worship

Is Modern Worship Too Entertaining?

David Murrow says worship has been entertaining for hundreds of years.

Have churches become too entertainment oriented?

Many of my readers have been sharing a blog post titled, “The heresy of worship-tainment” on their Facebook pages. The author writes:

…we should be concerned that so many people in our churches want to be entertained while they worship. We should be concerned when we no longer recognize the difference between the two. And we should be concerned by the growing belief that adding more entertainment value to worship is necessary for the church to accomplish its mission.”

News flash: the church has been in the worship-tainment business for about 1700 years.

Ever since Constantine created the public Christian worship service, churches have entertained their members. By the early fifth century Christians all but abandoned the house-gathering model, in favor of a weekly public meeting patterned after a Greco-Roman stage presentation. Clergy performed up front, while laity watched.

For centuries, church was the best show in town. Christianity democratized the theater, providing rich and poor alike a weekly performance featuring music and ceremony, staged amidst ornate décor and fine sacred artistry.

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