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42 thoughts on “A Contemporvant Service”

  1. Tim H. says:

    Love it!

  2. As a Reformed Presbyterian (Google it… if you don’t know…)… this is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Kudos to NP for their honesty…

  3. Cho says:

    this is HILARIOUS
    ahahaha
    what a great way to start off the work day
    thank you

  4. Dave Wilson says:

    Funny stuff

    Pretty sure they drew their inspiration from the fake movie trailer below, which is actually funnier.

    1. Ron Nielse says:

      Shut up Dave

  5. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

    The voice sounds like Pastor Chris Brown in North County San Diego.

  6. Tony Romano says:

    I actually spent a few months in this church. It was great. But not really.

  7. bk says:

    Maybe I am just too practical… this looks eerily familiar to many churches I see popping up in ‘cool’ places. How very sad that we can not only produce such a video, but KNOW that it is a very real problem in Christ’s Kingdom today…yet laugh instead of trying to change……

  8. tma says:

    bk said
    “How very sad that we can not only produce such a video, but KNOW that it is a very real problem in Christ’s Kingdom today…yet laugh instead of trying to change……”

    Can’t be more on point than that.

  9. Phil Allcock says:

    While on the theme of spoofs, check out the ‘Go Wayne Grudem’ to the tune of Greased Lightning from the student team at New Word Alive 2010
    http://www.youtube.com/user/NewWordAlive

  10. Gunner says:

    Great to see that good prophetic satire isn’t limited to the Masoretic Text. Lots to learn and consider. Thanks, Justin!

  11. Audrey says:

    This is hilarious and yet very disturbing. Sadly, many people are looking for this in a worship service. They want this kind of “experience” and yet will not tolerate solid, biblical, Christ-centered teaching. I just don’t get it!

  12. LarryC says:

    I have visited this church, unfortunately it was packed with people.

    1. Charlie B says:

      LarryC-

      It is sad to me that you think it is unfortunate that many people are packing out a church to hear a message that preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ. While I would not fully agree with everything that is said or done at this church, people’s lives are being radically transformed by the power of the gospel. People will be spending eternity with God as opposed to separated from Him in hell because of how God is using the ministry of this church. That is something that I would not describe as unfortunate.

      1. Danny B says:

        Charlie –
        Thank you for bringing this back to where it needs to be. Who are we to take something that God may very well be using for His glory and benefit and tear it down. How dare we do that. Yes, this is funny because we are seeing a lot of churches go there, however, the Gospel is preached and sinners are being redeemed. How dare we be so ignorant as to tear down the people who are trying to reach the lost. Who cares how it is done as long as the Gospel is the foundation and the cross of Christ is the message and the love of God is shown.

        1. Danny B says:

          You want something that’s unfortunate.. try Joel Osteen

      2. bk says:

        I think “this church” didn’t mean North Pointe, just means a church like this…all fluff and trying to be attractive, not necessarily relevant.

  13. Jim says:

    Oh man….hits the nail. Let’s hope we’ll be looking back on this in a few years as a relic!

  14. Jeff Maskevich says:

    The new liturgy! lol rofl Sad but true.

  15. MG says:

    Now if we can only get us Reformed Presbyterians laughing at ourselves…or laughing at all…

  16. janejolene says:

    It takes something *good* to get me giggling… and this did it. This is too funny, and too sad… Manipulation. Emotion. Vibes up. Vibes down. Transition. Ugh… it makes me sick. Are we walking sponges that will just take anything in with little to no discernment? That the church of Christ would EXERCISE sound discernment and see through this kind of flaky stuff… and learn from God’s Word. Skip the flesh thrill, please. (“Those songs I used to sing, don’t sing them anymore…”) We need to expect a lot more from Church than just feelings. The enemy has a foot in the door with this stuff. And many are taking it in and thinking they are “being changed and transformed”, but in reality they are only responding to an experience. Will we recognize if God is MISSING from services like this? Or is the experience enough to keep people coming back for another infusion of “experience” for another week? Sad…

    We are visiting a local church that are employing many of these same techniques and transitions. And we are TRYING to get past it and see if God wants us there, (because it is local) but it is pretty hard. Another thing: So what is so wrong with hymns? They are so full of meat… and so convicting. I am amazed that these modern “relevent” Christians won’t even go there… hmmm… maybe TOO convicting? And where is the message to take up our cross and follow Him?… Could these be some of the imposters, actually leading people away from the truth?

  17. JMH says:

    You guys are gravely concerned over a parody?

    There’s a difference between North Point and some church that won’t talk about sin. Don’t make accusations without knowledge. Big fancy churches aren’t my cup of tea either, but just because you think they’re too slick doesn’t mean they’re not preaching the Gospel.

    Also, lighten up.

    1. Andy says:

      Of course, it doesn’t mean they ARE preaching the Gospel, either. I’m currently attending a large church that looks increasingly similar to the one in the video, and I’m torn, because it seems to be shifting further and further away from the hard truths of the Gospel towards soft affirmations and health/wealthism.

      I’m beginning to suspect there’s a point where, all too often, churches grow to a certain size, and they lose their conviction, for fear of losing attendees.

  18. janejolene says:

    It’s about manipulation… You can’t pre-plan for an emotional response, and expect to soothe people into repenting. Can we play “God” and get people to come a little closer to salvation because we made them feel so “moved”? This is scary stuff when you think about it. Preaching the “foolish gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross demands the very UNCOMFORTABLE situation of being faced with the truth and faced with your sin. If the objective is to make things relevant and comfortable for people… then we’ve got a deceiver in the mix. To those coming to Christ- they are all to glad to hear the hard truth. They respond to that with repenting, and it is life to them. To those who might be offended… they are not ready to stop sinning and come to Christ anyway. The manipulation in these churches, the emotional highs and lows, soothing messages of grace (but not repentence), and the following emotional responses is a sorry gauge for real church “growth”.

  19. Leslie says:

    I think we need to be careful in how we respond to this video. Let’s try not to sound judgmental or better than others because we don’t attend a church like the one portrayed. Let us be careful not to love our brothers, despite how they sings songs and dress on a Sunday morning.

  20. Jim says:

    Yes, it’s far too easy to laugh at others, but I also see many thoughtful comments here about how this video exposes glaring problems in their own churches. The point is that it is so easy to be deceived by these kind of churches, which have a reluctance (if not a refusal) to tell their congregation that their worst problem is their own sin.

    I’m struggling with this very much right now. We attend a church where we get well delivered, rhetorically polished, topical sermons, but it only occured to me recently that we just don’t hear much about sin.

    The other huge problem with all the pop culture influences is that we are raising an entire generation of young people who have no sense of the sacred. I travel a good bit and have visited many churches in the PCA, where it seems that the majority of them are now “contemporary.” I haven’t seen a choir in years, but plenty of blue jean clad preachers with graphic tees and praise bands that are trying awfully hard to kill Indelible Grace hymns by playing the same ones over and over. Recently one of the praise band members was wearing a Hendrix t-shirt.

    In my experience, describing these issues with leadership gets you branded as a complainer in a hurry. They are much more comfortable in their denial, which helps explain why the denomination has declining membership for the first time in its history.

  21. tre says:

    As a reformed baptist who was predistined not to be a calvinist, (Think about that for 6 months) i find this to be so funny. Our church aims to be relevant. I am convicted to be careful.

  22. janejolene says:

    About the pop culture, bands, teenagers leading (that is what it is like in the local church we are visiting)… It is so greiving to me that I just about have to force myself to STAND through the worship in particular. (I fight a gut impulse to bolt each week.) I may be one of those super sensitive types… but I know from what I was saved… and rock music was a big chunk of it. And now we sit there and I am saying, “Lord, I can’t sing this… (bang, bang, roused emotions with “you saved me”, bang, bang) I will be true to what you have saved me FROM. I will just wait til they get to a hymn and sing my heart out…” Then… no hymn. (Blank stare.) (Everyone is sitting down. Soothing intro… etc.) If it were just my husband and I, we could endure and pray and see how God can bring about moderation or deeper repentence. BUT we have 3 teenagers who are absorbing all of this hoopla. And are torn between what we have taught them about the truth and how we desire to walk in it. And throwing it all off to have an “experience”, as we are there surrounded by other “experience seekers” how think they are somehow more open and more touched by God. AND we have some younger children who are standing there head banging to “Glory to the Lord!”. And my impulse as a conservative mom is to lean down, thump my little boys on the shoulder, and loudly whisper, “Stop that! What are you doing? We do not act that way in church!” (We do not act that way at Walmart. Not even at a basketball game when they play some of their stuff.) It is not… it is not… well, appropriate. Might I just say it that way? It is not appropriate. Are we just playing games with God? Is He not holy? Has He not faithfully saved us from the world TO Christ?

    My husband and I also grew up in great choirs. (GREAT choirs.) He in a Presbyterian setting, I in a (ahem) Mennonite setting, though I am not any such thing. But we are about starved for a simple 4-part song to join in at church. (He’s a bass, I’m an alto, and our children are trying to learn their respective parts.) And there is nothing of the sort anymore. A whole generation of Christians will grow up NOT learning the language of music to worship the Lord in that venue. There must be a reason why God saw fit to inspire the New Testament writer to include that we are to sing “Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” Ever thought of that? There is a place for all three. And on Easter (Resurrection) Sunday morning we were getting all excited because this church had a choir practicing to do a great worship service this year. (We had hoped to join in!) However, their “choir” was about 75% youth, and a handful of zealous adults who were singing pop praise songs, get-down soul songs, WITH flashing lights… LOUD band… concert setting feel. How deeply disappointing. And I think… they have no idea of what they are even missing… God give us grace to love people… and give us wisdon about what to DO when we are faced with this church service heist that is going on.

  23. Matt says:

    You think rock music is a sin and God saved you from it? Only after hearing something contemporary and God filled did I open my heart to Him. It hurts to think that there are people who believe I’m not saved because I like rock music.

    You were saved by grace through faith and believe that Jesus died on the cross carrying your sin, but you think our “own sin” is a bigger problem in this world than reaching the lost so Jesus can save them, too?

    I’m sorry that you folks think that every contemporary church is empty of Christ and that it’s “inappropriate” to worship God in the way He has created each of us individually. Truthfully I’m not one for smoke machines and lasers at church. But by the same token I did not know God growing up because I couldn’t believe that a loving Creator would make me the way that I am and tell me that He can’t accept me unless I wear a suit and tie, vote republican, and sing hymns that while beautiful are quite often too deep for me to comprehend. I’ve been to as many “dead” PCA churches as I have “contemporvant” churches. Even though I currently attend a fairly contemporary church, I’m confident enough in our churches teaching to think that this video is hilarious and not take it personally.

    God created us to love Him and love each other. Remember the first church in Acts 2 did not have hymns or pews; it’s not about that. However, if you are attending a church that is not representing God’s best to you, there is something you can do; leave, and pray for them.

  24. Eli says:

    Matt, only you and God know if you’re truly saved, and that’s between He and you. However!! on the whole, and as a rule, the new “contemporary” churches (especially Emergent/Purpose Driven churches) have watered down the gospel so badly that it is almost non-existent. Not only that, several big name leaders in these movements (think McLauren and Warren) have gone so far as to say that the Gospel, as it is, is not enough to “save” people (never mind it’s been working just fine for 2,000 years). They believe that WE must create the Kingdom of God here on earth, which is completely contradictory to what scripture tells us. They have completely departed from the true faith.

    And Leslie, If you’ll read your bible, you’ll find that we are commanded in scripture to point these wolves out. That’s not judging dear. That DISCERNMENT and warning the flock! And you highlight a very good point. The new contemporary church is more concerned with not offending people with the true gospel and the reality of their own sin and need of a savior. So they just choose not too. Never ever in scripture are we told that Christ or his diciples ever “beat around the bush” with false teachers. They were exposed, and drawn out. If it was good enough for them, then it’s good enough for us to do the same. Thank God for the watchmen on the wall who have the cahonies to stand up and single these charletans out and call them what they are. Otherwise, the entire body of Christ would be decieved.

  25. Eli says:

    And one more thing Matt, lets not forget what Paul tells us in scripture about how worship should be orderly and reverant. This kind of stuff is not.

  26. janejolene says:

    Mark- Just to clarify: You can be saved and still listen to rock music. You can be saved and the Holy Spirit still be actively convicting day and night over any pet sin that a person refuses to yeild to the saving power of Christ. But I promise you the Holy Spirit will be constantly, lovingly pointing pet sins out til repentence is there. He is faithful. Drunkeness, any point of lack of moderation, lewd thoughts, anger, etc. The Holy Spirit has a job to convict us of sin, to warn us, to protect us, to guard jeleously over us as the Bride of Christ. And Christ is rather direct about His own jelousy over His bride… Anything tearing her down- preventing her from understanding her beloved Saviour- is necessarily a point of conviction. Rock music for me, was not only controlling my thoughts, but was literally tearing me down. (Secular AND “Christian”) God knew that. And the Holy Spirit faithfully convicted me of what was going on for two years before I finally gave up and purged my life from the stuff. Then a cloud lifted… it is powerful stuff. Don’t fool yourself. I personally suggest Christians should refrain from defending this music until they have tried to “give it up” first. It might be an eye-opener. You might find, as I did, there is an enormous spiritual battle here because music is very powerful. For good or evil.

    So, you might be saved… God’s Word does not return void. Praise God for that. But He is also Holy. And as we get to know His character through His Word… we find that certain kinds of actions, thoughts, (and that would even include music- this culture FILLS the air with music non-stop) is not fitting for those who are walking in the Spirit. We do not wish to grieve the Spirit of God. In fact we are admonished not to.

    The Bible clearly presents the PREACHING of the “foolish gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ to the lost that they might come to repentence and be saved. I’m afraid the “contemporvant” church has mistaken singing (head banging) the “gospel” as being something equivelant. It is not. Praise God you have grasped the truth. Now don’t mistake the lies as truth too.

  27. janejolene says:

    I’m sorry, Matt, I got you name wrong. Please forgive me. I often type in a hurry… God’s blessings to you.

  28. Heather says:

    I am very shocked that you felt comfortable to make this film. This is not edifying…in any way. There is always room for change and even transformation in the body of Christ. What I see here is pure mockery and sets “your” way of doing or seeing things in some superior place. You have no idea what God is accomplishing in hearts through worship music, His Holy Spirit, through prayer, His Word or the message.

  29. steve says:

    this is really ignorant. who needs needs atheists and pagans and non-believers etc. to tear down Christianity…we do a fine job of it ourselves.

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Justin Taylor, PhD


Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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