18 August 2007
Entertainment versus Preaching
John MacArthur says . . . " There seems almost no limit to what modern church leaders will do to entice people who aren't interested in worship and preaching. Too many have bought the notion that the church must win people by offering an alternative form of entertainment. Just how far will the church go in competing with Hollywood? A large church in the southwestern United States has installed a half-million dollar special-effects system that can produce smoke, fire, sparks, and laser lights in the auditorium. The church sent staff members to study live special effects at Bally's Casino in Las Vegas. The pastor ended one service by ascending to "heaven" via invisible wires that drew him up out of sight while the choir and orchestra added a musical accompaniment to the smoke, fire, and light show. It was just a typical Sunday show for that pastor: "He packs his church with such special effects as ... cranking up a chain saw and toppling a tree to make a point ... the biggest Fourth of July fireworks display in town and a Christmas service with a rented elephant, kangaroo and zebra. The Christmas show features 100 clowns with gifts for the congregation's children."Shenanigans like that would have been the stuff of Spurgeon's worst nightmares. And even Tozer could not have foreseen the extreme to which evangelicals would go in paying homage to the great god Entertainment. "