Church or Concert Hall?
by Patricia Backora
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Church or Concert Hall?
John 4:24; I. Cor.Chapter 12; Eph.5:18-19; I Pet.2:5,9
Many of My people today confuse worship and praise of the Spirit with staged, polished productions of MEN. Artistry and elegance are incorporated into today’s typical “worship” service” in order to gain the praise of big crowds. Ethereal choral singing, accompanied by professional musicians, has replaced heartfelt, free worship which proceeds from the Spirit-filled hearts who come to seek Me. Soft lighting and endless repetition of carefully selected choruses stir befuddled minds up into a “rapture” of altered consciousness, enough to get them to loosen their grips on their personal judgment, and on their wallets.
I desire My family of born-again believers to worship together as equals from the heart, as one Body in Christ. My church is to be a FAMILY, a community of faith, bonded together in the Spirit of the Love of Christ. My people are to care for one another seven days a week, not just habitually “have meetings”. Furthermore, “church” is not some building. The Church of Jesus Christ is My PEOPLE scattered throughout the earth. In its local manifestation it is the assembly of the saints who come together to worship Me in Spirit and in Truth, and who express the Life of Christ toward one another, by means of the impartation gifts of the Spirit.
Contrary to My express will, Old Testament patterns are being incorporated into today’s New Testament Church worship “to liven it up”, “make it more relevant, “enrich it”, and “reconnect it to its Jewish roots”. In doing so, the priesthood of all believers is blurred and all but forgotten. A fundamental difference happened at the Cross. Whereas the Old Covenant was presided over by the Levitical priesthood, ALL my people are priests under the New. But in losing sight of the difference, My ONE Body, where all are to relate to one another as brethren (Matt.23:8) has been divided by some into “clergy”, or “spiritual Levites” at the front “ministering to” (instead of) “laity” out in the rows and pews. A cold distance keeps the two (sometimes hostile) groups apart.
David set aside some of the Levites as musicians, others as singers, others as music directors. That was fine for his generation, but many churches, especially large, wealthy congregations, are getting so absorbed in professionalism and finesse that the whole purpose for their gathering together is being lost: to edify one another in the faith, and to share as equals the gifts I have given them.
Many of My people feel like throwing up their hands and giving up, where it concerns following the true example of the early Church and reaching out to the lost. Instead of being salt and light in the community, the utter ugliness of today’s world drives them into their palace of praise, where they cloister themselves and make “church” one big exciting concert to help them feel happy and forget their cares. Much of today’s religious music is laced with unscriptural doctrine and carnality, appealing to raw emotion instead of leading many to repentance and renewal of faith.
The Gifts of the Spirit are being suppressed, beloved. The “sheep out in the pews” are not-so-subtly encouraged to just sing along to the song sheet, clap their hands, and dig in deep when offering time comes. But as for the Nine Gifts of the Spirit, it makes modern mega-church ministers nervous whenever they DO begin to manifest in the assembly. Carnal programs OF MEN are being substituted for My plans and purposes for the assembly of the saints.
I didn’t die to create a concert Hall, beloved. I died to create a Household of Faith who are free to worship in Spirit and in truth.
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This will be an unpopular message that will not be recieved well by the "mega-church" of today. We worship the singers and musicians rather than focusing on God. I sincerely hope that this article touches the church and and brings our priority back to God.