I have problems blogging sometimes, not because I don't have anything to say but because I have too much to say. And I am so indecisive I can't pick one thread and just stick with it.
Anyway, Marbel has managed to provoke me a little with a post about a mega church in Georgia.
She also tried to provoke me earlier by sending me an email with this video included.
I didn't pick it up at the time. Maybe my mind was on something else, maybe I was tired.. I don't know. But today I've been up all night with insomnia and I've had about 6 cups of coffee..(go get me another, will ya S.? Thanks.)
Anyway, there's so many trains of thought I could go off on with this mega-church thing. The words 'Worship Center', the isolation of children, the idea that COLLEGE AGE is included in the definition of children, the idea that maybe there is a point that a church stops being a church and becomes a sort of social club, the idea of businesses operating on church grounds-secular businesses?-presumably operating on Sunday? I could even go off on a theological bent and discuss Calvinism, paedobaptism (Yes, I can see a connection) and step on a few toes... But hopefully in a friendly way. :)
But anyway, jumping from this paragraph in the article:
To that end, congregants are encouraged not to bring children into the worship experience center, where the message and the medium are specifically for adults. Instead, parents may drop off their children in a venue to receive an age-appropriate message and activity.
"A single mom can know her children will be cared for well," said Davis. "She can relax and connect meaningfully with God, without having to worry about her children. We don't want a 2-year-old to disrupt anyone's experience."
All right. I will probably sound like a snot here. But the words "Worship Experience Center" makes me wanna gag. It's like getting milk from a bovine lactose purveyor or something.
But what I really want to talk about is when did worship become an experience centered around me? We have constructed a form of Christianity that is almost entirely dependant on provoking emotional responses from people. If they are moved to tears or joy or whatever, we feel evangelism has done it's work. These parents are not being discouraged from bringing their children because the sanctuary needs to be quiet for teaching, they are being discouraged from bringing their children because it may interrupt someones experience. The worship isn't being done with the view of giving honor and glory to God, it is to give me peace, joy, a sense of an inner connection that is frankly so fragile that a baby's cry will stir me from it. And the only way for me to know if I have truly connected with God is if I have had that emotional response from my experience.
Emotions are not our guides. The word of God is. It isn't a firm foundation to tell someone that turning from sin and darkness will give them a release and joy like the girl in the video had. Sometimes turning from sin can be very painful. When the emotions are gone (and all of us who have been Christians for more than, oh say, two weeks know they will be gone from time to time) what will be the strength that will keep me from old pleasures, friends, comfortable habits?
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments
His praise endures forever. Psalm 111:10
Your word have I hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
The battle against sin is just plain hard. It is something we all deal with everyday. We need to be serious about our walk with Christ and not just look for an emotional fix with our latte.
And y'all know I've got nothing against lattes.