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What is the Point of a Church?

July 15, 2010

This video raises the question for me, “What is the point of a church?”

Is it to convert non-believers?

Is it to create disciples?

Is it to entertain?

Is it to gather a group of people that intellectually agree on a certain set of principles (many that they never live by)?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This song was the opener in a series titled “F-Bomb”. They changed the words in the song to make it more crappy and less offensive, but they title the sermon series F-Bomb?

I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

I’m sure there is some sort of reasoning behind this… Paul said, “I have become all things to all people” or “new wine in old wineskins…” you know some sort of contextless gibberish. Though I have a hard time believing Paul was at the Temple of Diana plowing a temple prostitute so he could “reach them where they are.”

There has to be a line somewhere doesn’t there?

As an aside, if the “singing” in this video is not worship, and I doubt even the people involved in the ‘production’ would assign it such a label, then what is it? A little fun? Entertainment? Self-aggrandizement? Love Jesus ‘cuz we’re cool?

I suppose many Christians just don’t believe this to be true: “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit'” (1 Cor 12:3). I imagine if Christians actually believed this to be true there would be all sorts of shenanigans they enter into that would be unnecessary.

A modern translation of that verse might be more acceptably rendered: “No one can say Jesus is Lord except by my awesome entertainment and witty insights.”

So, what is the point of a church, or maybe better stated, ideally what is the point of a church?


10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2010 2:40 pm

    Though I have a hard time believing Paul was at the Temple of Diana plowing a temple prostitute so he could “reach them where they are.”

    FOr some reason, this reminded me of an old joke that compared a beautiful woman to the ocean on a hot day: “The deeper in you go, the better it feels.”

    Apropos of nothing in particular.

  2. Jake permalink
    July 20, 2010 3:10 pm

    They changed the entire lyric. They changed the entire message of the song! All other issues aside (and I have a few) if you’re going to play RATM in church then surely, SURELY there’s gotta be someone intelligent enough to make a gospel-centric and Jesus-centric message around the original lyrics of the song!

    “Hey, a song about social justice and the inequality of government spending between military and social programs, can we get a sermon out of that?”

    “No I don’t think so. Just change the lyric and make it about forgiveness or something. Whatever.”

  3. Jake permalink
    July 20, 2010 3:16 pm

    Also that solo was as impotent as that 65 year old guy I saw at the pharmacy yesterday filling up his celebrex prescription. Please watch how it’s done. Stand and be amazed.

    That d-bag didn’t even use a digitech whammy pedal! How on Earth can you cover the Tom Morello solo in Bulls on Parade and NOT USE A DIGITECH WHAMMY PEDAL? That’s the REAL issue here!

    • July 22, 2010 7:35 am

      Amen Brother Jake. Amen.

      -As an aside, I’m listening to your MySpace page right now. Awesome stuff. The cymbals sound amazing (so very few do) and just great guitar tones too.

      Anyways, bizarre song to CHANGE the lyrics too, and get a whammy.

  4. Michael B permalink
    July 20, 2010 6:18 pm

    Is it just me, or does the evangelical movement, overall, have the mentality of a particularly insecure teenager? It’s like they’re terrified of being labelled as irrelevant or boring or whatever, and so they try desperately hard to make Christianity cool. The Holy Grail of evangelicalism seems to be the approval of pop culture.

    • July 20, 2010 10:24 pm

      I dunno ’bout the coolness thing–it’s kinda hard to look kewl when you’re shouting down any and every attempt to discuss a historical narrative that doesn’t fit the evangelical worldview (not to mention, do you really think all these “musicians” Scott has highlighted are worried about being cool? Really?). But definitely doing all they can to appear relevant, which ironically enough, is also hard to do when you’re shouting down any and every attempt to blah, blah, blah…

      • Michael B permalink
        July 21, 2010 10:23 am

        Well I didn’t say they were good at being cool…

        See, I think that because they shout down other historical narratives, they try even harder to prove that Christianity (or at least, the evangelical version of it) isn’t hopelessly out of touch by making their services as unchurchlike as possible. As in, “Yeah we reject evolution, and we ascribe to a ridiculous Left Behind eschatology, but look! We play rock music! We’re Christ-like cruisin’! See, we’re not boring and out of touch like Grandma’s church is! It’s cool to be evangelical!”

  5. frcraig permalink
    July 22, 2010 8:45 am

    purpose of a church – to worship God; to love, pray and care for one another; and to be the Body of Christ in the world. The purpose of worship is NOT to get a spiritual ‘rush’ and feel great about myself, it is to give thanks to God for all his blessings. It is in saying ‘thank you, Lord,’ that we find ourselves in a proper relationship with God and dependent upon his grace. That may well produce a spiritual rush, as we grasp that it really isn’t ‘all about me,’ and perceive that God truly does love us. Sorry, but performance art is always about the performers, not about God.

  6. July 22, 2010 9:33 am

    I think this is the fruit of thinking that the purpose of the church is to be some sort of bastion of worship. It isn’t. Worship happens, but that isn’t the purpose of the church. The church exists only the serve the Reign of God. To facilitate that churches adopt liturgical forms that help orient us towards Kingdom goals (which is the product of individualistic thinking about the Christian religion) – here worship should serve to draw our attention towards the King and what the King is calling us to. I am convinced that in that we enjoy a real presence of God to which the only fitting response is worship – but worship should always culminate in a giving of ourselves to the service of the Kingdom. Which, BTW, has much grander implications than making us feel religiously comfortable

  7. Brigit permalink
    July 22, 2010 8:08 pm

    maybe this will cheer you up

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