Is the church just a business with a Cross stuck on top?
Great article by Chuck Swindoll–“America’s most influential active preacher”–in Leadership Journal. I disagree with him on some minor points on the inherent evil of technology and new media (see, Paparazzi in the Hands of an Angry God). However, I am completely on board with his call for renewal of biblical literacy and character based upon the… (uh, this sounds to radical to be true) …teachings of Jesus.
The Problem with Pizzazz
Has entertainment replaced Scripture as the center of our worship?
A survey in 2009 asked pastors to identify the most influential living preacher. Chuck Swindoll came in second only to Billy Graham. How does one use that kind of cachet? Apparently to call the church back from its captivity to entertainment.
Dr. Charles R. Swindoll is the pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, the chancellor and former president of Dallas Theological Seminary, a prominent radio preacher on Insight for Living, and a prolific author.
His latest book, The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal, outlines the dangers when churches seek the world’s affirmation and copy the world’s methods. Leadership Journal’s senior editor Skye Jethani spoke with Swindoll about the use of entertainment values in worship.
LJ: Early in your book you say that when the church becomes an entertainment center, biblical literacy is the first casualty. So why do you think the church has become so enamored with entertainment?
CS: We live in a time with a lot of technology and media. We can create things virtually that look real. We have high-tech gadgets that were not available to previous generations. And we learned that we could attract a lot of people to church if we used those things. I began to see that happening about 20 years ago. It troubled me then, and it’s enormously troubling to me now because the result is an entertainment mentality that leads to biblical ignorance.
And alongside that is a corporate mentality. We’re tempted to think of the church as a business with a cross stuck on top (if it has a cross at all)…