So here's where I'm going with this. In my travels the last three weeks to other churches, I have seen many different styles, sizes, and types of churches. I have seen churches meeting in traditional buildings, warehouses, and schools. The one glaring thing that has stood out to me in my visits to these churches is the overwhelming, undeniable effect that culture has played on what the churches are doing. I'm not talking about the use of video, having heat and air, or sitting in chairs, rather, I'm talking about what seems to be a Bible anemic, commitment lacking, consumer product. At many of my visits I never heard the Bible preached. Often when it was used it was referenced to support the ideas and examples the pastor had mentioned, instead of the text of Scripture providing the points. I witnessed worship time that resembled concert performances more than participational worship. Communion was not served at any of the places that I visited, which has become something in the American church that seems to have been made into an "occasional" ordinance of the church, instead of what it was always viewed as by the apostles and early church: essential.
The culture has played an undeniable role in shaping our churches. Not all of this is bad, but not all of it is good. I believe it is okay to use and redeem some of cultures advancements and technology to allow the gospel message to be further spread; however, there are some things in the church that should be non-negotiable, unchanging, and staples of our gospel communities: participatory worship that brings glory to God through both its content and spirit, preaching of the Bible as the centerpiece of our messages and not man's wisdom or humor as the central component, the practice of taking Communion/Lord's Supper regularly (some churches perform more skits in a year than they take Communion), and a spirit of unity and community, not a feeling of attending a show, performance, or concert. Some of the things that separate churches who demonstrate these and those who don't are small and subtle things. At the end, we should be desirous of seeing our churches glorify our Father and His Son, as we carried by and united by the power of the Spirit. The design of a church is to never glorify a pastor, a worship leader, to impress or satisfy attendees, or to lift technology or creativity over and above Jesus. To bring glory to God and share His gospel is why gather and exist as churches.
These things, things I've mentioned before, and other things not wrote here are why I believe there has been a Death of Orthodoxy. I desire to lead the church I pastor and participate with to honor God in staying true to the things that are not on the table for debate and if needed, stand as a voice crying out in the wilderness for repentance.