Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Entertainers

It has been claimed that one of the problems with the present Evangelical church is that it is becoming simply another venue for entertainment. Is this indeed a bad thing, and if so how can it be avoided? Now I have no problem with trying to make teaching interesting. I have in the past used drama, object lessons, power point, and many other things to try to get my point across. But that is my goal: to get my point across. The whole point of Christian teaching is to get our point across. We have something to say we believe is worth saying. We need to communicate it in ways so that the people will be willing to hear us. But when we believe we can bring people in largely based on being entertaining, we make a serious error.

The Christian church cannot beat the world in the area of entertainment. We are a minority and do not have the resources to do so. We also do not have access to certain low roads to entertaining people that the world has no scruples about using. Also, entertainment is always looking for new things. Those who come for entertainment will leave for entertainment. But on a more basic level, majoring on entertainment can be or be perceived as a form of manipulation and trickery (2 Corinthians 2:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:3-6; 1 Corinthians 2:1-4). For Christianity requires real faith (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 4:4,5; Philippians 3:9) and real commitment (Romans 6:12-14; Matthew 16:24-26; Titus 2:11-14). This clearly goes beyond being a superficial observer to being those who are willing to be involved in living out what they believe (Ephesians 6:10-13; Romans 12:3-8; Hebrews 12:1-3). Now all this is futile without the power of God working in us (2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:28,29). But we are not called to mere passivity, but to trust God to do His work in our lives (Proverbs 3:5,6; Psalm 127:1,2; Hebrews 11:13-16).

This comes back again to being in the world and not of the world (Romans 12:1,2; 1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4). We need to meet people where they are, but to have a message that challenges them to leave there to follow Christ. We should not avoid looking for ways to communicate well. But we also cannot allow the message to be reduced to mere entertainment.  

No comments:

Post a Comment