"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'." (John 7:38)

"Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." (1Cor. 2:12-13)


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Theatrical Churches

The architecture of an auditorium or theater immediately commands an instinctive human behavior from every person who enters.The audience knows their part, and those on stage know theirs. While any production is in progress, the audience becomes obedient in behavior to what the performers of the production have previously prepared for them. With the exception of an occasional audience response, the combined spirit within the auditorium is one of absolute self control. Whoever you may be naturally on the inside is called to a state of submission, thus rendering the utmost respect and behavior in order to facilitate an atmosphere conducive to a professional performance. This is the nature of the theater; and unfortunately for many churches as well.

While there is nothing wrong with church buildings that model auditoriums or theaters, there is a lot wrong with the dynamics of the fellowship within. It is constrained. There is a great quenching of the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ that frequents this type of community. Rather than a design that enables the people the freedom to relate authentically and to release their gifts for the edification of others, the people become trained to conform to the protocol of the approximate one hour performance their theater demands. What is produced in the congregation is a spirit of good behavior and a deliberate practice of self composure that inevitably continues on through casual socializing. They are careful not to cause any distraction and have not the slightest desire to consider the things of God that might undermine the atmosphere of the theater they feel responsible for keeping. The elders and patriots come to embrace a conviction that it is their reverent duty and Godly service to come under the established authority of the theater to ensure everyone else respects the social architecture of such a church.

"So I exhort the elders among you ... shepherd the flock of God that is among you ... not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:2,3)

When the same familiar people inhabit the stage Sunday after Sunday, they are dominating the affairs of the church and have drastically limited the exercise of all gifts that belong to the body of Christ.


"For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body."
(1 Corinthians 12:14-20

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