Saturday, January 26, 2008

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.


LynAC said...

don't start me......;0)

Joyce said...

"Churches" that are so man-centered rather than God-centered sure worry me, too, Kerri. Very sad and deceptive.

Marbel said...

Ooh, Kerri, didn't mean to provoke you, exactly, but I knew I'd love your take on this. Well, I suppose 'cause I knew you'd agree with me.

Since you commented at my hsb site I will put here part of a comment I rec'd on the blogger site. I like this analogy:

"...the old story of a woman carrying her laundry to the river. On her way a sheet hanging out brushes a meditating monk. The monk exclaims, "Can't you see I'm meditating?!" The woman replies, "If you'd been as intent on meditating as I in doing the laundry, you wouldn't have noticed." Poster was Dadvocate, (just to give the proper nod).

kerri @ gladoil said...

Oh, I meant provoke in a lighthearted way. Not like you were trying to get me mad or anything.

That is a good quote though, I like it.

mykidsmom said...

Interesting. We were on vacation the week of Christmas and I saw on someones tv a whole program devoted to Davis and his "superchurch". Watching it gave me a very odd feeling, it didn't seem like a church at all.
I didn't finish the program because of that, seems my thoughts on it weren't far off the mark.

Elaine said...

That's quite the video. I've never seen anything like it. If that white robed figure was meant to be portraying Christ he sure wasn't a very powerful God!

kerri @ gladoil said...

I know, I think that's what bugs me the most about that video. He looks utterly helpless in parts, like a competing boyfriend or something.

Susan in Elk Grove said...

That video actually gave me the creeps......I turned it off halfway through. *shudder*
And no, we CANNOT rely on our emotions.....they will shipwreck us.

Amy said...

I'm sorry but that video is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen. God is my girlfriend thing as Doug Wilsom would say.