Monday, May 19, 2008

An attempt in parody...

A forum I frequent had a post delving into Christian Contemporary Music, it's pro's and cons. I altered it slightly to shed light into the silliness of the arguments. Enjoy!

In recent years, it seems like just about every church in America has adopted the contemporary offering style - you know, the type with the one gallon buckets, sometimes in various colors, sometimes left in the back of the sanctuary or even in the foyer - definitely the type that does NOT go over well at PCC. What's your opinion -do you like it, or would you much rather prefer traditional taking of the offering, complete with fake brass plates and peeling red / green velvet?

I am not a big fan of contemporary offerings. While I was growing up, I never was a part of any churches that did this - in the IFB circles I was raised in, contemporary offerings were almost considered apostasy. My parents never gave into those sterile, plastic buckets, and still don't. In fact, I don't really like contemporary offerings in general. I don't really have anything against them - I've just never developed a taste for it, even though I give regularly at my church.

I greatly prefer traditional offering plates, even if they are considered old-fashioned and outdated by a lot of modern Christians. There are a lot of offering plates out there that are really wonderful old plates, plates carried by our Bible-believing ancestors through some tough times and that have endured for many, many years before a new group of Christians decided that they needed to go the way of the typewriter and the library card catalog. I'm afraid that, with the wide-spreadness of contemporary offering containers in many churches, many of these great offering plates will be lost for good.

I also dislike contemporary offering buckets for other reasons. One is that, in some of the churches I've been in, people just seem to give nonchalantly, giving the same amount over and over and over. Not that traditional offerings are not collected nonchalantly too sometimes, but I've noticed it more in these megachurches.

Also, the theology concerning contemporary plastic buckets is weak. While many traditional offering plates help us deal with issues such as forgiveness, redemption, salvation, faith, etc, (as we reflect on their passing during the traditional offertory) many contemporary giving opportunities deal mostly, or only, with praising God. Some of these plastic giving containers are used, by overly tolerant churches, to avoid upsetting people by merely suggesting that they MIGHT actually be sinners and in danger of going to hell without Christ.

However, my dislike of contemporary giving containers makes it kind of tough as a single person. Just about every church in my area that has a decent-sized singles group does the plastic bucket thing. The ones that stick to traditional offering plates are very small, very traditional churches with virtually no singles - all the people my age in these kind of churches are more likely than not, married, and usually with kids in tow. So when I'm church hunting (which I'm in the process of right now) I have to decide whether I want to simply tolerate the buckets in order to make some relationships in the singles group, or stick to traditional offering plates and be a very single, single. I know fellowship isn't the most important thing about a church, but it is still a very important component nonetheless.

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