Does the church today behave more like a twenty-dollar harlot or the Bride of Christ?
Is the church coming to this? Imagine with me if you will. You and your wife and two-point-five children pull into the 10-acre parking lot. You all pile out of your minivan and head for the doors. As you approach the doors you see movie-like posters announcing what’s inside. You walk to the window and pull out your wallet. The young man at the window sticks a wicker basket towards you. He doesn’t look up. He’s absorbed in a Harry Potter novel.
You put a few bucks in the basket and shuffle into the lobby with your family. You buy the kids popcorn and Cokes. Your wife wants Raisinettes.
On both sides of the lobby you see posters advertising what’s available this week:
Baptist Theater: Sermon: When We All Get To Heaven. Come join us. We love God. And our worship center is special. ALL our pews are back rows. Won’t we be thrilled to see each other in heaven? It’s going to be a wonderful place and we’ll all be so happy. Enjoy the sermon. Like us on Facebook. Covered dish dinner following service. Bring your casseroles and deserts and meet in the parking lot under the Baptist tent. Free sweet tea. Nursery provided.
Methodist Theater: Sermon: Life Is Good. You can have a happy life if you try your best to be a good Christian and love people. God will bless you. God loves you. The message will encourage you and give you a great outlook on life. You’ll leave the service feeling great and wanting to tell your friends and neighbors how happy you are. Tell they could be happy too if the visit with you next week. Come hear our live praise band. Playing at both services. Dress is casual. Heck, wear your flip flops if you want!
Pentecostal Theater: Sermon: Heck Fire and Brimstone. You don’t have to be sad. You don’t have to be blue. Come to our service and we’ll tickle you. You’ll leave the theater feeling so much better about yourself. Really. We have wide aisles. You can dance and sing in the aisles if you like. Shout “Hallelujah” all you want. Life your hands. Stretch out! Speaking in tongues allowed.
Presbyterian Theater: Sermon: Ten Rules For Being A Good Christian. Pick up your “Frozen Chosen” bumper stickers in the bobby after the service. Sign up now for tickets to the Rockin’ Christians music concert Saturday night in the sanctuary. Nursery and child care provided. Speaking in tongues forbidden.
Catholic Theater: Sermon: Saints Are Cool–Get To Know One Today. Come to the special mass on Friday morning at 5 a.m. We will give out free rosaries this week for the first one hundred confessions. Come as you are. Ties and dresses not required. Our communion is served with real wine. Not grape juice like the other guys.
Episcopal theater: Sermon: Don’t Worry. Be Happy. We welcome everyone. We don’t turn away anyone of any race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual preference or lifestyle. Hey, we’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That’s what the Bible says. Come experience our newly cushioned pews. If the music gets too loud, ask an usher for a set of free ear plugs. (This one really happens in a church.)
Many churches today are becoming showcases for entertainment and not places where Bible-believing pastors teach God’s truth. A good blogging friend of mine who loves the Lord sent me an email the other day. In part she said,
“I received a flyer the other day from a new church. They advertised that their music rocked. Their seats were comfortable, and they wore flip-flops to their service.”
Please tell me. How can a “church that rocks” be built upon The Rock? I don’t think it can. Our culture is creeping into our congregations, not the other way around. Unfortunately, in my opinion,many of the churches today is not The Church. Many are changing their formats to appeal to the world. To be cool. To attract more people to their services. Unfortunately, many churches are more interested in boasting big numbers than they are spreading the gospel and disciplining. I think the church is becoming more like a harlot than the Bride of Christ.
The title for this post comes from a Flip Wilson comedy routine on his TV show in the 1970’s. In the skit, Wilson plays Pastor Leroy, a con man, who is more interested in a big collection than teaching God’s word. I wonder how many preachers might be like him today? You be the judge of that.
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