Thursday, March 19, 2009

"New and Improved God"

You just when you thought you had found the perfect product to use; they come out with the New and Improved version of it. The advertisers tell us we need to stop using the product they got us to use 6 months ago and start using the better version of the product. We then go along with their claims of the product being 'again' the best thing since sliced bread and we start buying and using the New and Improved version; which has less product but a higher price tag. Hmmm?

When did new and improved mean less for more? I started thinking about how we have done some of the similar things within the confines of the church. The church has now become a major commercial entity attempting to attract 'customers' to their sanctuaries. They put out slogans which demonize the way your grandmother did church, and say it's a new contemporary style of churchin' without the tradition of old church. I've even seen where they say, ' come to where we do church right', what? These places are pitching a 'New and Improved God' and what people are getting in return is 'Less God' at a 'Higher Cost' to the individual.

I remember when they changed Coke's formula after what was it 100 years, and said the new Coke would be the stuff. The people drank the new Coke and didn't really care for it; so they brought back the Old Coke and called it Coke Classic. The original Coke worked and wasn't anything wrong, and when they attempted to change what work the people went against it. The same I believe is happening in churches everywhere; the people aren't getting the Word of God the way 'Grandma' got it and the people want it.

So, let's stop with all the cliches and what not, and get back to preaching and teaching the Gospel the way the Lord intended it to be done. The last time I checked; we couldn't improve on God anyway no matter how hard we try.

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11 comments:

Z said...

Unbelievable that you used the Coke analogy...My bible study lecturer used that exact same analogy for the exact same subject last week, IHS! Great one,isn't it.

Following God isn't the easiest choice until you've lived that choice, then I found it to be positively the easiest, having those guidelines and boundaries. Excellent.

Lots of churches are preying on those who want God-Lite...

Funny, about 30 minutes away is a huge church founded completely on the BIble and run by John MacArthur. He never flinches, he never sells God's word short and people are flocking in...who knew!? Not very typical, sadly.

I.H.S. said...

God-lite. I like that, Z.

Blessings.

shoprat said...

It's always been that way. The reformers who got closer to the Bible had growing Congregations while the reformers who moved "beyond" the Bible saw their congregations fade into away.

Yehudi said...

So, let's stop with all the cliches and what not, and get back to preaching and teaching the Gospel the way the Lord intended it to be done.

I couldn't agree more! Well said! My recent post elaborates on this as well. Be well, and Shabbat Shalom!

Leslie said...

Excellent post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this issue. It is THE thing that is causing my husband and I so much trouble in finding a church to go to!

I don't want contemporary or commercialism in services...I don't want what man can generate! I want the Holy Spirit to work in the service, run the service, and control the service!

I want to hear the Word of God preached. I don't need anyone trying to make God look "cool" or trendy or anything like that. God is God! There is no improvement that man can make on GOD.

It is very disturbing to see the marketing of churches these days. I want the old paths:

Jeremiah 6:16 "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein."

Z said...

Shoprat, that's mostly not how it is here in LA anymore...the more they've moved to NAME IT AND CLAIM it, the more popular they are. I believe LA isn't an exception, sadly. Do you see it more like you describe?

sue said...

In a way that is how I felt about the movie The Passion of the Christ. If the Bible said that Jesus suffered and died on the Cross, then I felt that we didn't need Mel Gibson to improve on that.
(However the movie did make a huge impact on many people.) I think people are always looking for 'something more' but they aren't going to get it. We have the Bible. Period.

Paul Maurice Martin said...

But it's not so easy identifying God Classic. God doesn't fit in a bottle and there's no label.

And every denomination of every religion is sure they're partaking of the living Coke, so to speak...

Z said...

Paul M M......but, if the Word comes first, before anything, that IS the 'real Coke'. I realize there are denominations which tweak and interpret, and that's mostly fine, except the ones who tweak the most usually tweak in the direction of "that feels better!" And, sometimes, 'better' isn't what God wants, or at least from what He says in the Scripture. you know? Seems to me like it's more the NONdenominational churches which do this, by the way.

I know something like INFANT BAPTISM is a less "popular" or "Feel good" subject, but it is definitely one of which many disagree. And, there are such good Scriptures on both 'sides' of the issue, it's hard to ascertain the Truth...very interesting stuff.

Papa Frank said...

Z -- a little funny about infant baptism for ya. When asked if I believe in infant baptism I just respond by saying: "Believe in it? Hell, I've SEEN it." Hee Hee

IHS -- I would submit to you that the Old Coke and the New Coke are each flawed. And though they are far apart in methodology they each suffer from the same exact flaw. That flaw is believing that there is a certain way to "do" church. As soon as we have dwelt on that subject then we are already defeated and already our focus is off of The Way. The Way is not a methodology but rather a person. Anything that points directly to that person is good and right and ANYTHING that takes our focus off of that person, even for "good" purposes, is not good and not right. In any methodology this should be the only question: Does this point to The Way? All else is futile.

I.H.S. said...

Papa Frank, you said:" The Way is not a methodology but rather a person. Anything that points directly to that person is good and right and ANYTHING that takes our focus off of that person, even for "good" purposes, is not good and not right. In any methodology this should be the only question: Does this point to The Way? All else is futile."
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And, I would agree with you that it is about the person Jesus, but there is a method to get to Him and what I have found is these comtemporary churches aren't even looking for Him directly but rather indirectly. I'm by no means a 'man-worshipper' but I do think there are people of the Lord who's true desire is to seek and please God, and who are pointing the way for others; this is the type of person I strive to be everyday of my life.

And, the one thing I have found to maintain the proper balance and focus is to repeatedly question myself... am I where He wants me and am I pointing the way to Him clearly so others can see and follow after Him for themselves?

Always glad to see you coming by, thanks.

Blessings.