Posted by: Terry | March 28, 2009

The iTunes iChurch

In the iTunes iChurch World, there are no bad churches. Thanks to iTunes all our songs are good songs. In the days of vinyl, cassette tapes, and CDs every album had a song that was not “good” but you had to endure it to get the rest of the songs. With ITunes you only buy the ones you like, it’s your playlist. In the iTunes iChurch it’s all your playlist.

Church has come a long way since those early believers gathered to talk about Jesus who they had seen crucified. They listened to the accounts of those who saw him that Easter morning. They listened to the Apostles explain all the teachings of Jesus. They observed the Communion meal together. That was church.

As nostalgic as it may be, we will never go back, nor should we. The church in Acts 2 was a collection of believers that were learning what church was all about. It would take Peter and Paul the next 50 years to give the direction that was needed.

In the last couple of decades there have been various attempts to redefine the church and keep it relevant in today’s culture: the Church Growth Movement, which used Nordstrom customer service as its model; The Purpose Driven Church, which used corporate style goals and plans to grow. Now we have the emerging church, which has no specific model just community, and a host of others.

In Acts your church was the group of other Christians in your area; now we have the iTunes iChurch model. You simply look for the:

  • Music that I like
  • Pastor that preaches the way I like, if there is preaching at all, a new trend that would amaze Paul.
  • Programs that I like
  • Location that I like
  • Building that I like
  • People that I like
  • Liturgy that I like, or none if I like
  • Self-help and personal development programs that I like
  • Doctrine, if we can even use the word without offending, that I like
  • Small groups that I like
  • Personal applications that I like

You set it all up the way you set up an iTunes play list, nothing uncomfortable or difficult; to mix the metaphor you “have it your way.” No bad songs, just the ones I like. Is this relevance or selfishness?

As we attempt to keep the church relevant in our changing world we must also be vigilant to remember the messages of Scripture:

  • The church is built on the confession by the faithful that Jesus “is Messiah, the son of the living God”, Matt. 16.18
  • The church is “the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3.15
  • The church is built-up by the foolishness of preaching about Christ and his crucifixion. 1 Cor. 1.18, 2.2
  • Changed lives are the result of the Holy Spirit using the Word. Romans 10, Colossians 3

The Church was founded by God, directed through scripture by God; it grows by God, and is kept by God. The generation of Paul and the early church thought the message illogical and uncomfortable, it had some bad songs, but thousands of new believers were added some days.

There are songs on my music albums that I have learned to like, when the CD was new I skipped over them, not good songs. But after time they grew on me and I truly enjoy them. Maybe the producer of the collection had a plan.

The church exists for the glory of God, not for my comfort and convenience; it is hisChurch not the iChurch.

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Responses

  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).


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