Take up your couch(?) and follow me

From the Wisconsin State Journal:


Parishioners at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Waunakee listen to the Sunday morning worship service while drinking coffee and relaxing on couches and plush chairs. The pews and communion rail were taken out in August, part of a new approach intended to appeal to the “unchurched” in the community.


Many churches are taking a less-formal approach to some of their worship services:


• Blackhawk Church, 9620 Brader Way, Verona, just began using chairs, lamps and rugs to convert its gym into a casual Sunday worship space called “The Living Room.” Attendees view a live feed of the sermon from a larger auditorium but otherwise have their own worship service. “It’s more intimate, with unplugged, acoustic music,” said Nancy Lindroth, director of team development.


• Trinity United Methodist Church, 1123 Vilas Ave., Madison, held its first “U2 Eucharist” Oct. 5, with a cover band providing the music of the Irish rock band. Three of U2’s four members are committed Christians, and the band is known for its work in addressing world poverty and health issues. “So much of their music has terrific theology in it,” said the Rev. Amanda Stein. A special offering supported work by the United Nations. The service likely will become an annual event, she said.


• Lake Edge United Church of Christ, 4200 Buckeye Road, Madison, holds a traditional worship service at 9 a.m. on Sundays, then offers a different feel for its 11 a.m. service, which it calls “Worship at the Edge.” A band of professional and volunteer musicians led by Madison songwriter Marques Bovre performs a mix of music, and the sermon is delivered not from the pulpit but in a more conversational style.


• Heartland Community Church, 800 Wilburn Road, Sun Prairie, bills itself as “a different way to do church.” Its Bible-based services are “doctrinally pure but culturally relevant,” with contemporary songs and dramatic sketches, said the Rev. Jon McNary, who typically wears jeans to services. “We’re relaxed in our dress,” he said. “We don’t want anything to be a barrier for people to worship.”

And from a recent Washington Times article that looked at why Americans seem to be leaving churches in droves:

“Once spiritually powerful churches had become “seeker-friendly” congregations, and their main aim seemed to be to make the service as short as possible. Everything seemed packaged.”

Is this squishy “Couch” Christianity the answer? 


One Response to Take up your couch(?) and follow me

  1. Richard McKellar says:

    Why is this such a surprise to us in our culture today? What is the root cause of this abandonment to the true and only gospel of Jesus Christ?
    Why are we groping in the dark for the authentic form of true worship in our churches and synagogues and mosques today?

    Because many of our churches today want to speard a false gospel which makes no demanding sacrifices upon its members except of course for donations to spread their heretical version of the gospel throughout the earth. Many churches teach a gospel that is ultimately built upon the teachings and doctrines of personal opinion and selfishness as if God is a byproduct, an idol, to grant us all of our own desires. That “gospel” of self centered pursuits with the idea that God is our buddy existing primarily to fulfill our own agenda is a straight and broad path to hell.

    The greatest heresy of our generation is that we are NOT called to enter heaven through uniting ourselves with the sufferings of Jesus Christ to attain to our salvation. Instead Jesus becomes our substritute for all suffering and that suffering is a sign or denial of faith in Jesus Christ to the modern nominal “Christian”. Actually the opposite is true.

    The kingdom of darkness is united and runs the world system to the extent in which we allow him to. The world takes care of its own. The world outside of Christ is under the wrath of God and is on the brink of divine judgment because the world system, especially the economy, the culture, the political atmosphere, achedemia, the arts, the entertainment media, our language as well as many of our churches have been coopted and dominated by the Devil and his kingdom.

    Why are we easily being defeated? Because sin in all of its ugliness is not considered sin anymore. The devil and evil is believed by many to be a mere abstraction of subjective inventions of men to coopt peoples their ability to “think” and act “freely”.

    People need to hear the truth, but we must live it! Our salvation depends just as much on how we live and not only about what we believe and speak outwardly. People have lost the sense of God’s iminent presence and the true sense of worshipping the ever-present transcendant being we propose to be our God.

    The fear of God and has been intentionally abolished and any notion that we are all created and called to be true sons and daughters of the true and living God through Jesus Christ is being mocked. The true gospel requires our walking in Jesus’ footsteps and adhearing to the truth which leads us to Christ and salvation through Him, with Him, and in Him by the self same cross of Jesus Christ, which alone justifies and redeems us through the faith and mediation of the true church in faith and love.

    Repentance free, sanctity optional “Christianity” must be universally repudiated and exposed for its moral and spiritual bankrupcy. Anything like that is idolitry. Where is the cross in today’s “Christianity”? The cross is the sole instrument that accesses the church to true spiritual power. We can talk about faith and the promises of God, the armor of salvation, the scriptures, church doctrine, church history and the “sword of the spirit”, but the true power of God is only accessed by those who deny themselves, take up their crosses courageously and follow Jesus in true word, deed and desire even if it calls us to martyrdom.

    The narrow path and the narrow gate is no cakewalk and it is not possible to enter the Kingdom any other way.

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