Humanism focuses attention on self; it is the core of our modern day corruption and rejection of all that is good and right. It dethrones God and puts the supreme importance on man. Priority is given to how one "feels" rather than a "thus saith the Lord." Some years ago a local radio station was fond of proclaiming, "Making you feel good, because feeling good is what it is all about." Humanism has invaded the classroom, the halls of Congress, and had extended its evil intentions and purposes into the privacy of the womb. The tentacles of this godless philosophy have captured the media, the educational elite, and the masses of an unsuspecting and ignorant electorate. Politicians are elected on what they can give "me" - entitlements, benefits, healthcare, retirement if a politician does not provide the pork he is sent packing, and someone else is elected whose promises are greater and grander than that of the incumbent. "My rights," frivolous law suits, and neighborhood brawls all attest to the "me" mentality that stems from humanism.
Religion has not escaped the influence of humanism. Seeking to fill the spiritual void that has been created by agnosticism, atheism, and evolution, the spiritually starved soul looks for something that will make him "feel good" at any given moment. If the excitement and euphoria of a religious experience are lacking, the soul simply moves on, looking for something more exciting and thrilling. The charismatic movement of the 60's to the "contemporary worship" of this new century declare that the "worshipper" is less interested in truth and more interested in how religion might benefit him personally. Mega churches boast of larger buildings, more "programs," and an increasing appeal to the physical man make up the religious landscape in Any Town, USA. One huge denominational church on the West Coast, when preparing to relocate, and rebuild, surveyed the surrounding neighborhoods and asked them what they wanted in religion. The result is a "church" that offers a sports center complete with basketball courts and a bowling alley, gift shops in the foyer, vending machines, a café open six days a week, game rooms, and a "worship experience" that is more like a trip to the mall or an outing at Six Flags.
Churches of Christ have fallen prey to the kind of mentality demonstrated in some of the "mega churches" of the denominational world. Those "liberal" congregations among our number who left the old paths long ago walk the same path as their denomination counterparts. We are not surprised or shocked to hear of such congregations offering programs that appeal to the flesh. Their path to apostasy started decades ago with a small handful of individuals who wanted "more" than the simple pattern of New Testament worship. The proverbial warning that "birds of a feather flock together" provided the numbers, and the smooth and fair speech of the false teachers soon gathered a following. The rest is history.
The great danger now facing the increasingly small number of faithful congregations is just as great, and the temptation to acquiesce has not diminished in the least. How many times have you heard this statement, or even found yourself thinking the same: "I just don't get anything out of worship." There are some dangers facing the church today because of an ever increasing emphasis upon how we "feel" after services. I am not saying that we cannot feel good after having worshipped God acceptably, but if this becomes the purpose for which we come perhaps we should reexamine our priorities. The desire to be entertained has caused some to look upon the worship to God as a ritual for our benefit rather than something we engage in because of our love and devotion for God. As a result there is a lack of steadfastness in attendance on the part of some. After all, if the preacher or the song leader do not "entertain me," then what use is there in coming back? We need to understand that worship is NOT entertainment. We do not attend to be entertained by the "performers." You and I are the "performers" and God is the audience. If we will view our worship as our devotion and adoration to God, then our worship will become more meaningful. We will then "feel good," not because of some physical stimuli, but because we have assurance that we have done things according to God's will, and thus pleased Him. I for one enjoy the simple and unostentatious worship characteristic of the pattern set forth in God's word. I would not change one single solitary aspect of worship, and to be honest I have little respect for those who, in their human wisdom and arrogance, think they can improve on what God has given us. That, my friends, is the "nuts and bolts" of the matter!
By Tom Wacaster