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.”
“These passages [1 Cor. 3:16, Eph 2:19-22, 4:11-13, 4:14-16]… show us a church that gathers in the midst of the world’s pressures, under the hopeful warning of Christ’s return, encouraging one another and building each other up through the presence of God’s Spirit by immersing itself in God’s Word, singing and proclaiming the gospel. The fruit of the gathering is not just a strong individual, but a strong church, united in faith. Continue reading
“The holy church of Christ is nothing else but that congregation which is sanctified in spirit, redeemed with Christ’s blood, and sticks fast and sure to the promises that are made therein…”
“All her honor and cleanness is sure and fast before Christ. If any of her goodness appears to the world, she makes no virtue of it; she does not think herself anything the better because the world thinks well of her, for all her trust is in Christ only…” Continue reading