Friday, February 18, 2011

Lame Attempts At Relevance (Part 1)

I just cannot believe the downward spiral that is modern seeker sensitive churches and their attempts to stay at the "cutting edge" of cultural relevance. RC Sproul was quoted as saying:

If there were such a thing as a seeker, what would he be seeking? The church growth movement seems to believe he would be seeking more of the same. In a world consumed with lighthearted entertainment, we offer up less professional, less entertaining lighthearted entertainment? Why, I keep wondering, would a “seeker” get up on a Sunday morning, and travel to some giant box to hear a third rate rock band preceding a third rate comic giving a third rate “message” that leaves him in the same state that he arrived in?

Hyperbole perhaps, but very close to the mark nonetheless. I can't help but believe that the following conversation has happened at the leadership level of hundreds of Willow Creek/Saddleback style churches.

Senior Pastor: Numbers are falling and those that come fall asleep during the service. We need to do something about this.

Youth Pastor: The key is reaching the youth. We need to get twenty-somethings attending regularly.

Late thirties/early forties Associate Pastor with a mullet and a mid life crisis: How about some 80's music (to reach people born after 1995). After all 80's music was very cool in the 80's!.

Senior Pastor and Youth Pastor together: Wow, why hasn't anyone thought of this before . . . like ever?

Associate Pastor: Why not get our worship team to present a poor man's version of a Van Halen song about suicide. I'm sure a lot of people would relate to that.

Worship Pastor: Right on man! I'll even get the bass player to jump one time during the second chorus. That should shatter the stereotype many people have that Christians aren't edgy and cool! Let's show the general public that we are the equal of any Bon Jovi tribute band going around right now!

Associate Pastor: Hey, and I'll see if I can find some Bible verses with the word "jump" in them! With so many lousy paraphrases to choose from I'm sure I'll find something.

Just check out the throng of trendy youth "getting down" in the church hall. Maybe they really did hit on something here - after all it got 96 hits on youtube!

It never ceases to amaze me that the most relevant thing of all is the ultimate statistic (one out of one people die) and it is also often the most neglected from the pulpit. Death and judgment will strike every man and it is the key to awakening the conscience and arousing our thirst for the righteousness found only in Christ. The law and the Gospel presented faithfully and passionately is as riveting as it gets.

Go On To Part 2


John said...

Sorry Cameron, 97 hits now :o(

Cameron Buettel said...

John, take another look at this post. I just updated it a little.

Heath The Blogless said...

I think you just made this video more popular it was 105 when I watched it.

Heath The Blogless said...

Just had a look at the church's website. Why was I not surprised that, their Bible of choice is the TNIV, and they get women to give some of the messages from the pulpit.

Heath The Blogless said...

OK I am going to stop looking at there website now, They also offer "Christian" Yoga. The instructor of which has the following Qualifications: psychotherapist, yoga teacher and spiritual director.

My advice if you go to Glendale Presbyterian Church, Get out and get out now. If you don't, don't ever.

Heath The Blogless said...

I know I said I was going to stop but I kept looking:

13 of their 15 Deacons are Women.

and the sermon I listened to, the first 15 mins of the 26 mins was talking about Nelson Mandela and the Invictus movie. But to my surprise the Six or seven minutes he did talk about the text was actually good.

I pray that they just stop all the silliness and preach God's word, and follow it.

Heath The Blogless said...

Oh and one more thing.

Only joking I have stopped looking now. :)

Anonymous said...

linking to this from my blog, well done Cameron. Love the satire.


Michael Lawmaster said...

Well they got the first half of Proverbs 12:15 down but they missed the first half of Proverbs 17:28.

Being you're from down under and since you have written some posts regarding Hillsong...I thought you might enjoy taking a peek at a new rendition of Mighty to Save. I got this from one of Phil Johnson's tweets.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha. If only people on here knew Cam was once a fan of Aussie 80's rock group Boom Crash Opera and participated in teenage school outreach playing Van Halen soundtracks. Oops!!
Paul Adelaide

Cameron Buettel said...

I'm relieved that you only mentioned Boom Crash Opera! If you told everyone about the Choirboys and the Cockroaches (before they were the Wiggles) then it could get really embarrassing.

Paul, it is true that I have an unnatural attachment to the 80's and it is truly shameful! But let's keep it between the 2 of us. And I promise not to tell about you favorite 80's breakdance bands.

Cameron Buettel said...

BTW Paul, speaking of breakdancing, be sure to check out tomorrows post where breakdance meets Hillsong.

David Ford said...

I feel more sorry for the preacher in this church. In fact this is not even a church, they might as well erect an obelisk and bow down to it. Most of this pop music has been ceremonially dedicated to lucifer by the artists to ensure their fame and fortune...

I will contest however how some relegate Hillsong to the dust bin together with this sort of rubbish. There is a very big difference between the two. There is nothing wrong with worshiping Jesus Christ the way the AOGs do. They have far more reverence and fear of God that this crowd featured here...

David Ford said...

The posture of the Reformed presentation of the Gospel is an inspiration and gives full glory to God. Did everyone notice the impact of the music to the message delivery in this video? I once saw this sort of music added over the top of a message on the fly!
As a singer, musician, and student of the reformed word what I would love to see is this combined with an awesome modern musical presentation and lyrics that are sound (such as those from Stuart Townend). But alas this is nowhere to be found at the moment as most reformed churches are a time warp from the 50s and very kitch in their presentation. I'm sure this will change in the years to come.

Thomas Jensen, Bornholm said...

Hi Cameron....this "JUMP" thing is just lamer than lame. Why isn´t the Gospel enough?

God, the creator of the universe gave his son to live a perfect life of obedience and die on a cross, rise again on the third day and thus by his deeds save those who beliveve in him from Hell.

The Gospel is the most relevant thing you can talk about....the Gospel tells us who to escape from the eternal wrath of almighty God.

Thank you for posting this.......especilly the Washer-video :-)