Using Discernment with Entertainment – Though we are in this world, we are not of this world (John 17:14-16). That means we can’t watch every movie, laugh at every joke on television, download every new music album, click on every online video, or visit every Internet page. Taking a stand for righteousness in your own life and family is not being legalistic. It’s being Christian.
Don’t Stain Glass the Bible – Lots of Christians have a habit of “stained glassing” Bible characters. Sometimes it seems like pretty much anyone other than Jezebel and Judas Iscariot will get a free pass and find their actions vindicated by believers. The Bible is full of real people with real issues and real messy mixed up faith responses.
Divine Mathematics – If a person wants to maximize their life by living for the glory of God, then that person needs to be passionate about evangelism. If the Lord has saved you, he has saved you for a purpose: to live for the glory of God.
“In the very beginning, when this great universe lay in the mind of God, like unborn forests in the acorn cup; long before the echoes awoke the solitudes; before the mountains were brought forth; and long before the light flashed through the sky, God loved His chosen creatures. Before there was any created being — when the ether was not fanned by an angel’s wing, when space itself had not an existence, where there was nothing save God alone — even then, in that loneliness of Deity, and in that deep quiet and profundity, His heart moved with love for His chosen. Their names were written on His heart, and then were they dear to His soul. Jesus loved His people before the foundation of the world — even from eternity! and when He called me by His grace, He said to me, ‘I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee’” – Charles H. Spurgeon
Pastors/elders/teachers want to be liked. Some want to be liked so much that they’re willing to entertain their hearers while preaching the Bible. They wrongly assume that because people enjoy their sermons, they enjoy Jesus as well. The problem is that if we’re seeking to entertain our hearers, then we don’t believe God or Scripture can hold the attention of God’s people. In other words, you may say “the Bible is worthy of your attention,” but if you’re using entertainment to communicate this, then you’re undercutting your message with your methods. If the Bible is worthy to be heard because God is its Author, then you shouldn’t have to use entertainment to get Christians to listen to it. You just might be entertaining your hearers to death.
Easter Sunday was just a few weeks ago. With the heightened cultural interest in the resurrection of Christ, churches pulled out all the stops to persuade attendees. Churches gave away cars, money, ipads, food, etc. Continue reading →
In my perusings this morning I came across something by Archibald Brown that is so applicable to what seems to be happening to the Church today. It also reminded me of something Carl Trueman said at a breakout session at the Together for the Gospel 2012 conference. He was talking about the church campus model that seems to be accepted today. He led into the talk by explaining church architecture of old. It seems that in the past, church’s, cathedrals actually, were designed in such a way that your eye was drawn to what was most important when you walked into the building. He talked about a Catholic cathedral that was centered on the Altar and on a Protestant cathedral that was centered on the Lectern. In the Catholic tradition, the Altar is where God and man come together. In the Protestant tradition, the Word and the preaching of the Word is where God and man come together and architecture of old emphasized that. Mr. Trueman then went on to talk about the modern church that is built around a “stage” that seems to have been borrowed from the theater in the 1800’s. He then proceeded to talk about the way that a lot of modern church’s, with their satellite campus systems have live music and piped in sermons. He said, and I agree, that this model seems to show what is important. He went on to imply that if the preaching of the Word is the most important thing, then why isn’t the music piped in and the preaching live?
I relate all of this to set the tone for something Reverend Brown said a century ago in a sermon entitled The Devil’s Mission of Amusement. Here is the text of his message:
Different days demand their own special testimony. The watchman who would be faithful to his Lord and the city of his God has need to carefully note the signs of the times and emphasize his witness accordingly. Concerning the testimony needed now, there can be little, if any, doubt. An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross, so brazen in its impudence, that the most shortsighted of spiritual men can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years it has developed at an abnormal rate, ever for evil, It has worked like leaven until now the whole lump ferments, Look which way you may, its presence makes itself manifest. Continue reading →