One of the big things that the churches focus on is ministry to children and is something they do continually and to children of all ages.
Now you would think that when young people reach a certain age they would "leave childish things behind them." But sadly that is not the case, especially in 'evangelical' churches. The big drive in these churches is to cater for the needs of the young people and children.
The problem arises when teenagers and young adults never grow up - and their needs have to be catered for. And if they don't get what they want, their childish and adolescence ways come to the fore, and they throw their toys out of their prams and huff. Some even threaten to leave the church and go to where their childish ways are catered for. For them it's a win-win situation for there are any number of 'churches' that cater for childish ways and childish people of all ages.
So what does the church leadership do? They find out what will 'hold' those in the congregations who have adolescent tantrums, and then give them what they want. Hence, the pre-occupation with worldly worship of the holy God within the evangelical churches.
Many local church leaders have told me, "You must keep the young people." This is their explanation for and justification of their adoption of worldly worship. An evanmgelical minister told me that “if it is OK to beat drums for King William, it’s also OK to beat drums for King Jesus.” That was the extent of this man’s doctrine of worship! The Bible is no longer sufficient as “the only infallible rule” how we are to worship and serve the Lord. The Protestant 'rule of faith' has in practice been abandoned decades ago, yet those who have abandoned it still claim to be protestant evangelicals. How utterly incongruous!
I wonder if these people ever really met with God. I wonder if they have times of deafening silence and stillness in the Lord's holy and searching presence. I wonder just how well they know the Lord and take seriously what He has revealed to them in His Word.
These questions go through my mind constantly. When I raise these issues, I am treated with contempt. They think of me as being "an old fuddy duddy." They tell me that the church has to move with the times. They want the church to be relevant to the contemporary world. So what do they do? They work to make the church so like the world that you would be hard pressed to distinguish it from the world at times.
When our youngest son was converted to Christ almost six years ago, he told me, in relation to the kind of worship that went on in the church we attended, that before he was converted he went to night clubs; now that he is a Christian, he does not want to go to more night clubs. The church we then attended was the next best thing to an evangelical night club.
What is the solution to the worldliness that has not just crept into the church, but has been deliberately brought into the church by evangelicals and others? The answer is a return to the principles of worship enshrined in the teaching of the greatest revival of true religion since the days of the apostles - the Protestant Reformation in sixteenth century Europe. Discover what the reformers discovered from Scripture and compare that with what obtained in the pre-reformation churches. There, you had all kinds of childishness, religious entertainment involving magic shows where the priests took a piece of ordinary bread and actually turned it into the body of Christ which was then given to the faithful to eat (is that cannibalism?), endless meaningless rituals to keep the people interested, teaching to keep them from straying into the wrong paths, complicated services of worship, a refusal of biblical simplicity, etc.
This all had to go and Christian worship was re-introduced into the re-formed churches in all its simplicity and biblical dignity. I would call on church leaders to re-visit the teaching and practice of the reformation, and set about reforming their churches in line with the teaching and practice of the Word of God.
Caveat: it will be very costly for those biblically-driven ministers who attempt this reform within the evangelical churches today. Be prepared for dismissal. Reformation is costly business.