This week’s bad church sign of the week reads…uhmm…well…here we go:
“Fifty Shades of Old Testament Sex”
Wow. In the last year, the book, Fifty Shades of Grey, took America by storm. This story on sexuality had many giving it rave reviews and others claiming it was down right evil. And so what does this church do? Use this controversial title to lure passerbys into their church to hear how Old Testament sex is like the book? Better than the book? Not sure exactly.
What’s the problem?
The problem is that so many churches today borrow so much material from culture and then try to spiritualize it.
While it is used as an attempt to attract guests to a spicy topic, what often happens is that not much truth is proclaimed. More time is spent trying to advertise the series than prepare the Word. And oftentimes, churches can be so full of the culture that it is hard for a person to make life change.
The goal of many churches today is to make the place so friendly for an unbeliever to come that they feel comfortable. I am all about making an unbeliever feel welcome at church, but if the music, vibe, and message inside the doors is exactly the same outside the doors, it sends a mixed message that there is no difference in following Christ. Please know I am not a fuddy-duddy fundamentalist saying that all such efforts are dangerous, but many of them are.
It is a slippery slope when it comes to marketing church. When you make a church service feel exactly like what is felt in the culture, morality can often be lax. What draws the people in is what is needed to keep them coming. So you feel this need to come up with something more shocking each time and can (not always) take you away from the main thing. Good intentions have a way of clouding truth.
I just think of the underground church in China or the persecuted believers in the Sudan and wonder what they would think if they saw our attempts to spice up church and the Word. I wonder if our attempts would just seem so shallow and self-absorbed.
God, forgive me for the times when I tried to market you thinking that you needed my help to impact lives. Wake up the American Church.