Flash over Substance
The inspiration for this message just this moment came to me. I'd planned to write on another subject, but was overwhelmed by this one.
I'm watching this show called Studio Jams; it's a program on BETJ that showcases world-class musicians creating and recording music in an actual recording studio. As an aspiring musician, this show very much appeals to me. I was pondering the fact that these musicians, having put in endless hours of blood, sweat and tears to hone their craft, who are in it for the music, rather for the fame and big bucks -- why they're not household names, verses entertainers that are known more for their flashy shows, and sensual movements, than for true musicianship.
The point being that we, in this drive-thru, give-it-to-me-now, I-Pod society are given more to accept flash over substance. We are willing to accept anything that looks and smells good, even though it lacks depth. It is a society that is drawn more into the sensuality, than the deepness.
It is a worldly trait, and should be eschewed by God's people, but somehow, someway, this thinking has crept into some worship services. Some services these days are geared more for entertainment, than for worshipping God; the spotlight is being put on the celebrity preacher, or superstar choir or singer, than on Christ. Some services even include secular entertainers on their programs, which I believe sends a mixed message.
A service like this lacks depth, or rather the spirit of the service is lost, having been given over to a show-business-like atmosphere; and if the minister in charge goes along with this behavior, doesn't speak out against it, or is the cause of it, reflects a shallowness in his own christian experience.
The remedy is the Holy Ghost. The Spirit should set the tone for the service, and we're to follow His lead, instead of trying to lead Him. This puts the focus on who it belongs - on Jesus, and the congregation will share in His Experience, instead of being entertained.
God deals with the depth of a person's heart, which is reflected in that prson's service toward him, instead of the superficiality prevalent in some churches today. He wants the substance, not the flash.