Lately I've been reading in the blogosphere about the dire straits of worship in the church and how it's trying to "get something going." This shows up in the music, the entertainment sermons, and so forth. I think this must be a true assessment since for the past three years, during the summers, I take a few weeks off from my own church here and there to visit other churches my larger area (Northern Los Angeles County just above L.A. City). I go to all types of churches within the "evangelical" tent. Some are Charismatic, some Pentecostal, some non-C/P but kind of open to the C/P worship expressions, and at least one very anti-C/P one. Except for the one anti-C/P one, where I truly did sense the glory of God and no one was trying really hard to "make something happen," the rest were pathetic. And it's sad I have to say the anti-C/P one was the best one. Among the worst were the Charismatic and Pentecostal churches which seem to be dead as a doornail. Of course, I didn't go to any Third Wave Charismatic churches as I consider them to be either bordering on, or pell-mell into, the occult.
The first thing I noticed when I visited these churches was the absolutely awful greeters/ushers. Doesn't anyone train these people? It really makes me appreciate my church which seems to have the best of these around. I've also heard this from our church leaders who have visited other churches. They report back to us that our greeters and ushers are remarkable. They actually say hello to you in a welcoming voice. In many of the churches I visited, you wouldn't believe what passes for greeters and ushers. But perhaps I will blog about that another time since today's is a totally different theme. In every church I visited (except at the anti-C/P one) the worship team tried very, very hard to get "something" going. I guess that "something" was the Holy Spirit's presence. I wish to report to you, sadly, that they failed. The Holy Spirit was nowhere to be found (except of course inside of believers, hiding out). The sermons were even worse, if that was possible. Dry, dull, long, boring, mostly psychobabble and self-esteem teaching. Those teachings that were more Biblical were just dead, dry and tedious. Why? Even though most of the churches 40 years ago were fairly dispensational and anti-C/P, many of the sermons seemed to be more Spirit-led than the ones I hear today. Somehow, and for some reason, the Holy Spirit has left the building. Why? Part of the reason, of course, is the apostasy that has flooded into the church. But what about those that are still hanging in there with fairly cogent doctrinal views? That is a mystery to me and I will be looking for answers in the future. I do know where we should be headed. And, I've said this here before, toward a much more Pentecostal view - a balanced one between Word and Spirit (revelation). Then why are the Pentecostal chruches so dead? Aside from those that have strayed from the Pentecostal foundations, I must admit I don't know why. But I intend to find out. So stay tuned here as I begin to concentrate on finding the answer to that question and dilemma.
Wimps & Whackos
1 day ago