Entertainment & Church

Came across this powerful quote from Lutheran scholar Gene Edward Veith in a book I was reading today.  Thought I’d pass it along to you:

Entertainment is not the purpose for going to church.  Indulging ourselves in aesthetic pleasure is not the same as worshiping.  Churches dare not choreograph their worship services to add entertainment value, even to attract nonbelievers

To do so in worship… risk undercutting the Christian message.  Ours is a culture wholly centered upon the self.  The church must counter this egotism, not give in to it.  The Bible calls us to repentance, faith, service, and self-denial–qualities utterly opposed to the entertainment mentality.

In Christian worship, the congregation is not the audience; God is the audience.

Gene Edward Veith quoted in Philip Ryken’s “City on a Hill: Reclaiming the Biblical Pattern for the Church in the 21st Century.”

Gene Veith on Preaching

ip

“Whether preaching the need to conform to society, reform it, or separate from it, all these options are theologies of the Law, not Gospel.  They reduce Christianity to rules, behavior, and codes of conduct–neglecting the fact that human beings are in such bondage to sin that they cannot fulfill the Law.  More profoundly, they neglect the fact that Christianity is about God’s grace, the atonement of Christ, and the forgiveness of sins.  Put another way, in their ambitious kingdom-building, they exhibit the theology of glory, rather than the theology of the cross.”

Gene Edward Veith, Jr.  “The Spirituality of the Cross