CRUNK HIP HOP CHURCH SERVICES THAT VIOLATE 1 CORINTHIANS 14!
Posted by Job on August 22, 2008
Please read 1 Corinthians 14 before continuing below. This is not about my trying to impose a particular cultural viewpoint on Christian worship, for I am actually quite liberal about such things. Instead, this is about fidelity to God through scripture (which incidentally is the only way to be faithful to God despite what you might have been told by a false preacher or false church). What is below will basically be a straight lift from I’m Speaking Truth.
My recent foray into learning about “crunk” youth ministry services (and “more crunk” youth ministry madness) has taken me on a journey into YouTube. It seems as though the old “seeker sensitive” model has become…well…stale, and “relevant churches” are looking at ways to really attract worshippers club goers…and their kids.
Journey with me into the valley of the absurd:
“Does Your Youth Pastor Get Crunk? Ours Does!”
“Youth Pastors Gone Wild – Youth Pastor Dance Off”
“Pastor (Sermon Illustration) Gone Wild”
**at least this idiot pastor had the sense to wear a helmet
1 Corinthians 1:18-20 (New American Standard Bible)
18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written,
” WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,
AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.”
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
Paul was right – the simple message of the Cross of Christ is foolishness to those who don’t know Him, yet we are compelled to share that simple message clearly and concisely so that regeneration can take place.
When the Cross is “lifted up” – the message alone will draw men to Christ (John 12:31-33), NOT a clever marketing gimmick that appeals to our momentary attention span.
Clearly God is using the foolish wisdom of the world displayed in the videos above to demonstrate that you can’t emulate the world while seeking Him. Unfortunately, it is our undying love for the things of this world that continue to manifest in the garbage you see above:
1 John 2:15-16 (New American Standard Bible)
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
Lord have mercy…
Now as to why I am liberal about such things … imposing one’s personal cultural worldview on how people must conduct services and worship God hinders the spread of the gospel. That was Paul’s primary concern in opposing Jewish Christians that were trying to impose circumcision, the holidays, dietary laws, etc. on Gentile converts. Also, we must admit that the way that we have traditionally worshiped in the west IS NOT the way that the early church worshiped, a fact whose implications are lost on many fundamentalist, conservative, and liturgical Christians. So if Paul did not insist on conducting worship in a manner that didn’t bar the door to the hearts of people that were not raised in Jewish religion and culture, we should not be “modern Judaizers” to people who are alien to our preferred religious traditions.
With that being said, 1 Corinthians 14 still applies. Worship service should center on Jesus Christ. Worship service should honor and glorify Jesus Christ. Worship service should not demean or degrade the gospel message, the worshipers, or the gathering place of the faithful. There is a real difference between appropriating certain musical styles created by the secular world – i.e. rap, rock, bluegrass, country, or traditional Asian/African/Celtic music – into Christian worship and actually emulating the confusion of the world. How can you tell if you have crossed the line? Simple: by asking the question “now why am I doing this?” If you honestly think that the meaning of “At The Cross” or “Amazing Grace” can be more effectively communicated to people in India using the Bhavageete form or to modern American kids using dancehall/ska, then great. But if you are doing it merely to entertain people or simply to appear fashionable, then you would be better off replacing your praise and worship service with a period of quiet prayer and reflection at the altar.
Do not misunderstand me, I do not advocate eliminating praise and worship … no one who takes the Old Testament seriously would do such a thing. I am only stating that praise and worship should be done in a God – honoring Biblical fashion or not at all. Best illustration: it should be possible to do a Christian or gospel performance according to the rap, hip – hop, R&B, rock, etc. style while wearing a three piece suit or choir robe just one would if you were in a concert choir singing Handel’s Messiah i.e. the video below. (Yes, I know that the video below is not how the early church worshiped, this is merely to illustrate a point.) or streetwalker prostitute vamping) attire and do the base profane screaming, crotch grabbing, gang signing, head banging nonsense from MTV (or even VH-1) and bring it into the church in order to do your “performance”, then it would be far better for you to remain silent and allow those that are willing and capable of conducting praise and worship in a decent orderly God honoring fashion take your place.
But if you have to take the street thug posturing (