Religious entertainment!

A great company of evangelical churches have already gone over into the area of religious entertainment, so that many churches are tramping on the doorstep of the theater!

The tragic results of this spirit are all about us:
shallow lives,
hollow religious philosophies,
the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings,
the glorification of men,
trust in religious externalities,
quasi-religious fellowships,
salesmanship methods,
the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit.

These and such as these, are the symptoms of an evil disease–a deep and serious malady of the soul.

Religious entertainment has so corrupted the Church, that millions don’t know that it’s a heresy. Millions of evangelicals throughout the world have devoted themselves to religious entertainment. They don’t know that it’s as much heresy, as the “counting of beads” or the “splashing of holy water” or something else. To expose this, of course, raises a storm of angry protest among the people.

Isn’t there a difference between worship and entertainment?

The church that can’t worship, must be entertained. And men who can’t lead a church to worship, must provide the entertainment. That is why we have the great evangelical heresy here today–the heresy of religious entertainment!

– A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963

Amusements or Worship?

Religion, if you please, is now big business. A countless number of amusements flourish everywhere, paid for by the consecrated tithes of people who ought to know better.

Christianity has seen a steady rise of religious entertainment as a source of mental pleasure. God’s people have turned to the amusements of the world to try to squeeze a bit of juice out of them for the relief of their dry and joyless hearts.

I want to tell you something. If I want to see a show–I know where I can see a good one put on by top flight actors who know what they are doing. If I want a show–I’ll go down to a theater and see a show hot out of Hollywood by men and women who are artists in their field. I will not go to a church and see a lot of ham actors putting on a home talent show. And yet, that’s where we are in evangelical circles. We’ve got more show in evangelical circles than anywhere else. I would not give a plug nickel for the whole business of it!

The church is not a religious theater to provide a place for amateur entertainers to display their talents.

– A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963

God’s professed children are bored with Him

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42 

Without Biblical authority, or any other right under the sun–carnal religious leaders have introduced a host of attractions that serve no purpose except to provide entertainment for the retarded saints! 

It is now common practice in most evangelical churches to offer the people, especially the young people, a maximum of entertainment and a minimum of serious instruction. It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God. One can only conclude that God’s professed children are bored with Him–for they must be wooed to meetings with a stick of striped candy, in the form of religious movies, games and refreshments.

This has influenced the whole pattern of church life, and even brought into being a new type of church architecture, designed to house the golden calf. So we have the strange anomaly of orthodoxy in creed–and heterodoxy in practice. The striped-candy technique has been so fully integrated into our present religious thinking, that it is simply taken for granted. Its victims never dream that it is not a part of the teachings of Christ and His apostles!

A church fed on worldly excitement is no New Testament church at all. The desire for surface stimulation is a sure mark of the fallen nature–the very thing Christ died to deliver us from. A curious crowd of baptized worldlings waiting each Sunday for the quasi-religious stimulant to give them a lift–bears no relation whatever to a true assembly of Christian believers. And that its members protest their undying faith in the Bible, does not change anything.

– A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963

Home Churches

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart. – Acts 2:46

These first believers were in such a condition that their homes were holy places. I beg you to notice this, that they were breaking bread from house to house, and did eat their food with gladness and singleness of heart.

They did not think that religion was meant only for Sundays, and for what men now-a-days call the ‘House of God’.

Their own houses were houses of God, and their own meals were mixed and mingled with the Lord’s Supper. They elevated their meals into diets for worship. They so consecrated everything with prayer and praise that all around them was holiness unto the Lord.

I wish our houses were thus dedicated to the Lord, so that we worshipped God all the day long, and made our dwellings temples for the living God.

Does God need a ‘special house’?

He who made the heavens and the earth, does he dwell in temples made with hands? What crass ignorance is this!

No house beneath the sky is more holy than the place where a Christian lives, and eats, and drinks, and sleeps, and praises the Lord in all that he does. There is no worship more heavenly than that which is presented by holy families, devoted to his fear.

To sacrifice home worship to public worship is a most evil course of action.

Morning and evening devotion in a cottage is infinitely more pleasing in the sight of God than all the cathedral pomp which delights the carnal eye and ear.

Every truly Christian household is a church, and as such it is competent for the discharge of any function of divine worship, whatever it may be.

Are we not all priests? Why do we need to call in others to make devotion a performance? Let every man be a priest in his own house.

Are you not all kings if you love the Lord? Then make your houses palaces of joy and temples of holiness.

One reason why the early church had such a blessing was because her members had such homes. When we are like them we shall have “added to the church daily of the saved.”

C. H. Spurgeon, “Additions to the Church” No. 1167

Published in: on August 28, 2016 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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