My comments spring from reading this post which comes to my attention each day from one of my favorite sites, The School of Christ. I hope I don’t come off offensively or defensively, but please read the comments in the link first. It will explain the springboard for my thoughts. http://theschoolofchrist.org/daily/august26.html This was simply a thought provoking little note that reminded me about a recent church experience.
Certainly what is said here in the foregoing link is so. We cannot always identify spiritual maturity through years someone has spent in the physical body.
However – as someone who has reached the “golden” years and has walked with the Lord for nearly 40 years in a committed way, we are also charged with the commandment of the Lord to honor our “fathers and mothers”. Many older folks may have godly wisdom to offer, but are kicked to the curb in the organized churches and “assigned” to the cookie walks and the rummage sales. There needs to be more appreciation and more opportunity for those of us who are willing to share the guidance and principles of deeper discipleship with those who crave maturity in Christ. Yet these opportunities are virtually non-existent.
We may have much to offer spiritually, but even in churches I’ve recently visited (I’m not a member of any organized church), there is youth obsession and emphasis on numbers and using worldly means of “attracting” large audiences of people. Then they are left for spiritual babies ad infinitum, and real disciples are not made because there is no room for the mature. There is a continual turn over of younger people, and one wonders if ten years down the road they will not have left for even greater sensual gratification. Time will tell.
After all the real goal is not “church planting” and massive mega churches, but as St. Paul says, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (See Ephesians 3)
This passage speaks to the broader perspective of WHY people come to Christ. That cannot happen when the devil’s worldly and irreverent music and the devil’s corporate styled means become the methods for bringing people “to church”. The real deal goal of coming to Christ is “until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (See Ephesians 4). We need to get back to being the church – the holy body of Christ – being Jesus in the world. the Lord is not about getting large numbers into the church; He’s about making disciples, which frankly means being filled up with all the fullness and God… unto a perfect man, into the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
Where in the youth crazed churches does anyone see this? Where is there room for elders in this? So many of these organizations are so interested in using the world’s means to attain the Lord’s ends that they fall flat on their faces. All it reflects is an adolescent church mimicking an adolescent culture.
I recently visited one of these churches. I’m not saying that you cannot have lively praise sessions and the like, but it was a complete turn off, and quite frankly a mind altering mind programming event, that bore no resemblance to the Holy Spirit. It was a “soulical” circus that appealed to the flesh and simply represented no more than a “Christian-ized” kundalini raising and emotional hype! Not to mention the fact that the music was outrageously irreverent and loud to the point of creating a hearing deficit, and it went on for literally forty minutes, where the congregation was induced to join in the frenzy, to “prepare” them for the sermon.
How “spiritual” can that be? Or maybe a better question is, what kind of spirits are being invoked by such practices? It is easy to be deceived, especially these days, where sensuality is in and real Holy Spirit discernment is out the door, where the Church wants to mimic the world and pretend to do so in the name of Christ, instead of seeking the Holy Spirit for direction and discernment.
As someone who has also had training and experience with music used in integrative healing settings, I can tell you that this outrageous circus was anything but healing. It was nervous system jolting and frankly revolting!
Does it really take that much noise, cacophony, and persistent loud drumming rhythms to raise awareness to God’s Presence?
No, instead He says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
This isn’t a “generational gap” issue; it’s a serious spiritual discernment issue, and one where the Scriptural directives are being ignored.
It may be time to do as the desert fathers did – head for the hills and leave Babylon to babble on!