A recent conversation with an evangelist friend of mine has left me greatly grieved at the state of the American church. So harrowing was his account that last evening I was troubled to an extent that it gave me a bit of insomnia. He opened up his soul to me as he told me of the superficial spirituality that marks many of our churches these days. This superficiality is marked with a “hurry up and let’s get this over with” mentality. Worship is rushed and has little depth because of the desire to hurry and get to the next thing. There is pressure to hurry and get to the restaurants, the game on television, the shopping excursion or some other endeavor that seeks to satiate the entertainment factor in our soul.
I was appalled when he told me that several of the churches he went to, pastors had informed him before he ever started to preach that they did not care for any sermons on hell, judgment, or any kind of conviction. One pastor gave the recommendation that he ought to read three or four Scriptures and tell four or five stories and then conclude the sermon. Another place he went to, he found out that the pastor was opposed to altar services that brought people to the “mourner’s bench” and was marked by tears and confession of sin. He was told that the people needed to be given a “joyful” and “exciting” worship experience so that they could go home “happy.” Music has also become a bit of a beast in that he noted that at multiple places, the music would get people whipped into a superficial, psychological frenzy. The music would go on for a lengthy period of time and the preaching of the Word would be limited to a fifteen to twenty minute time slot.