Some who read this particular post might find it offensive, but it’s what I feel like writing about and it’s my blog, so you can always feel free to stop reading and leave. 🙂
I don’t think God particularly cares for churches with loud rock music, built-in coffee and gift shops, or disco lights during sermons. Those things seem to me like they’d be disrespectful to God. It’s been a long time since I visited a church with all of those things (what is often referred to as a McChurch or a megachurch), and I still can’t shake the thought of how un-churchlike it was.
It was a giant building and the church contained so many members that it was impossible for the pastor to get to know everyone (or at least every family) on a personal level. Yes, it’s great that this many people were interested in becoming Christian and who professed to be Christian. It bothered me when there were mass baptisms performed in the church. To me, baptism is a big deal. To be baptized means that you’re initiated into Christianity and you have taken the first step of a journey – to follow Christ and to become more like him. Maybe all those people who were being baptized legitimately felt the call to become Christian.
To me, Christianity is about self-denial and austerity. It’s about giving up earthly things in order to become more like Jesus, who was a heavenly figure. Big churches like that don’t seem like they’re all about self-denial, what with the coffee shops and the rock music and the disco lights and the comfy movie theater-style seats and the large congregations full of people who may not truly believe. Commercialism and materialism don’t belong in church.
Yes, it may be fun to go to a church that plays Christian rock instead of that old-fashioned organ music, but church isn’t supposed to be about fun or about those doughnuts you’ll get when you leave. In my eyes, when you go to church for a weekly service, the reason you’re going is to renew the promises you made when you were baptized. You’re going to cleanse yourself, to make yourself spiritually ready for the trials of the coming week, and to learn more about what it means to be a Christian. You’re not there to “rock out” or to necessarily feel good about yourself. You’re there to look upon your own flaws as a human and determine what you can do to become a better person.