Don’t bring that ‘Harlem Shake’ to my church!
February 21, 2013
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The three month itch is back and most fad driven churches are buzzing with the latest fad in town. The rumor is if you do this (enter name of which ever church marketing strategy you fancy Gangnam style, Harlem Shake e.t.c), people will like your church or if you do that you will be considered a ‘relevant’ church. So every three months or less you will find all these self styled church growth gurus keeping a hand on the pulse of culture so as to keep the church looking trendy. The fads just keep coming and today it’s the ‘Harlem shake’ (see video clip below)! With all this craziness going on in church (just like when Kundalini and Slaying in the Spirit was a fad) there’s hardly any time for Bible study and hey don’t even speak about having reverence for the Lord or his house.
These relentless overtures to make the church more hip or more culturally savvy are in themselves a danger to any church. They downgrade the gospel, make people seek excitements as vehicles for their silliness and pander after entertainment instead of seeking Christ as a Savior for their sins. These excitements are a judgement to any church. Believers come seeking for bread and to be fed and you offer them stones! Oh brood of vipers, and you call yourselves Christ-ian (Christ-like)!
Ah, it’s just harmless fun in the sanctuary. No one is being hurt you reason – but some of these very antics only harden the hearts of many sinners to the gospel. (Let me take a deep breath here and add…) these antics when done in church actually blur the line between what is sacred and the profane. In the Bible such antics are called ‘abominations’ and at times ‘false fires’ and at other times ‘foolishness’. I cannot for the life in me imagine the Apostle Paul saying to the Corinthians, ‘When I came to you I chose to know nothing else but
Christ and Him crucified the ‘Corinth Shake”![Gasp!]
Please Mr. Worship leader guy or youth pastor or church growth consultant (wheeeew …. there are so many titles in church these days) do not darken the face of my Lord by trying to bring these endless fads to your local church or church youth group. Instead relentlessly and faithfully point the sinners and kids entrusted to you to the cross. The message may come forth with weakness and trembling but the gospel in itself has the demonstration power of the Holy Spirit (who is greater than any ‘Harlem Shake’). In the words of Edward Mote (the hymn writer) show me that my hope should be built on nothing less than Christ the Solid Rock so that I too can say:
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil. ~Edward Mote (1797)