A. A. Granke, Jr.
The bold, mod-style letters of the words of the title attracted my attention as I drove by a United Methodist church-house. In curiosity, I returned to read the entire sign. What was the nature of the "celebration"? To quote from a handbill in one of the building windows, "A NEW SWINGING APPROACH TO WORSHIP!" It is advertised as an opportunity to play, recite poetry, dance, and "do your own thing as an expression of your own approach to the worship of God"... "now-generation" style, of course. If you've "got a message you want others to hear (a message in song, that is)" this is your opportunity, but "NO PREACHMENT, PLEASE!" There will be "folk singing, sensitivity praying, guitars, etc." I really wonder just what "etc." includes. It evidently has something to do with the "free-style" of the event, and I shudder to think what that might include.
The "celebration" is promoted as being "authentic" and "honest." It cannot be the latter, because it certainly is not the former. The advertisement itself indicates that you would not recognize the shindig that is held there every Sunday morning as being New Testament worship of the God of Heaven, because in one place, the word "celebration" is parenthetically succeeded by the word "worship" as if the Methodists realized the event needed an explanation.
"God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). It is evident that this mod group is not comprised of true worshippers, for they worship not in spirit, but by the dictates of their own desires; nor in truth, for they want no part of that -- "No preachment, please." They can not desire to be saved, because faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17). And they reject the preaching of that word which saves those who believe (1 Cor 1:21). That which they reject, they so desperately need. For the Bible teaches not the doctrine of "do your own thing," but rather, "stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein" (Jer 6:16).
The members of the church which Christ built speak to themselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in their hearts to the Lord (Eph 5: 19), but the Bible says nothing about them engaging in the singing of folk songs, or singing to the accompaniment of a guitar or any other instrument. Christians pray with understanding (1 Cor 1:15), but these modernists appeal instead to emotionalism, in what they call "sensitivity praying." Although churches of Christ are exhorted to solemnly remember Christ's death in partaking of the Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11:20-29), this "swinging approach" is promoted as a gala "celebration."
Whereas these young men and women design their co-called worship according to the dictates of their own desires, their worship becomes vain and meaningless, and is a mockery of God. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reaps. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption" (Gal 6:7-8). Truly, all that his mod, "now-generation" group does breaches the precepts of God's holy word. These are the very ones who sarcastically say of those who love God and obey His word in their lives, work and worship, "Oh! They think everyone's going to hell, but them."
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV; 46, pp. 11-12
October 1, 1970