Who Turned the Lights Off in American Churches?

Who Turned the Lights Off in American Churches?

on August 18, 2017

The first thing I noticed about the church service was the complete darkness of the sanctuary. But even more striking than worshiping in what felt like a cave full of college hipsters for the first time away from home were the repetitive songs rife with “Christianese” (exceedingly vague metaphors that even I, having spent my whole life in the church, had a hard time unravelling).

Something in the song was always on fire, be it our hearts, this nation, our generation, this place, etc. Lyrics to the effect of “You are good/I am loved” appeared in every song. Repeated phrases, extra choruses, unnecessary “yeahs” or “woahs” intermixed with guitar solos replaced the songs with actual doctrine and theology that had stood the test of time. I didn’t think much of it until I noticed the emotional reaction coming from the congregation.

People were reacting to the music in ways I’d never seen. Arms waved high, Bethel wristbands glinting in the multicolored lights, interpretative dances being evoked in the aisles, and a barefoot pastor laying supine in front of the stage (“It’s called soaking,” I was later told*).

I was dismayed that the beautiful lyrics that had made knowledge about God accessible to the masses had been traded in for cheap slogans. Conduct that once demonstrated reverence was replaced with behavior that could fit in at Coachella. I suppose that long gone are the days of Bach and his unrivaled genius but I wonder: How are Christians supposed to combat the scourge of secularism by conforming more to it?

I often receive criticism from fellow believers for maintaining such strong resentment for the watered-down, three-chord, acoustic guitar songs that replaced the hymns and organs of my upbringing. And honestly, it is a well-founded critique. Words like “prostrate” and “Ebenezer” tend to alienate people who are seeking the Gospel but weren’t raised with the Church vocabulary. And it’s completely fair to point out that, at the time of their conception, now-traditional hymns were berated for sounding like (and even taking the tune of) well-known bar songs of the day.

One of the most profound summations of worship I’ve ever heard is that to participate in worship is to force the body into agreement with what the heart and mind already know. Worship music unites. It sums up truths in fewer words and more emotion than a lecture could muster. We are created to be emotional, intelligent, empathetic people who can testify to the existence of our Creator’s love not just because it makes rational sense but because we have also experienced it first-hand.

But with all these valid criticisms, why maintain such a strong opinion on the musical stylings of the likes of Hillsong and Chris Tomlin?

The problem is that most of these shifts in worship styles have been done in response to the mass emigration from stratified religious structures happening all over the United States.

Some religious authorities blame it on secularization, others on millennials, others on technology or on snobbish church-goers. Many of these diagnoses may very well be true, but how is the church going about solving these problems?

The fear is that in pursuing 21st century relevance, the Church is straying ever farther from its original purpose.

The purpose of the Church body, in the wake of Christ’s ascension, was to establish a support system for believers to gather, worship, take care of one another, and minister to the surrounding community. They were called to be set apart from their idolatrous surroundings and be a holy testament to the character of the God they served.

What happened to corporate confession of sin? To communion? Why do mission trips double as exotic vacations while outreach to local communities has atrophied to the extent that churches are the most segregated institutions in the nation?

A dear friend recently recounted to me an experience that highlights this problem to a tee. The church in Seattle he recently joined was sending a group of adolescents (plus an appropriate number of chaperones) for a missions trip to Hawaii to address the issue of homelessness.

Now do the homeless populations of Oahu need Jesus just as much as anyone? Of course. But does this group of teens and their parents need to take an expensive (and sponsored) trip to a tropical island where over 40 vibrant church communities already work in this area of ministry? Probably not. Especially considering the fact that this church was conveniently located in the city with the third largest homeless population in the country (behind New York and Los Angeles, respectively).

The issue the 21st century Church faces is not one of relevance, but rather, one of straying from its original purpose. We have tried to make perfect truth “perfect-er” and “truer” instead of clearer and more accessible.

Truth is always relevant and it is always in short supply. The only place to find truth in abundance is in the Holy Scriptures. Humanity and its problems are constantly shifting but sin is ever present and the need for a Redeemer is ever unwavering.

It’s not hard to make me cry in a church service: Great is Thy Faithfulness (in its original form), baptisms (infant or otherwise), and Easter services get me every time. But what I fear most for the future of the Church is that these emotional responses have become synonymous with being moved spiritually. Ravi Zacharias, the renowned apologist put it this way:

We have bought into the philosophy that we need to cater only to the emotional faculty of our believers and so we manufacture feelings in our churches… Feelings are a powerful thing but they should follow belief not create belief. In our churches, this whole move towards an emotional, celebratory stance [is] born in [a] doctrinal vacuum where the person knows less and less of why [and] what they believe but more and more about how ecstatic they are because of it.

Even though I’m not a fan of their doctrine, I love how Quaker meeting halls are notoriously devoid of clutter. There is little more decoration in the room besides the rows of stiff, wooden pews lined up between white walls. But if you asked a Quaker to describe his sanctuary, it would be far from a drab account. He would describe the huge windows that line the otherwise barren walls, overwhelming the room in natural light. The space is meant to symbolize the very presence of God saturating His gathered people in His truth.

I beg of you, church in America, please don’t turn your lights off. Keep the sanctuaries and truth illuminated for the world to see.

Meeting House Room at Friends Meeting of Washington. (Photo Credit: Friends Meeting of Washington | http://quakersdc.org/Welcome/photos)
Meeting House Room at Friends Meeting of Washington. (Photo Credit: Friends Meeting of Washington | http://quakersdc.org/Welcome/photos)

*Just as a note to the reader, I’m not opposed to your hippie worship ways. God made us all differently and I’m glad your restless heart has found its peace in its Maker. But please don’t mind me if I politely decline the invitation to join you on the sticky floor.

  1. Comment by Peter Dietz on August 18, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I would like to get a hard copy of your “Who Turned the Lights Off….article. Our church worship service sounds similar to what you describe. Do you do hardcopy? Yes, I would contribute to your effort.

  2. Comment by Joyce Baughman on August 19, 2017 at 2:04 am

    Wonderfully put! It is exactly how I perceive what is happening in the church today. The music that has touched hearts for hundreds of years suddenly is abandoned and replaced to satisfy our ever changing culture. The pews are gone…having been replaced by theater seating. The church has taken on the appearance of a concert venue. The pastor wears levis with holes, the expensive kind, to make everyone feel comfortable. Some churches have strobe lighting to manufacture excitement. It is all so sad.

  3. Comment by Larry on August 19, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Outstanding! Unfortunately this article is steeped in truth that will reach those who are blinded by secularism and self serving theological doctrine. Too many today want to rewrite history and that includes the Holy word of God, which I’ve heard some pastors state is “not infallible”; a concept that will send those who believe it on the path to Hell. God bless you Savannah!

  4. Comment by Randy Thompson on August 19, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for this. Entertainment isn’t worship. Attempting to be culturally relevant to a decaying, declining entertainment culture is never a good idea.

  5. Comment by Dan on August 19, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Good article Savannah!
    And some of us are getting older and don’t want to trip in a dark sanctuary.

  6. Comment by Cynthia Lanning on August 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you! This is an insightful synopsis of so many issues in modern worship and I am so happy a member of the younger generation has this insight. Our United Methodist church has a blended service (frequent contemporary music and zero to four hymns each Sunday). I also grew up in church (in parsonages, no less) and love the beautiful hymns, but for some people in our congregation (and not just young people) the hymns are actually painful, though being loving Christians, they endure the hymns for the sake of the older generation. The language is inaccessible for them and the style of music completely foreign. Fortunately, there is some good contemporary Christian music, especially the music that quotes Scripture such as Psalms. Our worship leader works hard to find theologically sound contemporary Christian music. But sometimes the wine just doesn’t taste the same from the new wineskins.

  7. Comment by R. Ausley on August 22, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    I just love people who ” write articles” about what church should be like. Why not go and start a church and show the rest of us how it’s done? The Great Commission has nothing to say ab worship styles, music, pews, hippies, or anything else non essential…..your article should be about making disciples (essentials) rather than non essentials…..”I have become all things to all people that I might win some to Christ”…..not “I have maintained the traditions and hymns of the last 200 years because I think it’s best”……

  8. Comment by April User on August 23, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    I think you are confusing evangelism with worship. Two different goals, purposes, and actions. You are correct that evangelism requires that we meet people where they are at. However, I think worship requires that we approach God with a different purpose. That most likely will take on a different form.

  9. Comment by J on August 31, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Worship is not a non-essential. It’s why we are saved and the very purpose of our existence, so it ought to be given vast amounts of thought and attention. How we worship ought to reflect what we believe. The whole point of the article is that modern worship doesn’t reflect our beliefs, but what contemporary society wants: to be entertained. Becoming all things to all people does not mean that we abandon reverence before God or cater worship to the lowest common denominator. Worship isn’t about us (though entertainment “worship” is just that – a focus on what makes me feel good). Worship ought to reflect what most pleases God, not what most pleases man.

  10. Comment by John on July 21, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    I have a direct question Ausley, and it is result oriented. Since you have been trying to gain them with this approach, how many of them have you gained and retained in the faith for a minimum of 1 year?
    -The human mind CANNOT help God.

  11. Comment by Daniel on April 16, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    This is idolatry, not evangelism.

  12. Comment by Rev. Gregory Farra on August 23, 2017 at 6:47 am

    The notion that hymns were taken from ‘bar songs’ is not true. You can read about it here:https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/did-the-wesleys-really-use-drinking-song-tunes-for-their-hymns

  13. Comment by April user on August 23, 2017 at 8:17 am

    I think some church communities have confused outreach with worship. We make the service “seeker friendly” by denuding it of the essentials of worship (confession, Eucharist, prayer). We expect that unbelievers will come into our church building so we shape our “worship time” in expectation that they will come. Meanwhile, believers are denied the forms and content of true worship by their pastoral staff.
    Two different goals; two different modes.

  14. Comment by Nick Stuart on August 23, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Question for the contemporary worship mavens:

    “What’s the point of congregational singing if the congregation can’t hear itself singing”

    [“God hears” is a cop-out]

  15. Comment by Jorge on March 20, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Amen!

  16. Comment by Jim on August 25, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Your piece is so welcome reading to my eyes. Thank you for putting this so eloquently. The expository preaching of the scriptures, something that takes a lot of work, time and effort, is not on the top of the majority of our American pastors. The emotion of music that has an aroma of the culture has replaced the scriptures.

  17. Comment by Bob on August 31, 2017 at 8:00 am

    What you win people with you win people to.

  18. Comment by Paul Meares on August 31, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Worship comes from a heart that knows it has been saved by grace. If your heart can only worship with the old hymns, then you should by all means stick with them. I happen to love both musical sytles and find my heart worshipping and seeking to glorify our awesome God in contemporary music just as much as old hymns. Many conteporary songs quote scripture as well. Who are you to judge entire churches by music or lighting? Do either let you see hearts? Do you think all contemporary services are the same? I have been to churches steeped in the old hymns that were completely dead. I think you might be surprised by the worship in heaven.

  19. Comment by Dan McCoy on September 5, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    One of the worst things is when these smirking vandals write a “cool new tune” for an “outdated old hymn”. Aarrgh!

  20. Comment by Sharon on October 21, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Savannah, your article is spot-on! May I have permission to re-post this on our music ministry blog? http://prioritypraise.blogspot.com
    Thank you, and many blessings to you!

  21. Comment by MG on April 10, 2018 at 6:07 am

    Well said, rebuttal? It’s a sad thing to see/ hear, churches going “abstract” and yeah secular; but it’s not just that- they have adopted “other” doctrines, and made them by their own efforts “just.” The pastors and people have taken unto themselves secular cheap copies of false Bibles; making all they do or say “just.” Without really wondering why or how one could fall prey to false doctrines and Bible. Scripture is Spiritually discerned. And Doctrines were meant to be taken from examples from the Word of God, not accepted ideals. However, though not “just,” God said this would happen- It should not come as a shock to us, but a feeling of sadness, disappointment, yet a glimmer of hope for when these things begin and continue to happen, it’s even closer to the Lord’s return, where He will certainly restore a trodden down and fallen church- and justly judging it by His Word.

  22. Comment by Pastor Lee on June 19, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    I am preparing to teach a new series called “The Fall of Judas” and guarding ourselves against a falling away. I am deeply concerned with the lack of knowledge and understanding of doctrine in our society today. I am concerned that many have begun to worship the emotionalism that can come with worship. Yet, at the same time, I don’t know that being critical of other believers is a good way to go. To say that churches who have taken on this ‘contemporary’ style are compromising with the world, I don’t believe is fair. Let’s look at this from a historical point of view. We know that in Jesus’ day, they sang psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19). This is our command, is it not? How do we now decide which of all of the music that exalts Christ over the centuries fits this command and which do not? It seems from this article, this decision is being based on style and lyrics. But the songs Jesus sang are not the songs of neither the ‘contemporary’ services nor the ‘traditional’ services. I am not a musician, but when I look at the psalms, they are not the same style as what we sing today no matter what church you go to. There are no choruses many times yet every song I know, both new and old has a chorus. Should King David be able to hear “Blessed Assurance,” would he say it is a compromise with secular society because of the different style of lyrics and musicality from what he wrote. If the disciples were to hear “Amazing Grace,” would they also declare it a compromise with secular society because it compared to the music of the day rather than the music of the Bible.

    The concern over people and churches not focusing on doctrine is so right on in our day. I say amen to every point dealing with this issue. But to yoke a lack of doctrine and the problem of emotion-worship we have in the church today is just as concerning. I doubt that David’s songs were of the same style and form as Miriam’s. Is one right and the other wrong as this article seems to suggest? I can’t imagine that is how the Lord sees it. Whatever songs the early Israelites sang, they still worshipped false gods and fell away. Whatever songs the early Christian church sang, they still had problems with adultery and gossip. At the height of what we now call ‘traditional’ music, the church struggled with legalism and a judgmental spirit. Now, whatever is sung in contemporary services does not stop sin within the church. My point is that the style of music is not the point. The point is that we need to return to doctrine and Scripture and a good Scripture for this article would be Ephesians 4:29

  23. Comment by Deborah Billups on August 25, 2018 at 8:30 am

    I’d like to weigh in on your reply. As a pew baby I heard songs from my mother and father as well as the congregation that I had no. Experience with. I .. Nor did I understand their relevance to my life as a child and especially as a teenager. During my teenage years I cried out to God to save me. Through relationship with God I now could say I once was blind but now I say like people 30 to 50 yrs older than me. I saw the Light, because it was in my heart. From Abraham to Moses to Joshua, David or Paul I’ve never felt a disconnect or misunderstood God preceded their worship. I’ve thought these people’s lives and problems they wrote about all led the reader to know and seek him for a personal relationship. These people had less and had multitudes of as large as in the 10 s of thousands or more to lead. I liked the music of my generation but I was found by the god of the scriptures. He made me understand more perfectly the relationship gap and was the bridge between believers then and now.
    Keep the lights on.
    If I want to go to sleep or watch a musical or movie in the dark I’ll go home, lay on the couch, without lights and eat popcorn with it.

  24. Comment by Tamera Smith on July 3, 2018 at 9:55 am

    I have also noted the darking of services. To the point of having difficulty finding a seat. One major absence is altar calls. Where have the altars gone? I bought an old Christian hymnal to read or sing during my personal prayer and communion time. I do this in my private place to just sit at Jesus’s feet and give him all of my worship. Ninety-five present of my study, prayer, and worship at home. I pray these traditions come back for our younger Christ-followers. Amen.

  25. Comment by Ed on April 29, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    So true – our sanctuary at our local church is no longer sanctified, it was become dark like a nightclub, high top tables have been added to the sanctuary where pews once sat and now coffee and donuts are served in the sanctuary like a coffee house – during worship and preaching. People no longer have a reverence for the House of God.

    I’ve often said our Country has kicked God to the curb, now the Church has kicked God to the curb and have believed a lie that this is how you get people into the church.

  26. Comment by Laurie A. Roy on July 24, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Thank you for revealing the truth!and bringing the light into the darkness(no pun intended-well,sort of) great article!

  27. Comment by LN on August 23, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    I grew up in a church with traditional songs and hymns and now attending a church with band and contemporary songs. I love both and can praise and worship in both environments because praise and worship is supposed to be connecting our soul and spirit to God the Almighty, to praise and worship Him in humility. I never have problem with both. But Yes, I’m concerned about the lighting issue. Why do churches who play contemporary praise and worship songs such as Bethel Music or Hillsong, have to turn off the lighting? It kinda gives us an atmosphere of discotheque. I think they should turn on the light because we are children of light. We are better worshiping God in light than in dark. Don’t turn churches into a discotheques.

  28. Comment by Dr. T. on August 30, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Very refreshing and needed, in the ears of true worshippers. Back2Basics.
    Everyone opinions matters, however, it’s how others dissect those opinions, that will have the greatest impact on future generation.

    Remember: Keeping oneself unspotted from the world is mandated in James 1:27 KJV….

    Colored and/or dim lights are reminescient of wordly affairs..such as clubs & concerts.

    If a people must worship by candle light , let it be because of an outage of power ONLY !..

    John 9:4 …In short, light matters!

  29. Comment by Dr. T. on August 30, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Reminiscent of..typo

  30. Comment by Bill on October 20, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    People will have the form of Godliness but not worship the true God. For they that dwell in darkness hated the light. Satan is always trying to lead us a stray by false practices and false whorship. Your article hits the nail on the head. I don’t have a problem with music but I think so many of the songs don’t praise God anymore they seam all about me and I. Because people don’t read the Bible they just rely on the pastor.

  31. Comment by Charlotte on November 15, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    Something I have been concerned about for so long. Thank you.

  32. Comment by Mary on November 24, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Jesus needs to be lifted up! Turning down the lights makes no sense. I like to follow along in my bible and underline, etc. You can’t do that in the dark. Jesus is the light of the world. Out the lights back on!

  33. Comment by Imad on February 5, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    Exactly.

  34. Comment by Mary on November 24, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Out the lights back on! This is not a theatre, it’s the house of God! Let’s Gryffindor darkness and be the light! Come on people!

  35. Comment by Gary S Nonnemacher on January 12, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    We left a church a few months ago for what I believed were good reasons. Since then, we have been appalled at the monotonous music in nearly every church we visit. At our old church, we had a great variety of musical styles because we had no “music pastor” doing what he or she liked every Sunday. I led music a few times and used hymns from the 1500’s, contemporary favorites, spirituals, and everything in-between. Something for everyone would be a good thing, but that apparently makes too much sense…

  36. Comment by Gregg Doyle on March 27, 2019 at 8:02 am

    I believe the root of the issue is how professional ministers view the church members as their tools, and sermons as their power to grow their church/denomination. I believe there is a fundamental failure to understand how personal and instant access to every commentary, bible version and alternate opinion, has changed the way we view the spoken and written word. We are bombarded with words and messages all day in every way. In response we have developed powerful cognizant filters that words can hardly penetrate. Jesus came to be the word through action. From my perspective the power and purpose of Jesus’s words ” I came to save the world, not condemn it.” has been completely missed.

  37. Comment by wes on April 21, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    I have led worship for many different groups and in many different environments. There are some reasons for the lighting being darkened in the sanctuary or worship hall. Sometimes, when trying to lead larger groups, having the lighting lower in the room will pull peoples attention to the stage, where the bright lights are. if you were to leave the lights on in the sanctuary, it takes longer to pull people out of their conversations or phones. It’s just a mind trick. it helps people focus on the important thing, the worship. It also really can help people who are nervous to really show any type of physical or emotional worship like standing up or raising their hands. finally, many churches have begun to record their services and put them on the internet. having the lighting right is key to making a livestream or a video look nice and be the quality that people have come to expect.

  38. Comment by Reuben on July 23, 2019 at 12:35 am

    Along with the modernized laser light show has come the form fitting skin tight clothes of the worship leaders. I can now get a full visual of what a womans bust size is and what her hips and rear look like. Its eye candy to go al9ng with my spiritual meal. And the skinny jeans on the guys with mohawks is encouraging as well

  39. Comment by Robyn on August 25, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Thank you for this. It seems to go along with NAR, not all churches that do this, but many of them, sadly. I do not feel part of the body of Christ when the lights are so low that I can barely see my neighbor, or read along in my Bible (which I notice very few in these services seem to carry). It’s more like attending a rock concert than a worship service to the Lord. This is not my quote and not sure whose it is, but it apropos. “What the majority of American churches call worship is nothing more than entertainment. We have nice buildings, music bands, seats, air conditioning, transportation, and more; yet we are so poor spiritually.”

  40. Comment by wayne on September 8, 2019 at 10:09 am

    What would Paul have to say about about the situation is what I ask myself. I am not getting a definite answer. Personally I like some of the contemporary services. Though it seems like through out history the churches and church leaders seem to be of the more simple, common nature. If the lights were turned up and the the music turned down in the mega churches, would the word of God be enough to attract and keep the crowds?

  41. Comment by Carrie on September 16, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Excellent article. Thank you for shining His Light on the darkened church. God Bless you.

  42. Comment by Deborah on January 19, 2020 at 6:45 am

    Worship is a lifestyle of personal devotion. What we do in secret comes to light. If we Christians would take more time to pray, fast and read the Bible in our daily lives, we would actually become the thermostat in our churches instead of the thermometer. Let us not forget that the body of believers are the church who assemble in a building.

  43. Comment by Oma Trisha on February 4, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    I have been searching for a new church since I moved back to this area a year ago. I have had to leave several services early because the music was so loud it gave me a migraine. Is this really worship, or is it a concert? Does it enable the average church member or visitor to set aside the cares of the world and focus on God, or is it meant to entertain? Do we need a darkened auditorium, spotlights, and fog machines to proclaim the Majesty of Almighty God? What I see from my seat in these environments is less and less participation, especially when the “worship team” chooses songs with too many words or a melody line outside the range of many average singers. It is becoming a spectator sport instead of a way of coming together as believers to give reverence and awe to the God who gives us hope in a lost and dying world.

    I I know this will age me, but I was taught that praise and worship served a purpose, and that was to bring us into the throne room of God and prepare us to hear what God wanted to say to us. It was a way of setting aside the worries and concerns of daily life, unifying us as a people, and focusing on the One who could give us hope when all hope was lost. It was, at times, a sacrifice, especially when we were struggling or hurting or angry. It was a way of declaring that even in the midst of our trials and tribulations, God was still on the throne, and we were going to set aside this time to focus on Him instead of ourselves.

    Our worship team was seen not only as a vital part of the ministry of the church, but also as people who set an example for young believers and newcomers. We dressed appropriately, wearing modest clothes so as not to draw the eye of the weak to areas they shouldn’t be looking at. We were not seen as the focal point, but rather as vessels. Our goal was leading the church into the presence of God. Being on the worship team was a privilege and a responsibility.

    I fear that in the search for contemporary relevance and relatability, and in an attempt to get more back sides in the seats, we have lost sight of our vision. We have watered down the truth of the Gospel to pacify people who want to come to church, but don’t want to change. They want to feel good about what God has done for them, but they don’t really want to do anything for God. They don’t want to alter their lifestyles, give up their sinful behavior, or make any significant modifications to their lives.

    We have taken the phrase “Come as you are” and forgotten that an intense, sincere relationship with God will not leave you where you were when you began. Failing to challenge believers to become more holy, to be in the world but not of it, and to seek to become more Christ-like is falling far short of the mark of excellence we are called to as Christians. We should be different. We should be peculiar, odd, & seen as out of place on this planet where sin, hate, strife, and division are spiraling out of control. We should be a light in the darkness.

    It is simply not enough to come to church on Sunday, sing three songs from the current CCM radio station playlist, listen to a feel-good sermon, and walk back out the doors unchallenged and unchanged. That is not worship…. It is entertainment.

  44. Comment by Reverend Ranay Brown on February 15, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    This is an opinion piece…not solid doctrine.
    We all worship God in our way…we are each beautifully and wonderfully made.
    I can worship my God…anywhere!
    Either in a old country church with pews and hymns…or in a media driven, darken sanctuary with a 15 piece band.
    To each their own.
    However…as a child of the 60’s…as a “hippie” that loves Jesus, I am offended in your closing statement…
    “Just as a note to the reader, I’m not opposed to your hippie worship ways.”
    This borders on name calling. The problem in the church is we’ve forgotten how to love each other. We’re called to love. Love doesn’t mean we tolerate…doesn’t mean we condemn. Please hear me…hear the Words of our Lord.
    yes…you’re entitle to your opinion, but it shouldn’t tear down other generations…or peoples way of living.
    Why would the world..want anything to do with Jesus when the church is inward bickering?
    I’m a hippie! I was one before you were born. I will always be one. I will wear my patchouli and birkenstocks til the day I die. I treasure the free spirit of my generation.
    Be kind.

  45. Comment by nancy on March 1, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    it’s especially noticeably dark at my church on a sunny day. It’s like why is it so dark in here, until my eyes get accustomed to it. Yes we have loud worship music and lights etc. I love God and I worship God at church and everywhere I go, it’s a lifestyle of worship for me.
    I like sitting up close so I don’t get distracted. I want to hear the sermon and take notes and I have my bible.
    Why people chat during the sermon is annoying to me.

    I come to assemble myself with other believers.
    Most of my learning I learned in Bible school, studying the word. I continue to study the word every day.
    I listen to sermons every day. Holy Spirit is our teacher.
    I have a thirst for God. I want to learn by listening to God’s voice. He is my Shepherd.

    I am the light of the world. God says so.

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