Sunday, April 1, 2007

Christian Entertainment

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the
days of my life: and
I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."

Psalms 23:6

Two couples of our friends had bought tickets several months ago to attend the Bill Gaither Concert last night. About noon, one of the men called us and asked if we had any plans for the evening. When we said "no" he said someone else they knew had bought tickets and was not going to be able to attend and would we like to join them. Well yeah, who wouldn't? Free Bill Gaither Concert tickets. Thank you Lord. I am constantly amazed at how the Lord blesses Mickey & I above and beyond what we can hope or expect. We see it so often in our life.
The performance was a really good show (as Ed Sullivan use to say) and very entertaining. The harmony was outstanding, some of the individual performers were very good and the kind of slapstick comedy back and forth between Billand some of his band members was fun. Just a real enjoyable evening.
As much as we enjoyed the performance I've been thinking about it a lot today. I realized it was just that. A performance. It certainly was not any kind of spiritual or worship occasion. It was paid entertainers entertaining. Certainly nothing wrong with good clean entertainment. We had just enjoyed that a few weeks ago at the Debby Boone performance. But Debby's performance did not carry the Christian tag, even though the song she is knownfor was a Christian song, "You Light Up My Life".
It struck me with full force how much of Christian Worship Programs have become just that...... paid entertainers. What has happened to the worship and service to our Lord. Very different from the truly worshipful two evenings we had spent earlier in the month when we went to hear The Singing ChurchWomen of Oklahoma and The Singing ChurchMen of Oklahoma. Now those were worship services that moved not only the soul but the Spirit.I might add there was only a free-will offering taken, which was to be used to spread the Gospel and not pay the performers. An invitation to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior was also given at the conclusion of the evening.
Now again I'm not saying there is anything wrong with good paid Christian Entertainers. I just think we need to give credit wherecredit is due to those who give of their time and talent with no monetary gain in mind.
I also have to ponder what
Jesus would have to say about all the Christian Entertainment of
today and how literally thousands of us flock to see and hear it.
You might say I, who live in a glass house, am throwing rocks.
I have to admit I am because we certainly accepted the gift of free tickets with enthusiasm. We flocked with the other thousands fighting the bumper-to-bumper traffic 3 miles from the by-pass to the ORU Mabee Center, finding a place to park in the overflowing parking lot and then walking quite a way to get into the auditorium to find our seats and watch professional Christian entertainers entertain us.
Just something that has been heavy on my mind today as we celebrated Psalm Sunday and get ready to celebrate Passion Week and the Crucifixion of our Lord and Savior then His glorious Resurrection next Sunday.
Thank God for Jesus!


Candy said...

Oh you are so blessed!!! I love the Gaithers and is a dream of mine to be able to see them. I have most of their cd's!
Im a big fan!!

Love Candy

Mountain Mama said...

I'm glad you had the opportunity to see them. I like their music too, and enjoy seeing them on TV occassionally.

Trella said...

What a very thought provoking post. There have been some concerts that I attended that have certainly ministered to me and brought me into worship with "Jesus" and some that I thought were just entertaining and I kind of admired the entertainers. I could say a whole lot more on the subject, but I will just say thank you for making me just have "a light bulb moment".
Have a wonderful day,

Momma Roar said...

What a special post.

You've given me much to think on as well. as always :)

Dawnelle said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog~ you've got a fun blog going over here. :) Glad you got to go to the concert! Love the pics of your granddaughter, too, she's so cute.



Great Post, Penless Writer. I couldn't agree with you more. connie from Texas

weavermom said...

Glad you got to go to the concert!

I think the danger is that it seems at times that entertainment REPLACES worship. There is a place for both, but you gotta keep that worship. I completely agree with your comments. :)

Momma Roar said...

I've been thinking again about your post and wanted to stop back. Ditto what weavermom said! She's always a step ahead of me

Morning Glory said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the concert. I do believe good Christian entertainment can be just that -- entertainment -- and it's ok for it to be that way. God speaks through his music in many settings.

My husband used to work for Bill's publishing company and travelled quite a bit with him to church music workshops. We got to know Bill and Gloria quite well during that time and the one thing we learned about them was that they are as genuine and real as they seem in their music and concerts. Really good, godly people. It was wonderful to know that they lived what they preached.

How special to have been given tickets to attend!

Jungle Mom said...

Enjoy! I did not post your last comment, only because I was not sure if you wanted the email to be out so open. Thanks for your input.

Lori B said...

Sounds like a neat concert.
I too enjoy listening to Christian music.

Candy said...

Hi Susan :)
Pictures (slideshow) on my blog especially for you :)
Candy :)

Anonymous said...

I understand totally what you are saying. I remember years back when Amy Grant charged $10 to see her concert. My husband said, "What is wrong with this picture?" I guess it costs much to be on the road and do all the set up, etc...

I love the Gaithers, just listened to them on TV Sat. night. I grew up with them. I am always blessed by them. They have touched lives for decades. I guess it does cost $ to be in huge facilities like when they are in Dallas at the American Airline Center where my daugher used to work, hmmmm. Whatever happened to using churches and the likes. I don't know. Now we have mega churches like mine and it cost mega bucks to run that.

No good answer for you, Susan. I can only pray that the Holy Spirit will still minister His sweet aroma wherever peoples hearts are open to receive.

Karen said...

What a blessing to have received those tickets. I am a fan of the "Gaither" dvd's.
Thank you for your sweet comments on my Budget Decor. I'm happy to "meet" new bloggers, and I hope you'll come back!
I am going now to read some more of your posts.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of them --- but I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :)

I know what you mean about the entertainers --- do the Gaithers use their talents for the Lord in other ways I wonder? If they are not necessarily praising and worshipping him in concert -- maybe they do in other ways?

or maybe they believe their role is just to have a 'family friendly' entertainment instead of the 'usual' non family friendly --- but either way, you're right, they should give glory and credit to where it's due --- and they should acknowledge the fun that they are able to have and the joy they feel starts with the creator of Joy --- the Lord.

Very interesting post. you're so wise! this time of year is such a deep reflective time - we had our church play this past Sunday for Easter - watching the Crucifixion scene gets me every time - I was hysterical (but I'm just an emotional person) but I just am so humbled what the Lord went through for ME.

Easter Sunday should be the biggest celebration of our year! It should be the most important holiday of the chrisian year! and it seems to just pass with egg hunts and candy for the majority.

I want things to change - and to get the focus back on the Lord. Including our christian entertainment!

Penless Thoughts said...

Thanks to all who left comments. I want to clarify one thing.....I was in NO WAY being critical of Bill & Gloria Gaither. They have written some of our greatest Praise Music that always glorifies God and Jesus. They perform it in a most beautiful way and certainly give glory to God.

My criticism is in US (ME - you know 4 fingers pointing back to me if I point 1 finger outward!) the one's who flock to the
"entertainment" aspect. I was just thinking outloud and questioning.

I think Weaver Mom said it best:

"I think the danger is that it seems at times that entertainment REPLACES worship. There is a place for both, but you gotta keep that worship. I completely agree with your comments."

Thanks Weaver Mom, YOU said so well, in a few words, what I was trying to say!!

Lori B said...

Good Morning.
Come over and check out my site.
I finally posted the meme you posted last Thursday.

Ruth said...

Thank you for this post. What great insight! I am also amazed as well as God's creative ways of blessing us. It is another way He shows His love to us in the "small things". Thanks again!

Michelle Franzen said...

Glad you had a good time!

I remember many events attended in the Mabee Cente (ORU grad).

Lana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You are obviously not a true Gaither fan, for if you were you would know there is a whole lot more to Bill Gaither then just Entertainment. I have worshipped with Bill, and his homecoming friends, in an intimate setting before, and you could cut the spirit with a knife, and no, he's not just out there for the money! He has touched SO many lives and ministered to so many people with his work.

Penless Thoughts said...

Dear Dicia - Thanks for you comment and also for the one above from your daughter Lana saying you had your tickets to his April concert in CA and owned all his DVD. I AM a big Gaither fan, otherwise I would not have been at the concert. Please go up 4 comments above you and read my comment that I posted there claifying myself. God bless you and enjoy the concert and come back and tell me about it.


Penless Thoughts said...

Don't know how this comment got deleted. I sure didn't delete it but here it is as shown on my email account.

My mom already has her tickets for their show in April in California. Go Gaithers!!!! She goes every year, owns all the homecoming DVD's went on a cruise with them to Alaska year before last, subscribes to their websites and singing news magazine!
mail account.