Friday, August 26, 2005Sitting in class yesterday, I noticed an open copy of the campus newspaper. There was an ad on the page promoting the "Contemporary Worship" service at an old church downtown. When I say old, I mean that the congregation has been there for well over a hundred years. It's an established church in an old South town, and that brings certain baggage - both good and bad - with it. At any rate, the church began a contemporary service a while back. The service, incidentally, takes place during the same time as "regular" worship, but it's completely separate. The church runs commercials on local television and as I just mentioned, there's advertisements in the campus newspaper and around the town.
My question in all of this is "why?" The advertisements might be fine for new students in town or even new families looking for a more contemporary setting within this denomination. But what about nonChristians? What about them? I'm not talking about nominal Christians raised in church who've wandered off the farm. I'm talking about those people - college students, young adults, even families - who don't attend church, don't put a lot of stock in Christian beliefs and just don't care. Their unbelief might stretch beyond apathy and into the area of antagonism. So why in the world would they care about Christianity masked in upbeat acoustic music? I'm pretty sure they wouldn't. I've never met an atheist over the age of fifteen whose opinion of Christ hinged upon the instruments used in church. Maybe this is a matter of straining at a gnat. I just think that this idea that non-Christians are going to accept Christ on the basis of a worship service's outward appearance is flawed. People will come to Christ based upon relationship, not cultural relevance.