our heart. Then, it is worshiping in Spirit and in Truth.

    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Chris [​IMG]
     
  9. g_1933

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    Amen Chris.
     
  10. Aaron

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    Hello, g_1933.

    Welcome to the Music Ministry Forum. [​IMG]
     
  11. Johnv

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    Remember when Jesus said "The Sabbath was made for man"? One could paraphrase it by saying that the churches were man for man, not man for the churches. Nothing wrong with a church service being entertaining. Even lively. Psalms says to worship God with music, song, dance, cymbals, organ, timbrel, loud singing, and so on, and so on, and so on.
     
  12. IslandChristian

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    Thanx Chris for your post. As a member of a worship team I coudn't agree more. When I'm playing music it is not for the glory of man but for the glory of God. I hear to often " the worship was great" or "worship didn't do it for me today". I feel the focus should be what can I do to glorify God not what I did or didn't get out of worship this morning.

    Thanx for listening,
    Aaron (Victoria BC Canada)
    My first post
     
  13. Aaron

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    Hello, IslandChristian. Welcome to the Music Ministry Forum. [​IMG]
     
  14. Rev. G

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    "I agree that God should be center, however for evangelistic purposes...."

    Challenge: Rethink your evangelism!

    Read Acts 17, where St. Paul exalts God and not humanity. Human beings are called to repent of their rebellion. That is a hard thing to do, but it must be done if our evangelism is to be biblical.

    Rev. G
     
  15. Music Man

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    I think you may need to re-check that passage you quoted (Mark 2:23-3:6), I don't think Jesus was giving us liberty to do whatever we want in a worship service. ;) nor do I think your paraphrase works. What gives you an indication you can paraphrase it like that? We can't just paraphrase things however we want and I don't think church and Sabbath are synonymous.

    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Chris [​IMG]

    [ October 02, 2002, 08:35 AM: Message edited by: Music Man ]
     
  16. redwhitenblue

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    Chris, I highly disagree, those motives are not wrong at all but in fact is one of the reasons we should desire to go to worship service. I find that many times I'm so stressed out and if I just go that God in his presence completely overwhelms me and thus causes praise to him from my heart and extremely sincere praise. I'm not saying that you should not go for the purpose of praising God, but I believe thinking is way off to say it's the wrong motive.

    karen
     
  17. Music Man

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    Karen,

    I appreciate your response to my post. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that your view of worship makes worship a means to an end, that end being to make one feel a certain way. Worship, though, is not a means to an end, but rather is an end in and of itself.

    I have posted a quote from the following article in another thread, so sorry if you have read it already, but I wanted to give a little excerpt for you to read and think about. The article is "Recovering the Priority of God", by Bruce Leafblad. I would encourage you to read the entire article (you can click on the link above). In the article he deals with this issue. I think it is quite good.

    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Chris
     

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