I live in a small, but growing community...its one of the fastest growing in the nation. I am amazed on how many churches are springing up all over, you can't throw a rock and without hitting one anymore. As I drive around I see a new church popping up or land purchased as the "future home" of the church. I usually like to check the new churches out. They have eye popping websites, beautiful people on the page and honestly I am drawn to checking it out. Not being in advertising I can see why and how certain attractions and enticements are done. i also understand this is the age and times we live in, most in our culture respond to that given to the technology environment we live in. As I look further into the beliefs or vision statements they are all pretty much the same. It really is driven by fun, entertainment and purpose. One of our friends took there children to a VBS in a local baptist church in our area. The second day of VBS, as the walked in to drop off their children, a secular music video was playing from a teen pop star. apparently the video contained a lot of destructive images of destroying and breaking things in a violent matter. When they confronted the staff, they were told that they wanted to reach those who were not in church they didn't want to isolate themselves from the community. They were floored and took there children home. This saddens me and makes me angry that many churches choose secular ways and methods to invoke an experience and relevance. Preaching is no longer about teaching, but entertaining. Preaching is secondary to worship style now. For me there's nothing like a sold teaching in a service and listening to the pages of bibles flipping. Often times I think of myself alone in this thought maybe I am wrong and this is just how it is anymore. I truly feel that many that sit in some of these churches really want to be taught the word of God. My previous pastor said "We live in a coffee sipping world and can't have a tuxedo style ministry." I not sure what that meant at the time, but I believe I understand now.I know God can use some of these churches to His glory.I so appreciate the The Gospel Fellowship book,: Principles for the gathering of believers under the headship of Jesus Christ.
Reformer,I appreciate your rant; I have one from another perspective. I am appalled at the ignorance of Bible Stories among the young and many adults, even parents with children. They simply do not know the Bible stories. Recently someone asked, "was Eli was Samuel's father?" This was a mom of small children. Instead of stories, Bible principles are taught without the stories that will define, illustrate a Bible truth. People will philosophize Bible principles for something more to their liking, not being aware of the absoluteness of God, his attributes. Children are not into doctrine and principles, but they are into stories; so are adults. You can give a well thought out presentation on some deep theological thought and people will be lucky if the remember it well. But give a story that will in its telling illustrate it, people will remember and the point it teaches will come back to inspire in time to come. Jesus used stories to teach the people; a large percentage of the WORD consists of stories. We are short-changing our children if we forgo the use of stories in communicating the reality of God, his will for mankind.