Discussing
Church-Goer or Worshiper?

Steven Koster

juggerN8
October 28, 2009

Why do Mac commercials appeal to you? Why do you like them? Because it pictures Windows users just as you see them - bumbling, bland, unaware, uncool... sure, you're still nice to Windows users, but lets be honest, they're pretty lame people, in general. Otherwise, we wouldn't parody them as such. <br><br>Any Christian advert that makes it point by mocking or belittling somebody with different values or varying spiritual maturity levels seems patently non-Christian to me. The intent (albeit, inadvertent) of these commercials is to poke fun at those who "don't get it." I've found that, while it may work for Apple and Volkswagen, appealing to a person's insecurities is an ultimately fruitless way to inspire growth. These commercials reek more of high-school's "in crowd" flaunting their position. They just does so in a high-brow way. <br><br>Where does the creator of these videos see himself? Does he see himself as a "dweeby church-goer"? I doubt it. If he did, I doubt he'd paint such an ugly caricature of them.<br><br>I don't really see God getting too much glory out of commercials like these. Cool, free-thinking, modern, self-aware "worshipers" look pretty good, but the overall body of Christ get's a pretty good black eye.<br><br><br><br>

Rick
October 28, 2009

Ahh. Another amateur Apple commercial spoof. It makes me cringe to watch because the original was so good and these are so, well, amateurish. However, they have a very valid point and in some ways are much more gentle than Jesus’ critique of the Church. Jesus went to church every week (synagogue). He said of some of the worshippers, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”. He called some of the worshippers “white washed tombs”. When asked where they should worship, Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” Jesus even criticized dressing to appear religious ““Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels.”<br><br>While I may not enjoy the sophistication level of these videos, the points are very valid and I resonate with them. Perhaps these are points that need to be made to the Body of Christ.<br>1. Church is not entertainment, its not a show. <br>2. We don’t gather together to get fed, but to offer worship to God and fellowship with other believers. 3. Worship is not just about the 30 minute lecture we call the sermon. <br>4. Appearing outwardly religious, wearing your Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes, is a trap and doesn’t impress God.

Danroukema
October 29, 2009

I think the worship vs. church-goer ads are a great idea...a great concept. I agree with earlier comment, it's too amateur. and I guess I think this is too bad precisely because the concept is so good

Steven Koster
October 29, 2009

Man, you guys are harsh!<br><br>I think the idea here is to use a humorous iconic platform to do some basic teaching about worship. It's better than a lecture. <br><br>And I would suggest that we are all both church-goers and worshipers, and these characters are more two sides of one's personality than trying to make fun of some external group. <br><br>

Rvandenburg
October 29, 2009

From the Latin "amator:" lover, devoted friend, devotee, enthusiastic pursuer of an objective.<br><br>Then if one is an enthusiastic pursuer of making videos or of worship, then amateur it is.

Brett Barner
October 29, 2009

Ouch, not too many fans of these videos I guess. I like the idea, but I think I know why there's an issue with these vids. The PC/Mac ads are intended to make fun of PC users. That's why they're funny (But personally they are starting to get old and have run their course. Oh, I'm a big John Hodgman fan though!). So here lies the problem: a parody is only funny when the ideas, connotation, feel, etc. mirrors the original. So it's either be funny and make fun of someone, or not make fun of someone and not be funny. I'm not saying that these weren't good videos (probably better than I could do), but I can see the points others have.<br><br>Plus the plink-plank-ing of the toy piano was a bit on the...well, toy piano side.

Pcg
October 29, 2009

Steven,<br><br>I know you asked a different question than "what do you think about these videos?" so I have to apologize... but I'm going to answer the question you didn't ask. :-P<br><br>I think the reason people are so "harsh" is that they are a little tired of the smarminess that comes with some emergent leaders telling the established church that they've been doing it wrong lo these many years. Paraphrasing the Internet Monk (since I can't find the article in his archives), it's not good just because it's new, but that's something a strong contingent of the emergent church seems to believe. And while your friend used the videos to present "two sides of one's personality" (as per your interpretation), that's not always the case; people with strong orthodox beliefs or practices are ridiculed as out of touch, or whatever. The holy grail in a lot of worship has become cultural relevance <i>über alles</i>, which means those people that don't chase that dragon are the clueless "church-goer" from the videos.<br><br>So which am I? Hopefully I'm neither of the stereotypes portrayed in the videos.

Chuck
October 30, 2009

Hm, I grew up in a church with a lot of 'church-goers' and the video hit the nail on the head. A lot of people go to church because it's what you're supposed to do on Sunday. They neglect the 'latter' and should be neglecting the 'former'. <br><br>I think Christ would be spitting us out of his mouth because we don't do what he asked.<br><br>If it takes producing videos that step on peoples' feelings to get them to wake up and start reaching the lost, worshiping God, and becoming transparent rather than pursuing 'religion' then so be it!

Brett Barner
October 30, 2009

Yeah, but like Steven Kostar said, this wasn't intended to "make fun of some external group." That's why I don't think these video were well received. It's confusing because the point of the original commercials is that they are poking fun at a certain group of people. That's what made those commercials, those commercials. The smugness that oozes from these commercials is palpable. That's why when people see the video on their own without much of an explanation, they see the Apple commercials with their smugness and "Look how dumb the other person looks" attitude. (though I think with the right explanation, they'd be better received)<br><br>I wouldn't disagree that the church, in its collected and individual states, has failed in many areas. I'm sure some churches and Christians' instances, Christ is just rolling his eyes saying, "Come on!" Others though, I bet he's pumped and excited to see their focus and desire to know more about him.

Arayburn
October 31, 2009

Can a true "worshiper" wear a tie and coat? Does this video reveal presuppositions and prejudices that we do not want to admit (a "church-goer" wears a tie and coat, but the "worshiper" is in a t-shirt and jeans)?

dWb
November 3, 2009

My church has divided into two groups just like this commercial shows. On one side, we have the casual dressers who choose the "creative" rock-n-roll service because it makes them "feel good" (and they get out at 9:45am). These people tend to look down their noses at the others who choose a more traditional style of worship like the traditional worshipers somehow missed the new-age boat to keep things hip and current. I choose the traditional style of worship because it makes me feel closer to God. I'm in the minority in my congregation... but that doesn't make me wrong...

Arayburn
November 3, 2009

I agree - my point exactly.

dWb
November 3, 2009

What do you do when even the church staff heavily favors the new and improved style of worship even though a small percentage of the long-time members want to keep supporting traditional worship?<br>It has divided us into two separate churches who just happen to share one roof. The staff stands behind the new service 100% because it has the potential to "bring so many new people into our church". The youth pastor even recruits young people on his facebook page but he never mentions that we also offer a traditional service.<br>Why do we have to change Christianity to suit today's lifestyle preferences? Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Rick
November 3, 2009

We don’t have to change Christianity, that will never change. The suit and tie, 19th century music, organ and choir are not Christianity, they are culture. I understand your discomfort, but realize Paul said “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” I applaud your pastor for being willing to change and actively pursue younger people. Statistically the church is losing younger people at an alarming rate and if this trend is not reversed, we will have no one replacing our aging population of pew-sitters. <br><br>Realize that if you went to Peter and Paul’s “Christian” church, you’d be wearing a ragged cloak, no underwear, belt and sandals to church and sitting next to people who have never heard of a tooth brush. You’d be singing wierd a-tonal middle eastern music (they had neither our Western musical scale nor melodic sense) played on the 4 stringed Oud. Do you think they wear ties and business suits in Heaven? Just wondering.<br><br>The goal for Paul was not that he should ensure his own comfort, but that he win the most people to Christ. Although I am 59 and raised in the Church as it sounds that you have been, I have made a committment to change and adapt as worship styles and music changes. I refuse to stop changing and cling to old comfortable ways. <br><br>Appropriate business attire has also changed. I haven’t worn a tie to a business meeting in years and a suit would be considered out of place in most business meetings. Regarding music, realize that Mick Jagger is now 66 years old. Loud rock and roll has become the music of old people, just as Lawrence Welk and Bing Crosby was to may parents! Wacky huh! That truth was made patently clear to me one time 2 years ago when I went to an old folks home to minister and Miles Davis was being played over their music system.

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