This friend of mine often poses some interesting questions. Here's his latest offering to chew on.
Should non-believing sinners feel comfortable in church?
It appears we live In a day when sin is being minimized, and churches are seeking to create a "worship"... service where sinners feel comfortable and entertained. As A.W. Tozer, in his article entitled "Golden Calf Christianity," said "It is now difficult to get a crowd, where the only attraction is God."
In order to get the crowd, salvation has been reduced to a "1-2-3, pray with me, then let's all enjoy eternity" mentality. The proverbial "sinner's prayer" has become what I call "The Baptist Rosary." Please know that getting people to agree with a few facts, and say a prayer, is not salvation. It does not turn sinners to saints! Our churches are full of unredeemed people who have "said a prayer."
Yet, in order to make "church" attractive to sinners, we have jettisoned the pulpit, brought in the bands, kicked out theology rich hymns, and brought in 7-word mantras to be repeated over and over. No, I am not against NEW music, but I am against BAD music. There is some new, theologically sound, music being written today (i.e., How Deep the Father's Love for Us, In Christ Alone, and others). And, yes, there are some "old" songs that are BAD music also (i.e., I'll Fly Away, and so many others).
In other words, in order to attract sinners to the "church," the church auditorium (aka "Worship Center") has been transformed to a theatre in which spectators can watch religious leaders perform. The idea that the congregation should engage in heart-searching, soul-stirring, meaningful worship is now a thing of the past in too many "churches."
Thus, in conclusion, I want to complete my statement at the beginning. Should sinners feel comfortable in church?
Should they feel loved? YES
Should they feel accepted? YES
Should they feel comfortable? NO
If the power and presence of the Lord is real in a worship service, an unrepentant sinner will be as uncomfortable as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs! For example, look at the prophet Isaiah, in Isaiah chapter 6.
If an unrepentant sinner feels comfortable in the worship service of the church, then it is apparent that the power of the Holy God of Heaven is not present.
Before I end this post, let me answer someone's obvious objection. Some may say, "Did not the sinners in the New Testament feel comfortable in the presence of Jesus?" (i.e., the woman at the well, Nicodemus, etc). I would say NO. Each of them tried to justify themselves to Jesus, in some way. Did they feel loved? Obviously. Did they feel accepted? Sure they did. Yet, they became repentant sinners, and then they felt comfortable.
As always...There you have it...My opinion of what I believe the Bible teaches. 🙂
FBC was well represented.