For It Is the Power of Entertainment Unto…Unto…Entertainment

Which is better: A “dull” preacher who presents the Gospel accurately and in the power of the Spirit, or a really entertaining kind of guy who maybe gives a muddled presentation of the Gospel, kind of?

I’m sure you would agree that between the two choices, the somewhat dull fellow presenting under the power of the Spirit of God is the way to go. Why? Because the Bible says in Romans 1:16that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Unfortunately, people ignore this and use entertainment in place of the Spirit of God.

Here’s what happens when you try to appeal to the young flesh:

A tip o’the hat to Phil for reminding me of this. My not so bright but still Vastly Overpriced Webmaster is STILL trying to get my stuff off the old sever. But I digress.

Do I have to augment the Gospel to make it attractive? No. To the unsaved, to those whose hearts God has not opened (Acts 13:48) the Gospel is a horror, it is the smell of death (2 Cor 2:15, 16). Nothing I do is going to make the message attractive. Sure, people will come around because they are entertained. And yes, people will come back and fill the pews. And they will continue to fill the pews as long as I continue to keep them entertained and avoid icky subjects like sin, judgment, and repentance.

But the only thing you will have done is mix a bunch of the unsaved with some nominally authentic Christians. And the only way you will keep those unsaved, unrepentant enemies of God (Romans 8:7) there is to avoid preaching the Gospel and continue to keep them entertained, thus starving the Christians.

Do you think you have to make the Gospel exciting and attractive to draw the youth? A couple of churches (First Baptist Church of Glenarden on the Kettering [FBCGotK] and Zion Church (a First Baptist wannabee)) have a program called Merge. Here’s an article from the Washington Post from about a year ago. I suspect the head preachers imagine that doing this is going to draw boys and girls into the church. And they are right. These events will draw teens and young adults into the church, the church building. And notice what one of the young men says: He would rather be involved in Merge than to be in church. So explain to me how that works. How will this young man mature if his only contact with folks is in what really looks like a rock concert? How do any of the youth at the event come to any understanding of salvation? I’ve listened to some of Staton’s sermons. If Jenkins and company are depending on Billy Staton to present the Gospel, and to present it effectively, then the children being ministered to are not actually being ministered to. They are being entertained – and misled.

While I’m probably being unfair and taking a single photo grossly out of context (but somehow I don’t think so), here is some of what went on in the “service.” And it’s true that I’m jealous of the lad because I haven’t been able to jump like that for at least thirty years. If I were to try that now, I would likely jam my pelvis into my spleen.

Did Paul have a night of entertainment using a multi-million dollar sound system, high def LCD screens, and a cutting edge light and video system? Last time I checked (take a look anywhere within Acts) and you just won’t see anything like that. And I guarantee you it wasn’t because he didn’t have electiricity. He didn’t use entertainment as a “witnessing tool” because he understood that the Gospel, not entertainment, is the power unto salvation.

You say you can’t engage people if all you do is present the Gospel? Then why in the world did the Jews get so…um…engaged with Stephen that they stoned him? (Acts 7) That seems pretty engaged – and enraged. Look at the transcript of what he said. He pretty much provided a history lesson, with the climax being an accusation of killing the very person they were waiting for.

And why did over three thousand people come to Christ through Peter’s rather ordinary presentation (Acts 2:14-41)? It seems the only thing he did was present scripture and a history of Israel in her disobedience. No great entertainment value there. Peter, when he was witnessing to a high-powered roman officer, just gave the Gospel (Acts10:34-44). As a result, the house was turned out. There was no Greek theatre troupe, no choir, no nothing.

So what am I saying? One of the tools the pimps use to increase the size of their congregation is to provide their sheeple, and their potential sheeple with slammin’ entertainment; praise and worship entertainment, preaching entertainment, and special occasion entertainment. They don’t deliver hard hitting sermons. They don’t seriously challenge the congregation. They don’t competently expound on the Scriptures. Instead, they twist the Scriptures to appeal to the sheeple’s greed and fears. They twist them to convince the sheeple to give them money.

Present the Gospel, the whole Gospel, in season and out. Present the power of God not the talents of singers, dancers and video unit operators. It’s not about high-powered lighting or dynamic graphics. It’s about Spirit-powered preaching. It’s the edification of the congregation. And of course, pimps can’t edify without losing their victims. And if they lose their victims, they lose their Lexuses Lexes Lexii their expensive luxury cars. And it wouldn’t do for them to drive the same kind of hooptie their congregation drives.

Try some of these guys if you want the Gospel and not a lot of pandering.

9 Responses to “For It Is the Power of Entertainment Unto…Unto…Entertainment”

  1. Cuir Says:

    Fantastic post. keep going!

  2. missyann Says:

    What kind of pastor is this Jenkins? Everybody was laughing at what was going on! We are truly living in tbe last of the last days. My heart breaks for all of those ignorant people. If they thought what was going on was appropriate, they can’t be reading their bibles.

  3. DPoole Says:

    I’ve been battling the same thing where it concerns Youth Ministry, (or what passes for Youth Ministry nowadays). It seems pastors believe that all we have to do is get young people in the door, and God will do the rest. But all we’ve done is use carnal means to try and acheive a Godly objective. It doesn’t work! So now all we have are a group of carnal teenagers who couldn’t get a prayer through or quote John 3:16 if their lives depended on it. HIp-hop and church DON’t mix anymore than oil mixes with water.

  4. djdesignz Says:

    Truthfully it’s not just Hip Hop, it’s ENTERTAINMENT and the Gospel that don’t mix. I’ve heard many justifications for using various forms of ministries in Christendom as a means to “win” souls. And I was one who embraced many justifications under the guise of relevancy, until I understood that any short comings in methods used to reach the lost aren’t because of the Gospels inadequacy, but because of the inadequacies, selfish expectations and inconsistencies in the lives of the vessels representing/presenting the Gospel.

    We call it “ministry”, but when you break it all down, much of what goes on in Christendom today is simply a form of entertainment. I’m not trying to discredit those involved in music ministry, for certainly the bible gives credence for its use. What the bible doesn’t validate is the belief that souls can’t be reached without some form of “relevant” music or entertainment as the Gospel messages lubricator! In effect, taking the Gospel and adding a beat to make its message more palatable for the lost.

    So now, we can attach “souls won” as a means to justify any particular ministry. In other words, now I can take credit for what the Spirit of God is supposed to be doing, but who we’ve in effect rendered ineffective by virtue of appealing to and appeasing the flesh of the lost souls!

    Selah… God forgive us!

    I Ain’t Nobody!

  5. bloggsf29 Says:

    Charge an admission instead of an offering at the door by calling it a concert.This would not stop the gyrations but it would help pay for the concert organisers limo!!

  6. Robin Says:

    I’ve been concerned for our youth for years now. We are making the church so much like “the world” that i’m afraid they’ll never be able to tell the difference. Young adult lounges, Gospel go-gos – where does it end?

    Jesus didn’t repackage the Gospel to make it more palatable, so why do we feel compelled to do so?

  7. yupyup Says:

    ugh… all i think of when i see all this attempt at “relevancy” is…


  8. warrenma Says:

    No words! What in the world, is going on with the Church? What ever happened to “come out from among them and be ye seperate sayeth the Lord”?

  9. Marie Gordon Says:

    Who are the men in the photo at the bottom of this blog?

    (MN: Spurgeon, Edwards, Baucham and Redmond. )

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