I have had friends ask me why I don’t like contemporary Christian music.
1. I am an old curmudgeon.
2. Most of it is not very good.
3. Much of it is just an attempt to copy other popular music.
4. The big, real reason – WHO IS THE CENTER OF ATTENTION? WHO IS THE FOCUS OF THE PERFORMANCE?
How many times have you heard a performance in a church and the histrionics of the performer are what is the main thing in view?
Hey, if you want to be Beyonce’ or Britney Spears or David Cook then by all means go for it.
Just don’t do it where I’m trying to worship.
I have friends and relatives, one in particular, that play and in Praise and Worship bands. I have no doubt at all about this friend’s sincerity and heart for the Lord.
John Dennis has written one of his typically astute posts on his “If” blog.
This one is concerning bibliomancy (Notice the other superstitious and occult references on the same page in the online dictionary).
See it here : JohnDennis on “If I Could Just Find The Right Verse”.
While he deals in a pointed and hilarious way with this superstition I would like to add my own 2 cents. (That and $6 will get you a cup of coffee.)
How many times have you sat through a sermon or teaching while the speaker was lifting bits of scripture here and there to make a topical point?
I have no real beef with topical preaching/teaching but I do insist that if you are going to take this hodge-podge method that it:
1. Support a solid biblical concept/truth.
2. That the lifted scripture not be out of the context of where it is in the narrative of the bible.
The bible is not magic.
God is not the big Make-A-Wish-Foundation in the sky. (Wonderful organization here on Earth.)
Study your bible. Read it like a book not a dictionary or as an unrelated bunch of quotations.
John 3:16 makes a statement alone that is consistent with the overall message.
Be careful that you don’t apply the magic method to Matthew 27:5.
The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the Old One. I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice.
I have a confession to make.
I do not attend any organized form of worship service on a regular or even a very irregular basis.
I of course go to funerals and weddings and have occasionally gone to a local megachurch to hear my nephew sing.
My inclination is to blame this all on the churches and the people who run them. You can see from the last post of imonk that I put up links to here and in other postings of his and the comments that there is plenty of wrong to go around.
The real problem is me.
I wrote to a famous blogger asking what are we to do as far as finding a church in response to a provocative blog about the ills of evangelical churches. His response was that if I couldn’t find some kind of group to worship with amongst all of the myriad possibilities out there than there is something wrong with me.
He is right.
I do have many issues with churches. It is the reason I started this blog. I’m not talking about the groups that deny the deity of Christ or His Supremacy. They are not my concern in general except as fellow humans who may need to be presented with the gospel.
No my issues are with the evangelicals. One thing is I have been surprised by how many groups take on that appellation.
I once, in my distant youth, even wanted to be a bible teacher or pastor. I did succeed for a while in leading a large group in bible study (40-60 a week) but I betrayed the trust of that group and eventually even blamed that on others.
I am by nature a weird combination of both a cynical skeptic and a hopeful dreamer. Not a great combination if you are looking for something inspiring in others. Looking for some evidence of the Divine in the people around me that claim brotherhood with the Risen Christ.
As noted above, I am chief among those who have disappointed others. Deeply disappointed. Ruined families. Deeply damaged my own family. Hurt and confused younger brothers and sisters in Christ.
Yet with all of this I presume to set myself up as an arbiter of what is right and wrong with the church both local and universal.
Talk about a hypocrite.
I know none of us is worthy and I may be slightly more honest than others may be willing or able to be at this time but that does not excuse my behaviour.
I’m not sure I have the guts to push the button and actually post this. We will see later.
So I guess you could say that guilt is a big part of why I don’t go to church.
There are other better reasons that would certainly be more palatable to others but they don’t seem to matter very much right now.
I know where I need to be and who I need to be with. I just don’t have the stomach for the worshiptainment and circus nonsense that goes on at most of the groups I would consider aligning with theologically.
I have even flirted with Catholicism but there are just a few points that I can’t seem to get past. (There’s some of my line in there Mr. Bell).
I don’t need or desire anyone’s sympathy or even deserve it. If you want to pray for me then pray. Don’t tell me about it. God will know.
I suppose for the time being I will suspend my series on why tithing isn’t new testament biblical or there is no model for a professional clergy. That we don’t need these giant stadiums complete with coffee shops and indoor gymnasiums. I could go on.
All of these things I feel strongly about but do not believe I am qualified to comment.
A dear friend of mine once told me that he thought I had the gift of prophecy, the telling it like it is variety not the world is coming to an end type, and that Satan had sabotaged my life to make me ineffective.
That is flattering but I am sure it makes me out to be be way more important than I am.
So, there you go. It’s me.