"What will it be? Door #1, door #2, or door #3?"
Do you ever feel like church has become a really bad episode of Let's Make A Deal? Which door is the "real" Jesus? Or....the old version of Wheel of Fortune......"I'll take the Wednesday night suppers over there for $25, Pat. I'll also take the youth program over on the other display for $50. And I guess I'll take the Bible study class over there for $35. Oh! But I'll take worship for $500 over there!!!" There are so many choices. Sometimes they are so enticing, that you find people going to different churches for different pieces of their experience. Families are even divided. Parents go one place, kids go another. It grieves me.
Back to Let's Make A Deal. I woke up this morning out of a deep sleep because I was having a dream. I became so agitated and upset in my spirit that I had to get out of bed and find reality. You might find the scene funny in a way, though the longer I sat there spinning in my dream in this scene, the more panic-stricken I became. I walked into what I suppose was a worship service. There were people everywhere on the stage. The music was loud and exciting and they were playing, of all things, Don't Stop Believin'. There were some very intense guitar players working on their solo/duet and they were playing while moving up and down the aisles of the venue. I asked the person I was with why they were singing this song. It didn't fit a worship service. The person explained to me in a loud voice over the roar of the music, "Oh, they changed the words! Just listen!" So I tried. I heard the chorus: Don't stop believin'. Just hold on to that feelin'. There was a very organized routine going on up on stage. A very "Glee"-like choreographed routine. But I couldn't understand any of the other lyrics. Everyone was caught up in the excitement of the song and dance and guitars. They were having a blast! I still couldn't hear the "new" words. I remember being very confused in my dream as to how this was appropriate worship.
Then, as most dreams do, right at the climax of the moment the scene snapped to another place. It was a mobile upload to Facebook from a worship service. Someone was taking a mobile picture from out in the audience. The picture was of the stage where the worship leaders were leading. There were two yellow spotlights. One was positioned on the right and the other on the left. The two lights sent simultaneous beams of light to the center of the stage, illuminating the worship leader. The rest of the audience was in the dark. I saw no one singing. Everyone was standing and watching. It looked like a concert of some kind. The picture was being taken from within the audience DURING worship. The caption read, "Worshipping."
At this point I sat straight up in bed. I was literally sick. I just couldn't imagine being in the middle of true worship and popping out my phone and getting a quick shot of the band. I got up and had some breakfast and tried to stop my heart from racing. (this really disturbed me) It scares me to think that there are people out there looking for something that is missing in their lives. They are looking for something to fill a need that only Jesus can. Do we as a body of believers lead people to Jesus? I see many of us working very hard to meet people where they are....give them what they like. We wouldn't want them to think that Jesus is different than what they enjoy and experience every day, would we? Would we? If they are looking for something missing in their life, will they find it in what looks familiar, or in something different----something "set apart". Yes, there are many people who come to church because it is comfortable and inviting. In some instances it has been decorated to make them feel relaxed and invisible---"in the dark"---so that no attention is brought on them or anything required of them. They don't have to sing, they don't have to give, they don't have to participate....just come observe and watch worship. I wonder how many times we think about these people while we are worshiping. I think we (the church) have been so busy making the church and worship look like the world that we forget that there are people who are looking for a void to be filled. Are we doing these things to "attract" people...or to make church into what we want it to be. Are we so busy filling people up with Starbucks that we forget the Living Water? I mean, when you are at Starbucks do you choose water when there is a vanilla latte or a mocha frappuccino as an option?
There are literal readers who will get hung up on the specifics of my dream. I'm not. I don't presume to say whether or not one is a worshiping in spirit and in truth. That is what God determines when He looks upon our hearts. This is not a contemporary -vs- traditional argument. It's not a denominational dispute. I just know in my heart that if someone needs a Savior, they are looking for something different that what they already know. Are we set apart? Or are we so similar to the world that the nonbeliever is having a hard time deciding which door to choose?
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. ~Matthew 7:13-14