Drinking Deeply

Thursday, September 08, 2005 at 11:29 PM

Vision Summer School Thoughts (5) - Revival (3)

All the posts in this series are done. Read them here

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The final thing point where I had issues with was much strongly emphasized by one of my friends that also had disagreements, but I agreed with him.

The point was basically: Did the skits and body worship glorify God?

His point was that when acting in a skit in a religious context, he as a person, never found himself able to glorify God. It was all about pleasing man, seeking to be perfect so that others would applaud and cheer and laugh, and not to present a picture for God. The same (for him) could be said for body worship. It was also especially prominent when he was in the audience. A skit or body worship never inspired him to worship God, but rather drew him into admiring man. "Look at that clever joke, that funny punchline, the casualness, the truthfulness of the acting." For this reason (along with the ones I presented) he was not a big fan of the skits and body worship, so he decided to only be part of the praise team where he didn't have to deal with it.

Now, I was unclear that something like him not being able to worship God while acting in a skit was sufficient grounds to present, after all, our actions should always glorify God, thus if he felt it didn't for him, in good conscience he should withdraw, but for others they might be able to (as long as they bore with him as a weaker brother (Romans 14) ).

But I felt the point that was made about the audience was solid. Of course, we cannot ensure that the entire audience is adequately spiritually prepared for the skit so that they do not glorify man, but glorify God, but there is a call to discernment. If a skit would not be glorifying to God to the vast majority of the audience, why are they putting it on? Additionally, why are they advertising it, this only serves to continue to bring people who are looking to glorify man, does it not? Same criticisms apply to the body worship.

Were any efforts made to prepare the audience? Not that I know of. Were any efforts made to prepare the participants? Not that I know of. Talking to a teacher from last year, she confessed that it did feel like a show they were putting up for others. This worries me.

Now, I am not condemning all skits, all body worship, all public displays, but I am putting our motives under the magnifying glass. What are the motives that we are underscoring here? Everyone would say "to glorify God." What are we looking the audience to respond here? How do we expect the audience to respond?

One of the people who also disagreed with the night itself but ended up participating in the skit became the key figure in one of the skits and expressed great concern over where the skits were going. He mentioned that there was "almost crude joking" and was wondering if these things were appropriate. I suspect he had a hard time sleeping that night, because he knew the answers before he asked me about them . But thanks be to God that the skit was changed at the last second to exclude all verbal communication, making the question about the jokes irrelevant. I think having "Christian" skits makes this question very relevant. What is the purpose of joking in a Christian skit?

I feared that the skits, though they may be made with right intentions at heart (I had major theological issues with one of them though, but I've already addressed that), would not bring the audience to places of worship. Though this concern was brought up, it was largely ignored in our discussion, not because we didn't want to talk about it, but because we were all tired and felt like it ran out of time.

I guess to summarize, another series of questions were asked about how the skits and body worship enabled the audience to worship God. Were the actions planned to perfection for man or for God? Would the audience understand the distinction? Would the plot, the jokes, the story glorify man in the audience's eyes or God?

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