Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Are You Being Educated Or Entertained? (Replay)

Good morning folks.  I hope that you are doing well this fine Wednesday.  Today is another replay from August 2008.  When I wrote this, I was going through a serious transition in my spiritual life.  I think a lot of folks may have been to where I was.  Even if you are not at the same crossroads (or have not been there), the question is still relevant.  Are you being educated or entertained at church?

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August 6, 2008

Good morning family and Happy Hump Day!

Well you've made it to midweek and I hope that it's all easy sailing for you all for the rest of the week.  Right now, I would like to thank God for what he has been doing in me and my family's lives!  He has truly been doing his thing, which leads me to today's topic:  Education vs. Entertainment.

Around this nation, millions of people get up on Sunday (or Saturday) mornings to head to church.  Some go for one service.  Some are at church before the sun is up and don't leave until the sun is going down.  No matter the length of time, people are going for a reason.  A lot of us get up and go because that's what our parents did all their life and that's all we know.  Their parents did it and their parent's parents did it as well.  All the while, is anything being learned or is it out of routine that we get up and go to sit in a pew to hear a sermon being preached from a pulpit.

So, I would like to ask you a question, but before I do let's get a working definition of each word (courtesy of
entertain:  To hold the attention of with something amusing or diverting
educate:  To provide with knowledge or training in a particular area or for a particular purpose
Now that we have something to work with, here is the question.  When you go to church are you being entertained or are you being educated?  Now granted, I think that both can happen at the same time, however, there is a fine line between the two.  When the entertaining starts to become more frequent than the teaching, then a little red flag should go off in your brain.  Let's go to Matthew 6:1-3;7.
(1) Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. (2) So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men.....(3) And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.
(7) And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

Here, Jesus is actually educating his disciples on how not to entertain!  In verse one thru two, He tells them not to do their acts of righteousness in front of everybody just so you can say, "hey, look what I did".  He tells them to just do it an don't announce it to the world, making yourself known for your deed.  There are many people in this world who do much more for people (whom we do not ever see) than those who take the big screen claiming what they do or did to help their fellow man.  In verses three and seven Jesus speaks on how to pray.  There is more in between, but I wanted to draw focus on the part about being seen by men and babbling because of the many fancy words.

Now let's look back at your church.  When there is prayer, worship, etc. do you feel like a ticket goer in an audience where a show is about to begin, or are you actually preparing your mind to receive a word of instruction from one of God's shepherds?  When Pastors, Ministers, Deacons, or anyone else pray in your congregation, can you understand what is being it biblically sound.....?  Or is it a bunch of "babbling like pagans" and pomp and circumstance so that folks can "be seen by men"?  Guess what, to be able to answer this question you HAVE to have been educated at some point during your many visits to church(es) in order to recognize what is happening.  If you do not know or cannot recognize what is happening, to a degree it is not your fault because its all you know, but ignorance of the law (or Word in this case) is no excuse.  A good example of this is when you are traveling on the highway where the speed limit has been 70mph all along, but then next thing you know you are being pulled over.  The police asks you if you knew how fast you were traveling and you say, yes I was doing 70mph which was the speed limit.  Well much to your surprise, the cop tells you that actually, the speed limit dropped to 55mph about one mile back!  Maybe you missed the sign or maybe it was hidden by a bush.  On that day, 9 times out of 10, you will have the ticket as a present to bring home.  So, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

So, how to know which is happening in your church?  First you have to look at the individual and ask if they want the entertainment or the education.  If a person only comes to church because they want a show, then they will never be able to see pass the production.    For the person who wants the education, the show may seem to "show up" every time.  So, here are a few questions for you to use in answering your education vs. entertainment question.
  1. Can you remember what last Sunday's sermon(s) was/were about?
  2. If so, did you learn something about God's kingdom, that you can apply to your daily walk?
  3. Do you hear a lot of repetitive sayings or fancy use of words during prayer and/or sermons?
  4. If yes, have you been educated on what they mean and do they have any biblical meaning or is it the way the church does things?
  5. Do you remember what clothes XYZ had on this past  Sunday?
  6. Do you remember who shouted or ran around the church this past Sunday?
  7. Do you remember if the choir was banging or lousy this past Sunday

Those are just a few questions, but the answers to these will help you to realize something.  If you remember more about the non-related kingdom things than about how to apply the Word of God, then you are being entertained.  For this one reason among many others, it is important that we are familiar with the Word of God for ourselves.

It is ok to be entertained because as someone once said, laughter is good for the soul.  However, if you cannot remember the last time you've learned something to apply to your Christian walk and daily living something is wrong and needs attention.  Try grabbing more Christian books to read (in conjunction with the bible) or listening to different radio shows/churches on tv or visiting other churches,etc.  Knowledge is power and the more you know, the more you grow.

You all be blessed and have a Happy Hump Day.
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Antoine E. Hall


"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect." - 2 Samuel 22:33
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