Casual Irreverence in the Church By George Stroh November 28, 2011
Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know what they are doing.(Ecclesiastes 5::1)
There is a trend toward being less formal and more causal in most aspects of life these days, including Church services. Causal dress, causal prayers, casual music and casual preaching. Church services are often more about entertainment (the sacrifice of fools) than the worship of God. We are told that, in order to reach the younger generation with the gospel, the Church needs to be more "seeker friendly". But as our friend Larry Wright used to say; "Why would anyone want to design a Church for people who don't exist? There are no seekers." There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God. (Romans 3:11b)
This is not an argument for more formal trappings in the Church (stain glass windows, uncomfortable wood pews, etc.). A Church's spiritual condition is not determined by the building or furniture (Maranatha Bible Church meets in a school gymnasium). And, of course, wearing only formal clothes, singing only conservative old hymns, offering only long prayers and preaching long sermons, does not necessarily impress God either.
God knows our heart and judges our attitude. The issue is a reverence or awe, a proper respect and a healthy fear of our most holy God; Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.(Hebrews 12:28,29) What we wear, what we sing, how we pray and what we preach should always be done to please God, not men or women.
Church services that are designed by worldly business and marketing techniques offering a causal, entertaining, "user friendly" environment with only contemporary music and short, non-threatening sermonettes may increase attendance. But these services do not cause anyone, including younger people, to believe the gospel and come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Of course we welcome anyone to come to our Church services. But Elders, Pastors and other Church leaders would do well to remember that unbelievers are not seeking for God and that the Church service ought to be designed for believers who are to come together to listen to God's word and worship Him in spirit and in truth. Maranatha!