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 Vol. 4, No. 1 

 

January, 2002

  

~ Page 9 ~

 

Amusement,
Entertainment and Worship

By D. Gene West

D. Gene West We are living in a time of amusement and entertainment. If the entertainment is good and clean, there is nothing wrong with enjoying that amusement and entertainment for a period of time. But life cannot be just amusement and entertainment. If that becomes the case, then the joy that comes from the entertainment is soon obliterated so that it no longer holds for us the entertainment factor that it once did.

So entertainment conscious have we become that we are now being told by our school officials that schooling should not be in any manner like work, that it should always be fun and pleasurable to the children whom we are attempting to teach. We believe that this is a mistaken view of life, and that children should be shown the value of work and accomplishment, and not left with the impression that everything they do must entail some sort of entertainment.

This view has become so prevailing that many of the religious bodies in the US, and other places, have turned away from the concept of worship to the concept of entertaining people and calling it worship. The idea that every moment of the day for a child, or a young person, is to be one grand round of pure enjoyment is not in touch with either the realities of life or with good common sense. Life is not that way, and one of the days in the future of these children, they are going to have to suffer pain and anguish for one reason or another, but they will be unable to do that since they have never been taught that life can be both wonderful and agonizing. It is, in every sense of the word, a pity that children, in general, are no longer prepared to take hold of the difficult problems of life. So, not even "in church" are these children going to learn the hard lessons in life, because instead of worshiping God seriously they are taught that they have the right to be entertained. This philosophy comes from Satan, and it is his way of defeating the purpose of worship, which is to show reverence and respect, as well as adoration for the God of the universe. That which is entertaining has always drawn far greater crowds than has worship and other activities of a sacred nature. On a given Saturday night, it is very likely that you will find a greater number of people in almost any place of entertainment than you will find in the church buildings on the next day.

The purpose of worship is mainly perpendicular. It is to express homage, devotion and adoration to the God in whom we live, move and have our very being. Some parts of the worship of God may be horizontal such as when we sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord while we teach and admonish one another. (See: Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:18-19) If we come to a place of worship expecting to be entertained, we have not come to express the love, devotion and adoration of our hearts to the God of all grace. We have not come to give God something, but we have come to "get something out of the worship." What we expect to get depends upon how worldly our hearts are, and how badly we wish to be amused or entertained.

Some churches, both among churches of Christ and the denominations of the world, have given into this amusement syndrome and are turning their services into a coffee-drinking, donut eating funfest. The people are not receiving the meat of God's Word; as a matter of fact, the people during this type "service" are not even given the opportunity of worshiping God in the beauty of holiness. This type of worship is called "contemporary worship" and of this type "worship" the Bible never speaks either by name or by description. When, in the days of antiquity, man started this type activity because he became uninterested in the worship of God according to his will, it then became only a matter of time until he began to worship idols, and that is exactly what is happening in America today. The name of the idol is entertainment, and just as soon as the people tire of it, it will have to be replaced with something else that is more exciting or perhaps debased.

Those of us who are Christians must remember that "God is spirit, and those that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24) We must refuse to allow people to turn our worship into a period of entertainment!

Copyright 2002 Louis Rushmore. All Rights Reserved.
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