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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Modernism and emotionalism in churches

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davym
Member



Joined: 2007/5/22
Posts: 319


 Modernism and emotionalism in churches

Modernism and emotionalism in churches

I suspect this point may have been labored here on SI before, but I’m raising it again because I have a deep frustration in my heart. It’s to do with what I would class as ‘modernistic’ thinking and ‘emotionalism’ in churches.

I’ll keep this short.

1. Why do church leaders insist in ‘modernising’ their ‘churches’? All I see this as being is a move to make churches more worldly under the guise of ‘God is doing a new thing!’ This is nonsense (in my opinion). God is not doing a new thing, all that’s happening is an appeasement of young people who, being rightly told to forsake the world, try to bring the world into the church. THIS IS NOT FORSAKING THE WORLD! We end up with a confused message going out to young people. We need real Gospel preaching which leads to genuine conversions! Then we need sound Biblical teaching. It’s simple. If I state this opinion I’m told I’m old fashioned. (by the way I’m only 30)

2. Another issue I have is ‘emotionalism’. It’s closely linked to point 1. Don’t get me wrong I love worship and I’m not against raising of hands etc AS LONG AS IT’S GENUINE! But I see worshippers singing their heart out and waving their hands around and then after the service I would get into conversation with them and they couldn’t even explain what they’re singing about. There’s something radically wrong with that.

I don’t want to go on about this as it is quite negative. On the plus point most people are willing to listen when I discuss wonderful Bible truths with them. I think I’m really criticising church leaders (especially younger ones) who’ve allowed this to develop in churches. Or perhaps maybe I just don’t ‘get it’!


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David

 2007/10/16 4:35Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: Modernism and emotionalism in churches

Quote:
But I see worshippers singing their heart out and waving their hands around and then after the service I would get into conversation with them and they couldn’t even explain what they’re singing about. There’s something radically wrong with that.



Paul Washer laments that youth have two primary sources of their theology; Christian T-shirts and their music. Now, I would not worry so much if the songs were hymns written by Charles Wesley, Toplady, or some other God influenced writer. But we live in a day when songs are written to glorify the singer and the guy on the guitar or piano. The object seems to be to make it to the Dove awards or score a #1 hit. Very short sided choruses. The main thrust of the song is not the lyric- but the arrangement. This music allows people to feel a [i]temporary false sense of Spirituality[/i] that cheaply substitutes a real walk and devotional life with God. This is why it is so shallow. Many young people only ever 'feel' Spiritual during the song service.


Quote:
Why do church leaders insist in ‘modernising’ their ‘churches’? All I see this as being is a move to make churches more worldly under the guise of ‘God is doing a new thing!’ This is nonsense (in my opinion). God is not doing a new thing, all that’s happening is an appeasement of young people who, being rightly told to forsake the world, try to bring the world into the church.



It is because "bigger is better" has overtaken many of their minds. They are concerned not with what 'sort' the Church is, but what 'size' it is. This is worldly mindedness in the name of evangelism. This is why so many churches have so many people and so little of God's Holy Spirit.

The question is, what to do about it? Keep casting the net. Keep on seeking the face of God for your own life and allow that life to pour out around you. Carnal minds view correction as criticism. So rather than focusing on cursing the darkness we have to shine the light by presenting what is genuine. When our lives become truly Spiritual a remnant will hear and follow. Not everyone is going to repent and want God. Many will want to come to Church for every reason but God. God will show you who the remnant is- focus on pouring into their lives rather than throwing stones at the goats. Preach too hot for the wolves to hang around.



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Robert Wurtz II

 2007/10/16 4:53Profile
davym
Member



Joined: 2007/5/22
Posts: 319


 Re:

Quote:
The question is, what to do about it? Keep casting the net. Keep on seeking the face of God for your own life and allow that life to pour out around you. Carnal minds view correction as criticism. So rather than focusing on cursing the darkness we have to shine the light by presenting what is genuine. When our lives become truly Spiritual a remnant will hear and follow. Not everyone is going to repent and want God. Many will want to come to Church for every reason but God. God will show you who the remnant is- focus on pouring into their lives rather than throwing stones at the goats. Preach too hot for the wolves to hang around



Thanks for that Robert.


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David

 2007/10/16 5:09Profile









 Re: Modernism and emotionalism in churches

Quote:

davym wrote:
Modernism and emotionalism in churches
1. Why do church leaders insist in ‘modernising’ their ‘churches’? All I see this as being is a move to make churches more worldly under the guise of ‘God is doing a new thing!’



I went to one of these modern, seeker sensitive churches for about four years, trying to help them (in my mind). I had the title of worship coordinator but could never coordnate any worship because they had a schedule to keep and God forbid they should go over one hour.

From my experience and watching other new churches pop up, in my humble opinion, most of the church has strayed from God so since there are no blessings coming from heaven, they've got to resort to humanistic ways and tactics.

Which leads me to my next point, that they are only looking at numbers so they can say "Oh I've got the fastest growing church in __________ County." They cannot answer you how many people has been set free by the blood of Jesus Christ but they have the fastest growing church!!!

I read in Leadership magazine a couple of years ago that one of the fastest growing churches in Minnesota (sp?), I think, went to movie theatre rocking chairs with cup holders so they could draw more people and of course, keep the coffee off the carpet!!

On the positive side, if people (leaders) could or would get a truly deeper relationship with Jesus, Father God AND the Holy Spirit and pray for revival, things would change.

[Edit: I definitely agree with Robert! "So rather than focusing on cursing the darkness we have to shine the light by presenting what is genuine. When our lives become truly Spiritual a remnant will hear and follow. Not everyone is going to repent and want God." ]

God bless you in your walk with Him,

 2007/10/16 5:47
poet
Member



Joined: 2007/2/16
Posts: 231
Longview WA

 Re: Modernism and emotionalism in churches

your frustration is warranted.
Jesus said that the gate was narrow and few would find it....
Jesus didnt lie. You see a difference and so do many on this website.
Keep the course and dont worry about what others are doing, the dead will bury their own dead just seek God and pray for those who are lost, maby someone will feel the same way you do and you can be prayer partners and pray together at the church for change and repentance.
God bless and keep winning.


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howard

 2007/10/16 7:21Profile









 Re:

There will be a great apostacy before the coming of the lawless one. We are catching a glimpse of that now. We must never conclude that our churches are full of pastors who just dont understand how to protect Gods glory or oversee a flock correctly, and full of Christians that just dont know how to act like Christians.

Modern American Christianity is a great whore, a type of babylon if not they babylon. As the godly men who speak on SI say, less then 10-15% of evangelical church goers in America are born again according to their fruit. How is that possible, because the majority of pastors behind our pulpits on Sunday mornings are ministers of the devil. There will always be tares even among Godly congregations, but we are seeing a great apostacy that goes far beyond that.

We are called to come out and be seperate from this thing, to touch not her unclean alters.

"Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the LORD's vengeance; he will pay her what she deserves." ~Jeremiah 51:6

Love in Christ - Jim

 2007/10/16 8:34
davym
Member



Joined: 2007/5/22
Posts: 319


 Re:

Just wanted to thank those who replied. I've been greatly encouraged by this thread. I feel clear direction has been given to all of us who recognise this problem.

God Bless


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David

 2007/10/17 5:41Profile
davym
Member



Joined: 2007/5/22
Posts: 319


 Re:

Just found this article by RC Sproul which sheds further light on this discussion.

Good Intentions Gone Bad by R.C. Sproul

The adage tells us that there is a destination, the road to which is paved with good intentions. It is the destination that we would prefer not to reach. Good intentions can have disastrous results and consequences. When we look at the revolution of worship in America today, I see a dangerous road that is built with such intentions. The good purposes that have transformed worship in America have as their goal to reach a lost world – a world that is marked by baby boomers and Generation Xers who have in many ways rejected traditional forms and styles of worship. Many have found the life of the church to be irrelevant and boring, and so an effort to meet the needs of these people has driven some radical changes in how we worship God.

Perhaps the most evident model developed over the last half century is that model defined as the “seeker-sensitive model.” Seekers are defined as those people who are unbelievers and are outside of the church but who are searching for meaning and significance to their lives. The good intention of reaching such people with evangelistic techniques that include the reshaping of Sunday morning worship fails to understand some significant truths set forth in Scripture.

In Romans 3, Paul makes abundantly clear that unconverted people do not seek after God. Thomas Aquinas understood this and maintained that to the naked eye it may seem that unbelievers are searching for God or seeking for the kingdom of God, while they are in fact fleeing from God with all of their might. What Aquinas observed was that people who are unconverted seek the “benefits” that only God can give them, such as ultimate meaning and purpose in their lives, relief from guilt, the presence of joy and happiness, and things of this nature. These are benefits the Christian recognizes can only come through a vital, saving relationship with Christ. The gratuitous leap of logic comes when church leaders think that because people are searching for benefits only God can give them, they must therefore be searching after God. No, they want the benefits without the Giver of the benefits. And so structuring worship to accommodate unbelievers is misguided because these unbelievers are not seeking after God. Seeking after God begins at conversion, and if we are to structure our worship with a view to seekers, then we must structure it for believers, since only believers are seekers.

The purpose of corporate assembly, which has its roots in the Old Testament, is for the people of God to come together corporately to offer their sacrifices of praise and worship to God. So the first rule of worship is that it be designed for believers to worship God in a way that pleases God.

Another erroneous assumption made in the attempt to restructure the nature of worship is that the modern generation has been so changed by cultural and contextual influences – such as the impact of the electronic age upon their lives – that they are no longer susceptible to traditional attempts of being reached by expository preaching. So the focus of preaching has moved in many cases away from an exposition of the Word of God. We assume this alteration is necessary if we’re to reach the people who have been trapped within the changes of our current culture. The erroneous assumption is that in the last fifty years, the constituent nature of humanity has changed, as if the heart can no longer be reached via the mind. It also assumes that the power of the Word of God has lost its potency, so that we must look elsewhere if we are to find powerful and moving experiences of worship in our church. Though the intentions may be marvelous, the results, I believe, are and will continue to be catastrophic.


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David

 2007/10/17 10:37Profile
Miccah
Member



Joined: 2007/9/13
Posts: 1752
Wisconsin

 Re:

I attended a seeker sensitive church before I was a believer. You know what happened, the Lord lead me out of this place. Why? Because I was asking God "Is this it? Is this all there is? There must be more then this?" God showed and sowed so much more once I left. Once I left, I was saved within 1 month. I starting being descipled by a missionary couple and starting attending house church in place of traditional church. I learned that we need to be sensitive to the seeker, not seeker sensative. There is a big difference.

Why am I telling you this? Because I think we need to be careful in suggesting that one of these places (modern) are not of the Lord. This place was holding me back, not because the people were bad, but because the saving grace of the Lord was not present throughout most.

I have been in many different churches that look and feel like your stereotypical church. The only think wrong with some of these churches is the that Lord is not manifest. Same goes for some of the "modern" churches. On the other hand, there are many churches down both sides that have the Lord manifest. Then guess what...sometimes the Lord is present even not being in a place of worship.

The Lord is bigger then a building. The Lord is bigger then his temples. The Lord is present.

What we do with His presence is the key, not where we "look" for his presence. Who knows, He may just throw something out here that no one expects and go from there.

Miccah


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Christiaan

 2007/10/17 14:47Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7421
Mississippi

 Re:

Quote:
What Aquinas observed was that people who are unconverted seek the “benefits” that only God can give them, such as ultimate meaning and purpose in their lives, relief from guilt, the presence of joy and happiness, and things of this nature.



And this is why it is so important to teach repentance. People do not want to deal with guilt because it is a pride destroyer, might interfere with your self-esteem! Actually, if you really are interested in godly self-esteeem (yes, I know this sounds like an oxymoron) just act contrary what your pride argues you to do and see what happens!

Loved this article. Lots of food for thought here...Thanks for posting.

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2007/10/17 15:06Profile





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