Tag Archives: God’s Word

The Entertained Church

In light of yesterday’s post, User-Friendly Jesus, I got to thinking about how church has become an entertainment centre. State-of-the-art sound systems to blast out the live band’s carefully rehearsed music. Soft, comfortable chairs to relax in for the duration of the service. Media-driven children’s programs designed to capture little bodies and minds. Ministries to cater to every need and interest.

All we have to do is sit back and take it in.

Now, before you get defensive about it, please understand that I am not at all against any of the above. As long as we are not missing the point.

I read a story about a pastor who recently visited a country where it is illegal to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ – where Christians are routinely persecuted. Even killed. The pastor had been invited to come and teach the Bible to new believers. He was transported, hidden and disguised, to a home on the outskirts of the city where he found nearly 50 people crowded into a small basement room. No windows, and only one small bulb hanging from the ceiling. Believers of all ages eagerly awaited, sitting on the floor, on small stools, lined up along the walls, with Bibles open, ready to learn. The pastor taught for six hours. And no one moved. He later learned that many of the people in that room had been saved only a few months and were already pastoring churches in their own communities. He was invited to come back the next day, and the next, until he had to extend his originally planned week-long visit. These people were hungry for God’s Word. They had left their businesses and homes and farms unattended so that they could learn more about the God of the Bible.

God’s Word was enough.

No sound system. No band. No comfortable chairs. No heat. But the people came, day after day.

What would happen in our churches if we took away the comforts and the entertainment? What if pastors taught for hours without a coffee break? Would God’s Word still be enough for people to come?

I don’t know.

The point is this: God is the sovereign Creator of all things. He knows all things. He sustains all things. He owns all things. He is holy above all. He is righteous in all His ways, just in His wrath, and loving toward all He has made. His Word reveals His glory.

I’m not interested in being entertained.

I want to know Him more.

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The Lesson

I remember once spending a good chunk of a perfectly good weekend trying to get an operating system installed on a freebie laptop.

I am usually pretty good at computer stuff and thought this would be easy. Wrong. Nothing worked and I became frustrated beyond belief. I wanted to throw the whole thing out the window and forget about it. But . . . I reminded myself that the computer didn’t cost me a cent and if I had to take it in to a PC repair shop to get the deed done, then so be it.

After I calmed down, I decided to give it one more try and Googled “how do I reformat my hard drive and install Windows XP”. Lo and behold, the very first website that came up was a step by step instruction on how to do this, and within an hour the good old laptop was back in operation. Amazing what happens when one follows instructions.

Is there a lesson to be learned in all of this? Of course there is. And I’m going to get spiritual here because it’s a pretty awesome lesson.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be one of those people who likes to do everything myself – you know the type. Kind of bossy. Know-it-all. I need to know it’s done right. Right? Doesn’t matter that lots of other people could do a better job. Anyway . . . this tiny little character flaw often spills over into my Christian life. I neglect to follow the instructions in God’s Word and end up getting frustrated and impatient, wondering what went wrong. Like my way is better than God’s??? But when I get the step by step instructions set out so clearly bythe Father in His Word, I am back up and running in no time.

Yeah, there are consequences to going my own way, just as there were consequences resulting from trying to fix the computer without the instructions. And those consequences are usually unpleasant. God is loving and forgiving, however, and He makes a way where there is no way. Things may not be as perfect as they would have been had I followed His direction in the first place, but I’ve hopefully learned something in the process and I am stronger at the end of it.

So there’s the Lesson.

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