A matter of style.

Jesus with children, early 1900s Bible illustr...

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I recently listened to a wonderful sermon by a guest speaker at a neighboring church in the Stockbridge, Georgia area. It was about being a “Soul Winner” for Christ, as opposed to sitting on your duff. I loved 99% of his message, I really did. As a matter of fact, I agree with his entire stance on why it is so important and vital to our faith, to do our best to show people how important a relationship with Jesus is in their lives. His words were music to my ears, with one exception. Before anyone gets up-tight, let me preface this by saying I totally understand the generational gap that divides the “traditional church” and the “modern church” and that I love the fact that different churches offer different worship styles where everyone can find the best one for them.

With that being said, the speaker asked for a show of hands of everyone who got saved in the 60’s, tons of hands went up. He then asked the same of the 70’s, again, tons of hands went up. When he reached the 80’s, the count had dropped noticeably. And by the time he asked for a show of hands of the crowd who were saved in the 90’s through today, the hands were barely noticeable in the crowd.

His point in doing this, was to show that fewer people are getting saved in today’s world…….WHAT??????? My first thought was wishing he would attend a Sunday night service at one50five where the head-count on a moderate night is upwards of 70. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. This speaker, who spoke so profoundly about bringing people to Christ, was only speaking from the perspective of the traditionalist. He wasn’t factoring in the younger generations being drawn to the modern church. To those of you, my wonderful friends and readers, who prefer one to the other, may I just say that I am thrilled you have a home church that suits your preference in worship style. And to my traditional friends, may I ask this: Do you listen regularly to the music of your parents or grandparents? Do you watch the exact same shows? Do you enjoy the exact same recreational activities? I doubt it. 

There is NOTHING wrong with the modern church, or the traditional church having different forms of worship. I personally discourage doubt in how many are coming to Christ in today’s society though, based on the attendance of the traditional church. Young people are drawn to things that directly relate with them, I also would like to let you in on a little secret, the modern church or (the evangelistic or charismatic movements as a whole) teach the exact same Bible in their messages. The exact same gospel is taught. If it isn’t for you, then it isn’t for you with regards to the music. I would also like to say, to anyone who disagrees, that like it or not, the mass amounts of youth that pile into modern churches every week, ARE THE FUTURE. Personally, I get my daily doses of hymns, and modern music via downloads from other churches. I get an awesome balance of different preaching styles as well. 

The following statements have absolutely nothing to do with this particular speaker (again, I loved his sermon as a whole!). I find that when speaking to my grandparents or other “veterans of the faith”. That choosing sides, between different denominations tends to come across as being more important to them, than the Gospel itself. Remember, Christ calls us to be ONE church, and picking teams, so to speak, and making everything about pushing your particular denomination’s agenda and talking points is what has made modern politics such a joke. The reason that I carry the stance that the Catholic Church is a false religion as a whole, is because “tradition” has become more important than Gospel. When tradition becomes elevated over Gospel, we begin opening a can of worms, and that is NOT what Jesus had in mind for us. Not at all.

Food for thought:

Different worship styles are completely alright. Different doctrines ARE NOT. If you feel that your modern church is based less on what God says, and more on flash and intensity, look in to a new church with the same worship style, and better preaching and leadership. If your traditional church (catholic or whoever) feels more based on doing things the way they were done during the depression, and less on spreading the word of Christ, look in to a new traditional church, also, with better preaching and leadership.  At the end of the day, what it all comes down to, is the message from the speaker agreeing with what God has laid out for us in the Bible, and THEN how that church itself backs it up.

Stay blessed,

Chris

 

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