Been sitting and pondering, that's what I do in the dark, by the fire, with coffee.
I confess to reading religious periodicals and listening to media preachers at times. I do think it needful to be aware of what is being said and promoted. When looking to the welfare of our congregations as pastors we must be, to some extent, aware of what they are exposed to. I also confess that this produces thought to be addressed later, such as now.
When I look to scripture I find that God established the Church, as He would by the way, with a very simplistic manner of worship: singing, praying, and preaching. When I begin to examine what is viewed and accepted as "church/worship" today I find glaring contradictions.
I won't even begin with the blatant contradiction proposed by those that have 'forsaken assembling' and have solaced themselves with whatever. Then there is what has replaced singing with all out productions and performances that would rival Broadway and the Vegas strip. What prayers I hear are obvious routine and prepared for the purpose of pleasing and stirring men and not acknowledging God. There again not even to mention the thinking that regeneration is a simple decision and saying a few repetitious words and now, "Welcome to the family of God", please!
Yet what has begun to become vividly obvious is that what is presented as preaching today is nothing more than religious 'self help' theories and programs designed to attract those seeking to embrace a system that will motivate them to pick themselves up out of the mire of depression and circumstance to exercise mind and heart in their own efforts to in turn give them some false sense of hope of assurance they are a child of God because of what they are doing. "Oh, you can't save yourself or trust in men, but you need to accept what God is offering you today before it is forever too late." Thus, "TRUE" faith has become confidence in what we have understood and do instead of what Christ did and finished. Lord deliver us from ourselves!
Where is the pure gospel of Jesus Christ declared? Where is Christ alone taught and believed? Where are the hymns of praise sung to a sovereign God who works and none can hinder? Where are prayers poured out of the hearts and souls of men that need God? Where is the assembly, yes the congregation, that is met for the purpose of hearing from God? Where is it that tears flow from the eyes and down the cheeks of those heart broken because of sin and grief of self and not because of laughter at some jester that mocks God and truth? Are we a post-Church society that has totally pushed God and truth from our lives to accept the religious clamor of empty men? The answers are too close to home. What is your vision for worship????