so here’s my problem with nonsensical charismatic / pentecostal worship

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (Prov. 22:15)

unless, of course, the child’s parents and the church authorities are fools as well, in which case, they have no rod. (they’re welcome to borrow some of mine. there’s plenty.)

i don’t know whether to laugh directly at this kid because this is funny, or be angry with his parents and that church’s leaders for allowing this ridiculous nonsense. the child is obviously emulating what he sees on a sunday morning, which gives me even less comfort. i do not see the value in a style of preaching that is little more than a cheerleader screaming theological palaver in a metered cadence.

seriously, what is this? how is this in any way beneficial, worthwhile, or even spiritual? at least someone had the sense to subtitle it with equally ridiculous, phonetically correct subtitles. allowing children to do childish things in an otherwise sacred setting simply because some think it’s ‘cute’ is sheer stupidity. it reveals the foolish nature of the child’s parents and the church’s leaders. it is sheer and utter nonsense. the parents should be embarrassed and the church’s pastor should be canned.

then again, when church is little more than a pep rally, what can you expect?

i’m a fairly smart guy, but i fail to grasp the purpose and value of dancing like a nut in church. church is not jazzercise. seriously, join a gym. if you’re going to jump around like a jackrabbit that’s gotta pee, at least call it what it is: a show. seriously, get a band and some music and sell some tickets. because that’s what it is.

at least someone had the sense to dub some heavy metal over this nonsense. seriously, when church becomes the place to go for a weekly pick-me-up, both church and parishioner have failed. i suggest you leave that congregation, visit a starbucks to get your shot of espresso, and re-examine your life.

(HT:Jim West)

8 Responses

  1. Hm, you’ve got lots of derisive comments, some mocking videos, and a touch of charged language, but I fail to see what the problem is.

    Unless the problem is that you can’t accept anything you don’t personally like as possibly having value. That could be a problem.

    I’m not a member of any of those churches, I can’t vouch for the individual members, I don’t know what they personally get from it, but I have studied ecstatic religious traditions enough to know that there is real power in energetic ritual, dance, and yes, nonsense.

    It’s not for everyone, but then what is?

  2. it all strikes me as utterly contemptible.

  3. 1) this is rightly deserving of mockery.
    2) is the point of xnty ecstacy?

  4. Contemptible? Deserving of mockery? Good to see parochialism is alive and well. The world is full to bursting with fascinating, wonderful phenomena, but if you’re hastily dismissive, you’ll miss out on most of them.

    I don’t know what the “point of xnty” is, I’m not an xtn. I am familiar with ecstatic rituals in general, my understanding is that the ecstasy is not the point of the ritual, communion is, but that communion with the divine is in fact ecstatic (and why wouldn’t it be?)

  5. and here we’ve arrived at our fundamental difference: i seek enlightenment through knowledge and reason, allowing for the possibility of that which i cannot understand, but rejecting that which has been disproved, lamenting that which is ignorant, and rightly scoffing at and laughing at that which is truly funny. listen to the videos again. do you hear them laugh? do you see them clap with approval? why is it wrong then for me to laugh at this as well?

    for me the goal of worship is not ecstasy, nor is it communion with the divine. in fact, for me the goal is not even to get to heaven (as if proper behavior is a means to an end, a capitalistic investment for a future return on my deposit. rather, for me the goal of a life of faith is to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with god. it is to give the cup of cold water when i have one to give. it is to endow others with verifiable facts, teach them to reason, and encourage them to ask questions. a life of faith is one that understands the science of the physical universe as well as the unquantifiable mysteries of love and beauty. a life of faith is neither about making money nor preserving money, but making sure that others have when they need. and as for worship, a life of faith should not revolve around proper doctrine and dogma, but service and compassion. it’s not about being right, it’s about admitting that we don’t know, and supplementing our ignorance with acts of kindness.

    for those who see worship as a pep rally, a concert, a money-making endeavor, or a charismatic communion with the divine, they have received their reward. i choose, rather, to view worship as an opportunity to say thank you. thank you for my life – good or bad – and for the opportunity to think, wonder, rationalize, philosophize, ponder, ask questions, discuss, learn, experience, and hopefully pass on a mindset and disposition of discovery and service to those around me. worship is acknowledging and offering thanks for my very existence, the mere opportunity i’ve had to experience life itself.

    if worship has any purpose at all, it is an opportunity to say thank you. it is not for us, but for god.

  6. Well that’s perfectly reasonable. I think mysticism is the only form of worship I’ve ever understood, so while I can’t say I understand where you’re coming from, I appreciate it.

    Thank you for meeting me at such a high place, after I started so low.

  7. You know, I have some family members who are part of this “pentecostal” congregation (not this specfic one, but the same denomonation). I’ve been to these churches too, and strangely enough, most aren’t like this. Some are, and those are popularized.

    See, “Pentecostalism” is more of a movement than a denomonation. There’s no central “Penetcostal” church or a “Pentecostal Pope,” there are groups that call themselves that, but a Pentecostal Church in Scotland is going o be different than one in Texas.

    I used to make fun of this (well, religion in general) when I was an atheist, but after my odd conversion, I think the mocking is still well deserved for this specific show. They don’t do this for God, they don’t do this for people. They do this for show. I doubt God would be pleased at this form of worship. At least my God wouldn’t. I don’t think.

  8. @Tristan “I don’t know what they personally get from it, but I have studied ecstatic religious traditions enough to know that there is real power in energetic ritual, dance”

    It smacks of frenzied pagan sacrificial rites just before a hunt. Christianity was never meant to be that. Read the New Testament, specifically Matthew 6:5-15.

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