I apologize for my absence from writing my blogs here, but I took some time to finish a new book that the Lord asked me to quickly get done. But I am back so let’s get started again by looking at one of the most questionable activities that are occurring within the churches around this nation and in many others. It is this concert-style performance of praise and worship that is patterned after the latest VH1 or MTV format. In that, we now have bright lights shining in dark staged arenas putting forth an expose of projected figures all dancing around and individually backlighted at specific times to invoke responsiveness of emotions and anxieties.
Now my description of this as mentioned here is just me saying it just as I see it, but there are many who take no offense to this cultural presentation and somehow say this secular expressionism is now how we are to reveal Christ. Even though at no time is it ever to be about what we do through any expressions of our own abilities, but how we express an image of Christ and His ability through us in the earth. I know this piece is going to offend many of the younger generations who see this as a needed change and means to exhort Christ. But if this is the new thing to do then why is it that these churches are no more effective in bringing in converts than those of the past. There is no empirical data that shows this manner of presentation is filling up churches faster than any of the old ways of praise and worship. As a matter of fact, anytime an old hymn or past contemporary song goes forth in these churches the exhortation appears to increase as the congregation chimes into a common flow of the Spirit.
There is an all-out scramble by churches and leaders to quickly conform to this manner of bringing people into the church through appealing to a carnal nature that commonly acts out of emotion and anxiety. Ps 149:1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. Praises and worship to the Lord are to always glorify who He is, and is to position us in a posture of humility that does not glorify who we are by what we do. There is a problem when praise and worship are divisible in its purpose which is the underlining aspect of all this. Because there is a fine line between self-expression and expressing the Lord of self. When the generational trending is exhorted solely to appeal to a certain portion of the populace it then becomes hard to distinguish the Spirit of God in its purpose.
So what is the real issue here? It is that in order to deliver such a presentation there must be a worldly manner of performance fashioned into it. Let me explain this, it is not so much about the songs being sung as much as it is about the atmosphere it is presented in. As there is nothing wrong with the later generations being led by the Spirit to bring forth new lyrics of praise and worship before the Lord. But this mindedness that it must occur in a dimly lit assembly so that it can be exonerated through the use of worldly gizmos such as smoke machines, bright lights, and concert-style choreography is an act of spiritual stupidity. The reason I call it this is because if this new manner of worship is of the Lord then it would have required darkness to be revealed in every aspect of scripture pertaining to it. But Christ is the light of the world and the life of all who are in Him, and no scripture reveals that He operates out of the realms of darkness.
The reason the world presents its lyrics and songs in the darkness of concert arenas and bars and casinos is it provides an atmosphere where souls are emotionally influenced to seek attachment via this manner of the entertaining medium. So if this is true of the Lord then we too must conform to this manner of dark presentation and join those who see it as the norm with respect to modern-day Christianity and begin to hold every service in the same manner. That’s a joke, right? If the churches would just turn the lights back on then we wouldn’t be seen as so secular by the world in our presentation of Christ.
I had a friend ask me the other day if the church is ashamed of its occupants meaning why are they kept in the darkness while the cameras are focused specifically on the activity of the band and song leaders ensuring that the images are background in smoke and digital lighting effects just like many of today’s entertainers do. I had no answer for him, simply because nothing is going to justify having a worldly manner of presentation within the Church.
The one thing that is factual about this form of praise and worship is that many who come to church because of it are only there because they are emotionally attached by its style and manner And not there because they have made a commitment to follow Christ. They are seeking an entertaining of the soul rather than an attaching of spirit with the one who can deliver them from such darkness. It is impossible to draw someone to Christ without the work of the Holy Spirit. So when you look closely at how this is all being presented you don’t see a true spiritual work, but a clearly secular mannered style of entertainment. These churches are no longer working to save souls by the Spirit of God they now work to emotionally attach them to a guise of Christ, that is not of Christ.