1O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. (Psalm 95:)
In today's episode we find Pastor Leo discussing changes in the Church with Pastor Otto Hassock. Listen:
"Last Sunday I dismissed my congregation a little early and it so happened your church was still in session. Do you realize how loud you have your amplifiers Otto? I could hear them half way down the block with my windows rolled up and my own radio playing. I just thought you'd like to know."
"Yes Leo, I know they're loud. That's the way they like them. I would prefer the music to be a bit quieter myself, but we have to please the congregation."
"We have to please the congregation you say? And when did this become a rule Otto?"
"You know what I mean Leo. If we're to bring people into the church, which is our job, then we have to give the people what they want. The young people want loud Christian rock music, and the older people want their cookies and coffee. It's my job, well the headship of the church, to supply their desires."
"That's an interesting outlook I must say Otto. I always believed it was the job of the church to supply the people their needs, not their wants."
"You're getting technical on me Leo. You know what I mean. We can give them their wants in order to bring them in, then give them their needs at the same time. Isn't that so?"
"I'm afraid I don't see it that way Otto. It's been my experience that if we begin feeding our wants with our finances, our time, and our efforts, then our wants increase and our needs are laid to the wayside. Have you ever noticed that people with an addiction or a craving for something will feed that craving at the expense of their own health and financial security, and at the expense of their family as well?"
"You're talking about an addict Leo, not a converted Christian. A Christian is not an addict. You know that. The two are at opposite extremes of the spectrum. Addicts are not in the church."
"That I would have to agree with Otto. So now tell me again, why are you giving people what they want? Is it because it's what they crave, and it's what they're used to having? Don't you see a discrepancy in your thinking?"
"Leo, you're behind the times. You have to be aware that times change, and so does the way God works with His Church. Look at the way He changed His dealings with mankind after the flood. Then again with the nation of Israel. And again with Jesus and the Church. God moves, and we have to move with Him. If God is calling for, and blessing a movement toward the youth and their desires, then who are we to argue with Him?"
"I thought God didn't change, and therefore we have to change to fit His desires. Where do you get the idea that God is changing with the times?"
"Just look at the facts Leo. Since I started having loud rock music and a table of goodies, the church size has doubled. That means God is blessing the church, and He's giving His blessing to what we're doing. Doesn't that make sense to you? One and one is two."
"Yes, and one times one is still one. I have to agree with you Otto that feeding the world, that is the church, what they want increases the size of the church. My church has decreased in size considerably since I took over. But I'm not here to increase the number of people filling the pews, My job is to feed the congregation with Spiritual meat. I find there are less and less people craving meat any more."
"They crave milk Leo. And I give them milk. They're still babies, you have to keep that in mind. And babies can't handle strong meat."
"So in place of strong Spiritual meat you give them loud music and donuts. Do you think God wants His people to satisfy their bellies and their ears Otto?"
"He must Leo. He's bringing in the people to the church by this means. And the more people in the church, the more souls are saved. And the more souls saved, the less full hell will be."
"That's right, I had forgotten that you feel a body in a pew is a soul that is saved. I myself don't see it that way, but we've discussed that issue many times. I do have something I'd like to ask you on a more general level. When we were younger we heard a great deal about loud noises damaging the emotions, the hearing and the nerves of people. Do you recall this at all? Considering this fact, then what does it say for your loud music? Another thing, you say you feed the older folks donuts and coffee. Do you think that's healthy for them? Especially considering the high incidence of diabetes and obesity?"
"You're splitting hairs Leo. The music isn't all that loud, and everyone does not have to drink coffee or partake of the cookies and the cakes and such. That decision is on them. We just supply it for those who desire it. We don't make them eat it."
"I recall a man who sold drugs and worked as a clerk in a bar who expressed the very same reasoning. You then believe the music isn't doing any harm to the ears of your parishioners, even though I could hear it a block away. Is that correct Otto?"
"The Bible tells us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. And that's just what we're doing Leo. There's nothing unscriptural about what we're doing."
"I take it then the Lord must be very pleased with the rock concerts and jet engine factories. I disagree with your logic Otto. But it is, as you say, a sign of the times. And it does bring people in off the streets. And I suppose that is what the Church has become, a hiding place from the rain."
6As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. 17But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. 18But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. (Jer 44:)
17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2Cor 6:)
11And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. (1Kings 19:)
23Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. 24But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. (Amos 5:)