Is Celebration Entertainment

partyOne question that comes up over and over again is whether celebration is merely entertainment. I have addressed it before on this blog, but I think it deserves mentioning again.

The argument goes as follows: You call for celebration in sermons, however church is not about entertainment for human beings, but about worship to the Most High God. Thus why do you call us away from God to humanity in your call to celebrate?

This is an interesting question. I would answer it by saying yes and no. Yes it is entertaining to the Christian. The one who is not connected to the Most High might not be so entertained. This is where I disagree with the whole idea of attempting to entertain people into the church. The church cannot compete with the world through their entertainment devices. I we have is the Good News of Jesus. Certainly we can work to be understood, but it is hard to entertain the lost with a pure message of the Gospel.

Please note that I am not changing the focus of the worship service. The worship service is on God. I think it is problematic when we turn worship into an entertainment vehicle like can be found at any other place. What celebration is about is not entertainment, but experiencing the good news of the Gospel.

When we hear the goodness of what Jesus has done for humanity, and then when we fully believe it, no one can keep us from celebrating that. Certainly this celebration will be manifested in various ways, but it will happen. It is the necessary outgrowth of hearing the good news.

So yes some who have been saved will find the celebration entertaining. Certainly there is some enjoyment for Christians to hear the Gospel. However, my main point is that Now when you separate the gospel from the celebration, then you end up with an empty shell or sham that might degenerate into entertainment.

If you enjoy worshiping the most high in an experience of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that changes your living…Then it is possible that you might call it entertaining, if not, then probably not…

Comments

comments

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

Posted in Preaching
3 comments on “Is Celebration Entertainment
  1. Ed Hightower says:

    Mr. Cox,
    I found your article relative to celebration vs entertainment very interesting. Much of what is discused in the article has to do with our inability to stay on task as preachers of the Gospel.It is obvious from the Word of God that the important thing is to present the Gospel and then to make ourselves available as disciple-makers.
    God calls us not man; therefore it is he who we ought please and not “little man”. Does God need to be entertained? I think not.

    Entertainment affords such an opportunity for the “flesh” (which, as you know, is not pleasing to the most high)to have sway over those in attendance; how is it productive in the making of disciples? not very, I would have to say.

    The preacher, in my opinion, is called to preach as if the ‘house is on fire’, and in his climax do as the as the Spirit leads (with all homoletical decency and dicorum)to have the hearers to know that
    we celebrate a risen Saviour and that and that alone is something to shout about… feel me?

  2. Rev. Gerald R Zollar says:

    Your textboxes are invisible on my browser. The labels following instead of leading added to the confusion. I am now rewriting from my imperfect short term memory.

    I came to this site to get information on whoopin’ now it seems there is some contradiction on the subject.

    I have heard whoopin’ and I have heard whoopin’.
    The first is in the entertainment nature. It is generally a walk up Calvary, the focus shifts to Jesus. Nothing wrong with that, except that wasn’t the message. I have heard poor and good sermons misdirected in that manner. That is entertainment. Yes the people are up and are now involved, the sleeper finally woke up and may be engaged, people have hollered, gotten sweaty and probably feel good but the message is lost. What did the preacher say, what did you learn, get convicted by, was uplifted because of, the whoop?

    Then there are those sermons where the massage is restated in the whoop, yes Jesus is lifted, and the above actions in the congregation occur, but the message is not lost. Someone feels better because the message tied to the scripture is internalized.

    If the whoop is done to focused the message as light is focused in a laser then the whoop has meaning and purpose is not just entertainment. Good whoop with a a good organ (or piano) makes the point and hopefully saves a soul.

  3. Sherman Haywood Cox II says:

    Hello Rev Zoller,

    Please tell me how there is contradiction on the subject. thanks for your post though. When I finished reading your post, it would seem that we are in complete agreement, just trying to figure out why you sense a disagreement on the subject…

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
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