A band performing at a denominational worship service. Is it entertainment or worship?
Recently I had a discussion with a friend about the music where I attend worship services. “I could never go there,” she said “without a band or choir it just wouldn’t be entertaining.” I believe persons who make such statements have completely missed the point of attending “church.” While we should be edified and uplifted by our worship, it is not our purpose to be entertained in church. When we are entertained we reduce God to nothing more than an excuse to listen to a performance. God never intended his house to be an entertainment venue. He intended his church to be a place of worship and reverence to him. The New Testament instructs us to gather every Sunday (Acts 20:7) to worship him in prayer ( I Cor. 14:15, Acts 2:42; 12:5), singing songs and psalms and spiritual psalms one to another (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16), to remember the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ by partaking of the Lord’s Supper (I Cor. 11:23-29), to give to the church ((I Cor. 16:2, II Cor. 9:7) and to teach and admonish one another by the Word of God (Acts 20:7).
Even the first century church did not use instruments in worship to God. Secular historians of the time – men who had no reason or agenda to promote the church – even make reference to the followers of Christ singing without instruments.
“But,” you say “God doesn’t care about how I worship.”
Doesn’t he? In Leviticus 10:1-2 the sons of Aaron – Nadab and Abihu offered an unauthorized fire in the temple and God killed them with fire. If something as seemingly insignificant as the way you light a fire matters to God, then the way we worship Him surely should hold a high degree of importance.
So the question is “Why do you go to church?” Do you go to hear a band or to dance and clap? Do you go to hear someone else sing or do you go to offer your worship to God with your own voice as we are commanded to do. Do you go to be entertained or to worship God?