Wednesday, June 20, 2012

'Doing' Church Adam Sandler-Style

Because I read a lot about the American Church, I know I'm not the only one concerned about the direction our "seeker-friendly" worship services are going.  It seems we are trying so hard not to seem "peculiar" that we have forgotten we are indeed called to be a "peculiar people" (1 Pet 2:9).

In our local assembly last Sunday, two associate pastors decided to commemorate Father’s Day by having a contest of all men (not just fathers) to see who was the manliest. They had all the men stand up, and then asked a series of very silly questions. If you couldn’t answer the question affirmatively, you would have to sit down. The last man standing was the manliest. What were these silly questions? “Have you ever killed your own dinner?” “Have you ever removed your body hair with duct tape?” and “Can you burp the alphabet?” were just a few.  The latter seemed to me to be more appropriate for an Adam Sandler movie than a worship service. Just when I thought the silliness would never end, they did another round to find the most sensitive man, and those questions just as silly. ‘What a shame,’ I thought. Instead of honoring godly fathers, they joked away the time with crude stereotypes of masculinity. Anyone who likes Adam Sandler films, known for their juvenile humor, would have loved it.

Is there any objective criteria for what is appropriate for a worship service? Consider this: “There must be no filthiness or silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but… fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise” (Eph 5:4; Philip 4:8).

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