Contemporary’ Worship Services

A recent Associated Press news story (6/2/06) reported on the current trend of “contemporary” worship services that is growing ever more popular. Non-denominational ‘mega-churches’ have taken he lead in this movement, but mainline denominations are following suit in an effort to stop their declining attendance.

A church in Ohio has rented a movie theater for their “contemporary” service. “People don’t come in with a quiet reverence,” said one church member. “It’s just like going to the movies.”

The report goes on to say: “Instead of popcorn and soda, as at the movies, the churchgoers grab cups of chocolate-flavored coffee and jelly doughnuts on their way into worship. The service starts out with a skit about golfing and religion, and moves into rock ‘n’ roll with a heavy drum beat that brings nearly everyone out of their seats . . . There’s dancing instead of kneeling . . . Scripture often still plays a role but in less formalized readings.”

And, what is the motivation behind these dramatic changes? “The church is looking for a way to speak to the culture . . . to appeal to young people and families . . . It’s church for people who don’t go to church.”

Do these folks care at all about ‘book, chapter, and verse’ to support their activities? Where is the authority for what they are doing? One wonders if there would be any limit to the things that they might do to attract larger numbers? Apparently not!

And, bottom line, who are we seeking to please anyway? It’s clear that these ‘contemporary’ services are geared for pleasing men, but worship ought to be conducted to please God: “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10) - by Greg Gwin

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