A long time ago, perhaps not that long, there was a saying that came out that the media was the message. Because media was so much a part of the delivery system of the message, it was said that the media itself was the message. That may be the case when you are talking about business, or Hollywood, or society, or anything under the sun besides the Gospel.
Too often the church has taken the Gospel of Jesus Christ and taken it from a spiritual matter and lowered it to just a natural matter. We have taken it from a God-directed, Holy Spirit-anointed message and turned it into a PowerPoint presentation taken from Steve Job’s principles on business. It’s been lowered from a God given specific message for that time and turned into a pep talk, motivational speech.
At one point in church history (and not too long ago), we could go all the way through a church service without using a video, a slideshow, flashing lights, smoke, or anything else to appeal to people’s senses. We didn’t worry about trying to reach people by appealing to their cultural savviness, or their desire to be entertained. We were more concerned with their spiritual well being than their “need” to have their attention held for the entire service.
Today however, many in the church world have wrapped the Gospel message around media in such a way that unless a video or slideshow or any other sort of technology is used, their is no Gospel message. The media is indeed the message in this case. However, the media is not the message.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against media. It a large part of what I do. However, when it comes to church, the driving point, the delivery system should not come from Panasonic, Google, Apple, Photoshop, or any other branded piece of software, equipment, etc. It should come from the anointing, the Holy Spirit – the God-directed way of doing things.
Could that include a video, or a sideshow, or something like that? Yes. Is that the norm though? No.
I know most people would argue that point with me. They’d say that I’m closed-minded or out of touch with the times or the culture. The truth is that too many of us, me included, have been so saturated with the culture and technology that we’ve forgotten, or not even known how things work to begin with. The truth is,God does not work by technology. Yes, He can use it,but then again, He can use anything. God works by His Spirit, His anointing, through faith and love.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Romans 8:14 NKJV)
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. (Galatians 5:6 KJV)
It’s our faith in God, being led by His Spirit, that the Lord leads us. That’s the way He works, not the flashing strobe lights or the video presentation. Those things illicit a soulical, emotional response, not a spiritual response (but that is another message).