7 Church-Destructive Trends that Need to Go Away
There's no denying that there are differences of opinion among Christians about how to best worship God on the Lord's Day. Some things are relatively innocuous and shouldn't be argued over — things like what temperature to set the thermostat at during the service and whether to have cushions on the pews or not. Sadly, other differences of opinion steer into doctrinal issues — things like who is allowed to take communion and the authority of the Bible in the life of the church. Still other disagreements split the difference. While not reaching the level of doctrinal disputes, the following seven church trends are points of disagreement that hinder the health of churches.
7. The Desire for Authenticity
Among other buzzwords, the desire to be authentic has become somewhat of an idol among many contemporary churches. For starters, if you have to desire and strive to be authentic, well, in a word, you ain't. Churches that aim for authenticity often come across as staged and false. What's worse is that "authenticity" is often code for "being my true self," i.e. who I really am. Well, our true selves are sinful and deceitful. Christians shouldn't desire authenticity; Christians should desire to be changed into the image of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
6. Children's Church
These next two are similar. With number six, well-meaning adults are doing their children an unwitting disservice. The thought behind children's church is well intended: provide a time of Bible learning specifically tailored to children that is also fun and engaging in ways that will help keep their attention. However, it's ok for children to be bored. And while it's important to teach children the Bible, it's also important to teach them about what it means to be an involved member of the Bride of Christ. Parents should be using the rest of the week (and Sunday School) to teach little ones about Jesus in ways that are geared specifically toward their age group. During the worship service, children should be taught that church isn't about them; church is about God. Christians are called to hear the preaching of God's word as a corporate body. Children should be in the worship service, listening to the preaching of the Bible. Let 'em wiggle some, it'll be all right.