It seems that in the last 30 or so years our churches have taken on a whole new look and atmosphere. As these changes were being made to attract more people to church, more and more people are having a hard time finding a church to call home?
Recently, I attended a the Baptist Church that I grew up in. While growing up, this church was a very conservative church. Never would they have entertained the thought of having anything other than a piano or organ on the stage. Upon this visit, I noticed that everything has changed the last 30 years. No longer did the church look like a place of worship, but rather an entertainment center. Ironically, the crowds were smaller now than 30 years ago.
So what happened to my church? As I reflect back, I now see some signs that was there that started the shift of entertainment rather than worship. What has divided the church?
It seems that is almost always starts with music. Not many churches minds some guitars to help accomplay the music, but not too long ago ear plugs were being handed out as one enters the into some church sanctuaries.
Some churches now open with a secular song, dim the lights, add in fog machines, and have an atmosphere that represents a local rock concert. All of this is to enhance repetitive choruses that will be sung over and over by church members that seem hypnotized.
In an effort to attract unchurched people, the “Seeker Sensitive” movement suggested that churches should cater to the comforts of the “seeker”. Bill Hybels admitted that he came up with the term but later confessed it didn't work.
Hybels states: “We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between services, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.”
The founder of the “Seeker Sensitive” movement now states that he should have taught people to read their Bibles and take responsibility for their own spiritual walk. This church that I grew up in, used to teach me how to read the Bible on my own.
Acts 2:42 “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
When this misic shift took place, Some churches catered to the older crowd with an early a.m. traditional service for those with gray heads. That trend began "the great divide" between generations.
Preachers started preaching only about love and tolerance. Everything and everyone must be accepted. Sin must be accepted. People loved having their ears tickled. The goal was to leave church with that "feel good" feeling and have their self-esteem built up. Sound doctrine was being set aside and ignored.
Issues like marriage, abortion, and hell apparently divide so the preaching ceased on those things, although rock music in the church apparently was not a dividing issue.
Having said all of that, the gates of hell are trying like crazy to penetrate the church,change its message, change its purpose, and to distort the gospel.
Matthew 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
If anyone else has seen that music has changed your church, please let us know and comment below.
What happened to your church?