Friday, September 30, 2005

Power Team and a service that "hums"

"North Port Church puts muscle in its message." That's the title of an article that appeared September 24, 2005 in the Sarasota Herald Tribune. It is an article on the (in)famous Power Team's show being performed at the South Biscayne Baptist Church in North Port, Florida--about an hour up I-75 from me. The Power Team performers claim that their performance "converts two nonbelievers for every congregation member who attends."

The church's pastor, John Cross, is quoted as giving this gem of wisdom about effective church ministry and worship: "It's all about the weekend, about making the service 'hum' ... It should not be presented in a stale, boring way."

The article goes on, "Between the theatrics, members of the group lead the audience in prayer and talk about how religion changed their lives and got them out of trouble." "The show at South Biscayne ends with the Power Team inviting people who want to accept Jesus into their lives to come to the front of the stage" and then be immediately "submerged in the church's portable baptism tub."

All of this for only $50,000. If we could get the Power Team to break into teamlets and then put on a show in every SBC church over the next year, why, with a conversion-to-member-attendance ratio of 2 to 1, we could probably see 8-10 million people baptized in 12 months.

(HT to Mark Fuss)

48 comments:

Sojourner said...

I'll break a brick with my head if it'll help.

Kelly Randolph said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. This is another evidence that evangelicals in general and SBC in particular have become a mile wide and an inch deep. If our statistical pattern holds true, one of the two "converts" from the service that hums will never have any meaningful relationship to the church. For them, it will be "all about the weekend" because that is the last time you'll see them. They will leave with a false sense of security never having understood the gospel or believer's baptism.

Kelly Randolph said...
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Kelly Randolph said...
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One Salient Oversight said...

A well written article. I love it when just a little sarcasm says it all.

Stephen A Morse said...

If you want to come down front and be identified with us and let your church claim that you identified with Christ...more power to you!

I saw them one time and then spent the night trying to rip a telephone book in half...guess what..I did it! It just takes time and technique...
Hey...I might try it Sunday morning and move up on our Associations baptism list.
What do you think?

GeneMBridges said...

If the service hums, where's the percussion section? Sorry, couldn't resist...

And all this for only $50,000...

I'm all for paying the workman for his wages, but at the same time, if you wouldn't come and do it with the spirit of Paul's ministry, then your price is too high and your show is too big:

"Or did I commit a sin by humbling myself so that you might be exhalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge? I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you, and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone, for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so."

Ryan said...

When I was a kid the Power Team came to our church quite a bit. At first I would think that it was cool, but later in the performance the men would try to blow up a hot water bottle while walking through the rows of seats. I was always afraid that the bottle would blow up when the man was standing near me. I don't recall ever thinking that the Power Team had anything to do with the Gospel.

mark said...

it seems that entertainment, "bigger and better" is the order of the day now, including the upcoming conference apparently endorsed by our own north american mission board:
www.catalystconference.com
an emergent church flavor is definitely discernable, from the featured speakers and their websites. note especially donald miller, author of "blue like jazz." God help us and the convention...

Jeremy Weaver said...

Sojourner said...
"I'll break a brick with my head if it'll help."

And, for something a little different, I'll break my head with a brick.
Are these the same guys I saw on Trinity who bound God to save ten thousand people for every baseball bat they broke?

Tony said...

So what does one do the next week, sermons while bungie jumping into the baptismal? The adage "what you do to get them is what you must do to keep them" seems all too true.

Chris Whisonant said...

Here's another church that was using some muscle at their service last week...

pastorleap said...

personally, I prefer preaching in a clown suit followed by a dog (my own) jumping through a flaming hoop. That usually "brings in the sheaves."

My how far we've fallen.

Chris Whisonant said...

This whole "seeker sensitive" thing really gets me. Personally, I play guitar in our contemporary praise band, but we really try to worship and lead people in worship. So, I'm not against trying more modern things in worship, but I'm not big on the whole entertainment church like the one I blogged about with the pastor flying as superman on their two big screens and then coming on stage in a superman outfit. There has to be a line drawn at some point!

A big church in Charlotte, NC (Forest Hill Church) is now simulcasting their service to a movie theater here in Rock Hill, SC (about 20 minutes south). This, to me, is way too much. They're just beaming their service to a theater for people to watch. As far as I know, it's just trying to get people to watch their service who can't make the trip up the highway. It's all too much to me!

Scripture Searcher said...

Alas! ENTERTAINMENT has become the "god" aka the "golden calf" of many both in and out of the contemporary so-called "church."

You can attend a first-rate CIRCUS or CARNIVAL for less than $50 and use the balance
to purchase TREATS for the kids - IF they promise to ride your church buses.

Tim said...

Hey Tom,

What about stage diving the next time you're really in the Spirit:)?

How sad that the shepherds don't even know how to take care of their own flocks, nor do they know what to feed them.

Jared Moore said...

Tom,
Great article. The scary thing is... is that this doesn't even seem to be as far as the pragmatic mindset will go... only the middle. Such a scary thought.

On another note, would you be willing to post the reason why this type of "ministry" is wrong? I assume that you hold to the regulative principle... I wonder how those who hold to the normative justify drawing a line before the event which you mentioned... I'm curious as to what the guage is... from what I can tell, it's relative to a point... but, the point is then different from church to church. Any thoughts?

Gary said...

I saw the PT in a SBC church in our town several years ago. The theatrics were fun to watch - the men are talented. However, (bolded and underlined) - the invitation was open to first timers and those who wished to "rededicate" their lives - and both groups were lead in a "sinner's prayer" - and all were tallied as new converts (at least verbally by the PT crew) - they may have been back the next year - I did not take our teens. Persuasive hype and bad theology are a dangerous mix.

David B. Hewitt said...

I definitely hold to the regulative principle of worship, and if we are calling a gathering of something like the power team a worship meeting of the church, then we certainly err.

However, if they were to say, come to do an event in a church that was not a regular worship meeting, it would appear that the objection would not be as strong.

I do have concerns about how people are led in a "sinners prayer" of course. There are definitely some things that need to be adressed.

I will agree completely that if the point of bringing them is to have "a service that hums" then we've not only missed the mark of what worship should be, but have unintentionally degraded the "non-humming" worship times of our church as something second rate to the power team events. That saddens me.

HOWEVER, all of that said, is there anything wrong with getting the power team as a group? I have indeed seen them before, and though was concerned about false professions then, I did note a few genuine ones. They were not in a standard worship meeting either; didn't even call it a worship time if I remember correctly.

What are views on that? I'd love to have some more input.

A slave of Christ,
David Hewitt

Reasonating Truth said...

The question that should be asked: is this a "worship service" or an "event." Terms like regulative vs. normative have been thrown around which indicate a worship service. Now, I understand that Tom's article described the "service" that hums, but were they truly having a service? Was the original intent for the PT to lead people into worship like a Sunday morning service? The line must be drawn somewhere, but by the varying degrees within the posts listed here, a Billy Graham crusade could be considered "over the top." I doubt anyone here would accuse Billy Graham of being out of the will of God. We should definitely draw the line at the PT conducting a worship service (probably not even appropriate in a sanctuary), but I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with it being an event. The danger then is that anything a church sponsors which includes a salvation message, i.e. family fun-fest, an outdoor concert, or a pic-nic at the park, would be considered inappropriate.

I also question the "jokes" that have been thrown about so recklessly in this post. Many of you have accused and derided the "whatever it takes" philosophy of evangelism - and rightly so. How different is that from what you have done to prove your point? Yes, I understand that it's all in fun, but so much for godly discussion. We've all just patted ourselves on the back instead of bring forth the truth in love.

Michael & David said...

From the dictionary...

entertainment: to hold the attention of with something amusing or diverting.

There is nothing wrong with being entertaining with a message. Don't we want to hold their attention and communiate life-changing truth? I certainly don' twant to be boring. The problem comes when there is more entertainment value than truth value. Or when there is no truth at all.

The problem was not that the pastor or church wanted to be creative or entertaining. In my opionion, it's that it was extremely silly and cheesy. Entertainment gone too far just comes across as a useless play for attention.

Researching truth said...

Michael,
I agree with you. So, the question remains, "how much entertainment is too much?" Who judges? Is it too much entertainment (as defined: to hold attention) from the perspective of a mature Christian, or from the mind of a unchurched, multi-media saturated kid under the age of 25? How do we witness to a generation that is mainly unchurched? Do we have a "fun time" and then at a different time, present truth? The only kind of evangelism the Bible speaks of is boldly proclaiming from the city streets. None of us - that I am aware of - do this on the consistent basis which is presented in Scripture.

Jared Moore said...

resonating truth,
What guidelines are to guide an event... where is this line? Is the church able to do whatever at an event? From what I've studied concerning the grey area... this would seem to be in the area of matters of conscience... but, concerning "events"... as far as forms of outreach... is this a biblically- guided idea, or is it that which is formed from a right heart, but wrong thinking? I'm curuious as to your thoughts, for I'm still forging through this theology as I'm trying to put my finger on something which is nailed down.

Michael,
you said, "There is nothing wrong with being entertaining with a message. Don't we want to hold their attention and communiate life-changing truth? I certainly don't want to be boring. The problem comes when there is more entertainment value than truth value. Or when there is no truth at all."
You've brought up another question altogether. I do understand why you don't want to be boring... but, my question is this, "Is there any evidence that the prophets, Christ, the apostles, or any Scripture writers used "entertainment" to hold the attention of their hearers?" From what I can ascertain, they spoke with authority... the fact that they had authority from God, demanded the attention of their hearers... we don't carry the authority of God, at least not in the sense the prophets or apostles did... God's Word demands the attention of its hearers... and the man of God who faithfully preaches the Word of God, demands the attention of his hearers, for it's the same as if God was audibly speaking, for when the preacher preaches exactly what the Author intended, then God is audibly speaking through His Word.
Now, I realize, that the majority of Christians, and all of lost people don't realize this... but, does that mean that we result to pragmatic approaches in order to keep their attention?
Once again, I'm forging through this theology hoping to find that which is nailed down. I've been wrestling with this issue for a while now. For, I could give my youth exactly what they desire

Michael... another question: Does seeking to entertain, in order to hold attention, seek to appease the hearer's sinful nature? I mean, it's not the godliness in people that desires to be entertained in Worship. And, it it is indeed trying to appease the hearer's sinful nature... is this something that we should be desiring to do?

Researching truth said...

Jared,

In Acts 17, starting with verse 16, Paul is preaching in Athens. He presented the truth to two different groups of people: Jews and God-fearing Greeks, and the Epicureans and Stoics. What's interesting is the way the message is presented. To the God-fearing Greeks and Jews, he "reasoned" with them in the synagogue and marketplace. This was the best venue for an audience in the context of Jewish (and converted-to-Judaism) culture - the synagogue. The Epicureans and Stoics had no clue what he was talking about even though they understood that it had something to do with Jesus and a resurrection. They took Paul to explain himself at the Areopagus - the perfect venue for an audience in the context of the Greek philosophical culture. Paul used the context of Greek culture (the atars - especially the "unknown god") to present the truth.
I know that this may not seem to have anything to do with entertainment, but maybe it does. Nothing was more entertaining to a Greek than debating philosophy in the Aeropagus, and nothing was more entertaining to a Judaizer than being in the synagogue to discuss the Torah. The caution, though, is that Paul did not "become" the culture, but used it to his advantage while "engaging" culture. We slip over the line when the truth is no longer clear.

Jared Moore said...

researching truth,
I think that truth should be clear... I agree with that statement, but there is no way that anyone can say that this passage has something to do with entertainment... do we have any evidence of them being entertained? I mean, some even mocked... they weren't entertained. It did have something to do with Paul's clear communication... and we should clearly communicate the Gospel... but, the arguement here isn't for clear communication, it's for entertainment.

If I'm not mistaken... the Aeropagus in Athens was like that of a court. From what I understand, by law in Athens, those preaching a new deity had to come to the Aeropagus for it was against the law... breaking the law sure ain't entertaining... nor is preaching a cursed King who died a sinner's death... and to preach His resurrection was absurd... it was foolishness... It seems that God chose the hardest Gospel for Jews and Gentiles to accept... a stumbling block and foolishness in the eyes of self-righteous sinners.

Researching truth said...

To begin with, the Bible only mentions people being entertained a few times throughout history. Does this mean that any time truth was presented, it was only done through stoic, unentertaining means? Many of Ezekiel's messages were graphic, physical depictions of God's intent that went unexplained until someone asked. Many of them were like pantomime and drama. (Digging a hole in the wall, lying on the ground facing certain directions, cooking food with human waste). Jesus used parables. He could have just as easily spoken the truth without them - with linear agruments and propositions (sometimes He did - check who the audience was). He used stories and word-pictures to expound difficult truth. With some exceptions, people were riveted by these stories. The Jews would often try to kill Him because they knew what He meant.

Entertainment comes in many forms. If a generation grows up with the lowest scholastic standards in our nation's history, should we not strive to provide the truth for them in ways that capture their attention and help them to understand? I don't condone the PT, in fact, I agree with Michael that it's "silly and cheesy."

Please don't confuse my statements. I agree that Paul preached the truth in an non-entertaining way. He did, however, use the cultural contexts to deliver the message. It's difficult to compare the ministry of a Christian in a free society with the ministry of a Christian where you are killed by being associated with Christ. It's easy to point out that they were murdered for their message when the message in any form brought a death sentence. Here in America, it does not. Here in America, the church is declining even while free. Attendance and genuine salvations are declining across the board - even in the churches that say we must keep it stoic and unentertaining. I agree, entertainment must be kept on a short leash; however, it is just as short-sided to say that entertainment doesn't belong at all.

As for the Aeropagus, many things were conducted there including debates on philosophy. Criminal tribunals ceased in the Aeropagus(with the exception of murder trials) in 462 B.C. by the leader Ephialtes. Later in the 4th century B.C. corruption was sometimes investigated. In any case, the Ecclesia had sole powers over the judicial process. If Paul was truly on trial (as church tradition says), why were the Epicureans and Stoics mentioned, not the Ecclesia? Epicureans and Stoics were philosophical groups, not necessarily legal ones. Of course, Paul was guilty of the crime of bringing foreign gods to Greece. Why was he not sentenced? All he received were "sneers."(verse 32). Incidentally, sneering is an initial reaction to something that breaks commonly taught tradition or philosophy.

GeneMBridges said...

It may be helpful in the discussion you two are having here to remember that the crowds that followed Jesus during His ministry followed Him to watch the sideshow. For them, Jesus' own ministry and teaching was a form of entertainment, even though, for the Lord Himself it was His ministry commanded by the Father. He did not heal and teach to fill bellies and provide a diversion. It was the crowds who turned it into a sideshow.

Notice:

a. Jesus did not seek to entertain. He healed and taught, according to His Father's will.

b. Yet the crowds who, for the most part, did not believe followed him to fill their bellies and see the miracles. They turned Jesus works and words into a sideshow event themselves.

c. Thus, when you get right down to it, the nature of human nature (and dare I say old habits die hard for the regenerate as well), is to turn even real, substantive ministry into entertainment.

I grew up in rural NC, and I can assure you that everybody goes to church and loves Southern gospel and old timey gospel preachin', and I remember the day when going to revival was itself a form of entertainment. Looking back now, with more mature eyes, I can see that there was a real effort by those ministering to lead in worship and preach the gospel, but it was often the hearts of men that followed after charismatic preachers and entertaining music. That was then, the Power Team is now; how this is really any different than then?

d. I would say that if their intention is ministry, they must be commended. Even Paul in prison rejoiced that the gospel was preached even from the wrong motives of others. However, if their intention is to entertain and this intention magnifies the natural tendencies of their audience, we have reason to be concerned. However, ultimately that perception lies within the hearts of the audience and the reason they are there themselves. In short, it highlights, for me, the miracle that the Spirit of God works within men's hearts even if the methods employed or the underlying theology is cautionary at best.

Researching truth said...

Gene,

Thank you for putting things into perspective.

jthomas899 said...

My wife has promised that she would break my head with a brick.

Can I ask an off topic question? Ok?

Anyone going to the Mid-South Founders Conf at Southwoods this week?

Jeff

GodAloneIsSovereign said...

While the methods used by the Power Team definitely do not "gurantee" genuine conversions; I believe that God can still work through their services to achieve His purpose.

I am disgusted by the arrogance displayed by their claims of "guranteed" conversions. If we spent the amount of time it would take for us to raise 50,000 dollars(a very long time for a poor college student like me) demonstrating Christ's love to individuals who were lost, maybe they would see a better example of authentic Christianity over these flashy displays.

~JM
Chattanooga, TN

Mark Fuss said...

Being the one who alerted Tom to this article on the PT I feel somewhat compelled to comment in light of some of the posts.

First, this PT event took place on a Saturday and a Sunday night during the regularly scheduled worship times for SBBC. Some have questioned whether this was an event or worship. While it was most certainly not worship, it did take place at the regularly scheduled worship time.

Second, and I believe most importantly, the article is very clear in stating that the church in question schedules nonsense such as the PT because the Word of God is no longer adequate for salvation. the closing words of the article state it all:

Kevin Owens [one of those who responded and was baptized, along with his family] said the Power Team event was perfect for people who were on the fringe of belonging to a church but were not inspired by Bible readings. "It's a show-me world," he said. "Reading the Bible doesn't get it done for me."

So, now that we have the PT there is no need for the Bible! This indeed is sad and unfortunately for a large portion of the church world today, all too true.

May God be gracious to His church that we might return to the Truth and put an end to compromise.

Mark Fuss said...

Correction:

For some reason the quote I wanted to include in my comment did not post.

Here is the closing paragraph from the newspaper article:

"Kevin Owens [one of those who responded and was baptized] said the Power Team event was perfect for people who were on the fringe of belonging to a church but were not inspired by Bible readings. "It's a show-me world," he said. "Reading the Bible just doesn't get it done for me.""

T Pruitt said...

This is an all too common example of the continuing corruption of the Southern Baptist pulpit. For all our talk about inerrancy we don't seem to think the Bible is very useful.

DWooten said...

Tom:

Great idea! Power Team in every SBC church. Maybe we could offer to let them travel on "our bus." The only problem is that it will cost us $2.15 billion for all 43,000 SBC churches to do this. Can we get a group rate? Could Annie Armstrong pay for it? HA! Get it? Annie ARM-STRONG!

David from Riverbend

Researching truth said...

Brothers,

Before I write this, please understand that this was just something that came to mind. We have been so pre-occupied in this post concerning entertainment distorting the truth in the context of a church service, event, or other some type of proclamation of truth. I wonder, how many of us are as pre-occupied with our personal entertainment choices. As "living epistles," our lives are to communicate the truth of the gospel constantly - whether we open our mouth our not, whether we are in a church building or not. How do our personal entertainment choices distort the truth to the world - the video store clerk, the pay-per-view people, the movie theater personnel, or our friends and families? What truth-distorting entertainment can we find in our video and music collection or on the dial of our radios? If we are going to hold a standard in the "official" capacity of bringing forth truth, we should hold the same unwaivering standard for ourselves. If we don't, we run the risk of being the recipient of Jesus' words in Matthew 15:8-9,
"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men."

I'm not accusing - this was just a thought that came to mind.

Jeff Wright said...

Is it too late to throw my .02 in?

On the nature of the Aeropagus: Sure, it was the center of intellectual activity.

The Greek culture gave us theater. If they were seeking use entertainment in their ministry, they could have went to the theater.

To associate entertainment with Paul's method of ministry ignores everything he wrote about not coming with anything other than the proclamation of the gospel (1 Cor 1)

Regarding whether we should make a distinction between "worship" or "service", please allow me to ask this question - What exactly about the event wasn't represented as worship? They held it and people attended with the expectation of hearing from and encountering God. Isn't that what we expect when we worship?

Call it what you want, the methodolgy used strips God of His glory and implies preaching of the gospel isn't quite good enough.

In the end, it comes down to your view of how people are saved: Can man create enviornments and situations that increase the odds of someone coming to salvation or does God in His soverignity save people through the methods He has ordained?

Depending where you come down on that question your methodology will vary accordingly.

I would add one final thought: In Mark Dever's new book "The Deliberate Church" he writes a very insightful principle for us to learn:

"What you win them with is what you win them to."

If you win them with "lights, camera, action" then they'll need that for the rest of their Christian life.

If you win them through the preaching of the Word and conviction of the Spirit then you've won them to scripture and reliance on the Spirit.

I know which one I want to go with.

Kelly Randolph said...

The thing that alarms me is that both the planners of the event cited and the Power Team itself seem to place their confidence in the event instead of in the Word of God and the Spirit of God. This attitude is demonstrated in the boastful comments about conversion statistics. Paul did not want the faith of the Corinthians to rest in man-centered wisdom. Rather, he desired that their faith would rest in the power of God as declared in the Spirit-empowered preaching of Christ crucified. It is the erosion of the church's/preacher's confidence in the Word and the Spirit that burdens me. I agree with t pruitt that there is a disconnect between our confessional position of inerrancy and our practical denial of the sufficiency of Scripture.

Jeff Wright said...

Please add this at the end of the 5th paragraph?

(at least in a modern sense of worship)

I add that because I believe worship to be life and the act of corporate worship to be much more than the little bit I described.

Jared Moore said...

researching truth,
Worship is laid out by commands and example throughout the Bible... as to what sort of entertainment you chose... I would say that if you were "aware" of it's needless offense, then you should avoid it, at least around the potentially offended indiviuduals... but, to sit in a cave, and never participate in anything is the end result of "worrying" about offending those in which you're unaware of.

I mean, how many theater operators are staunchly against violence, and yet sold thousands of tickets to Christians attending the Passion of the Christ? I guarantee you that there were those who were offended... what about the Jewish operators who believed it was anti-Semitic, and yet had to sell the tickets to Christians... did the Christians sin by the unknowing offense of the Jews who believed the Passion of the Christ was anti-Semitic?

Entertainment is a grey area... whatever the Bible doesn't discuss is a grey area... if it can't be ascertained from God's Word, then it's a matter of conscience. I don't know that we can draw from anywhere in Scripture, that what you see or hear... is sin, in and of itself... (unless, it knowingly offends the weaker brother or if it is a known violation of your love for a lost or saved individual)... Now, if we watch a violent movie, and think, "Man, I wish I could do that to so and so." Then, that's sin... but, to simply see or hear it, is not sin.

Briefly, concerning nudity... the Bible is clear that the only one person you should see in a sexual manner is that of your spouse... therefore, nude or sex scenes are not a matter of conscience.

Researching truth said...
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Researching truth said...

I perceive that we are at an impasse; therefore, I will bow out gracefully. I appreciate the dialog on this issue with my fellow brothers in Christ.

Roy Hargrave said...
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Roy Hargrave said...

Salient points:

1.Does the PT express the majesty and glory of the blessed triune God?
2.Does the PT expose the hearers to the "fear of the Lord" which is the beginning of wisdom?
3.Does the PT explain the force of the the "Law" upon the conscience of the hearer?
4.Does the PT set forth the gravity of transgressing that law and the consequences thereof?
5.Does the PT press the hearers, by the power of the Holy Spirit to total despair of soul for their rebellion and high treason against the great sacred Head?
6.Does the PT effectively use the "schoolmaster" (the law) to drive the hearers to Christ for mercy?
7.Does the PT press home the atoning work of Christ as the only satisfaction acceptable to the Father for the hearer's sins?
8.Does the PT clearly distinquish between praying a sinner's prayer and fleeing from the wrath of God into the arms of the only Lord and Savior?
9.Does the PT speak of the cost of discipleship?
10.Does the PT's message cause an offense in those who are perishing?
11.ad nauseam . . .
12.If they don't do the things mentioned above then I suppose they're OK for Southern Baptist. Many, if not most of our preachers fail to do those things on a regular basis.

DOGpreacher said...

Thanks for the post...interesting commentary.

Thank you to 'Jeff Wright' for your uncompromisung biblical position.

Great comment from 'researching truth'....which shouldn't mean we call this stuff (power-team) God-glorifying evangelism, BUT means we shouldn't be doing the stuff you mentioned.

Young Jared Moore(I don't know your physical age...), just keep on talking...rationalizing... disregarding scripture, and you will be able to justify all your favorite sins.

Jared, you stated, "Entertainment is a gray area".

Read Philippians 4:8-9...several times. Then take a hard look at the things (movies, sitcoms, music, magazines, etc.)you "feed" on daily. Read the text again...and tell me that is a gray area.

Actually, it is a call to holiness, and a promise of the peace of God to the one who puts his mind on such.

DOGpreacher said...

BTW...Salient points indeed, Roy Hargrave!

KitKat said...

My own church just had a Power Team crusade and those men are incredible Christians. The whole point of seeing them is not to watch them break stuff (even though that is pretty cool!). They'll be the first to tell you that all the glory goes to God. If they're not true Christians, then I've never met a real Christian. Their focus is totally on God and His plan for their lives. They truly care about the people they're witnessing to. My church spent 2 years praying for and funding the crusade (and it wasn't even close to $50,000...my mom was the chairman of the whole event), and when day finally came for them to arrive at our church, it was awesome! Anyone who has anything bad to say about these guys either: 1)hasn't seen them or 2)doesn't want to see people saved all that badly. GREAT WORK TO THE POWER TEAM GUYS!!! (especially T, C, J, and M)

Music Man said...

So you think it is wrong to do whatever it takes to further God's kingdom? What are you doing?

KitKat said...

Music Man, I'm not sure I understand. I think that anything (that's not morally wrong, of course) is okay to win others to Christ! Jesus Himself went as far as allowing people to kill Him to save us! How much more extreme do you get than that? The Power Team is no different. They're no different from evangelists who preach - they just use a different style. Sometimes Jesus used miracles to bring others to Him (and his miracles were quite varied, as I'm sure you know!), sometimes He would preach. He didn't do everything the same way. He knew each person intimately, and He knew exactly what that particular person needed to make them see that He was the only way to heaven. The Power Team is a great way for searching people to get plugged into a church. A PT crusade only lasts for a week, so of course the guys aren't going to be able to teach them everything they need to know about their new relationship with Christ. But they get them plugged into a great church, and know that the church will help them grow. Just because it's not a method of spreading the gospel that you agree with doesn't make it wrong. I think the best course of action for all of you is to actually go to a crusade and then see what you think. The issue of passing judgement is not a gray area in the Bible. God bless!