Is It Worship Or Is It a Show?

My wife and I thought it would be fun to take the family to the Newsboys concert. So, with much excitement, we piled into the minivan and headed downtown to see the show. Both of us have attended other concerts before, so we thought we knew what to expect. We were wrong!

This will show our age, I suppose, but the opening act was some rapper who basically sang along to his own record as it played on the speakers. One of his songs was bemoaning the fakery of social media status … then he whipped out his phone and did an “insta-story” by panning across the whole audience so he could post it on his … social media.

Fool me once … the next act did THE SAME THING! My wife and I looked at eachother and said, “I guess this is a thing now.”

Allow me to rewind. The night started out with the radio personality from KTIS, the local Twin Cities’ Christian station, dedicating the night to the Lord. The prayer was that it would change our lives.

Then there was a video about sponsoring a child from an impoverished country, and how that was the real Gospel, as opposed to taking care of your immediate family (shameful!).

This is all well and good, I suppose. I disagreed that the Gospel was actually about eradicating world hunger. Last I checked, Jesus commanded us to go and preach the Gospel, baptizing converts in the name (nature) of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. So, unless I’m reading the wrong book, I don’t see that the Gospel is about eliminating poverty or hunger.

It’s not that we shouldn’t do those things. Rather, that when people’s lives have been rescued from the self-life of the flesh through repentance and acceptance of Jesus as their Lord–made possible through the payment He made on the cross–the natural attitude of helping others will be the result.

But the actions we take are not the Gospel. Good people who want to be noticed for their charity will also do those good works and it doesn’t convey the Gospel of salvation.

So, the night gets going, and the music was great. Fantastic performers.

There were a total of three opening acts. The last of which gave a mini-sermon about life change because of pop Christian concerts and asked, “Maybe you just wandered in here…”

And I thought, “I hope nobody just wandered in here! This is the Target Center and I had to go through security with a metal detector! I also had to pay for a ticket!”

Anyway…

Then, we got 30 minutes of a Sponsor A Child commercial.

My wife and I looked at each other in disbelief. The guy attempted to pull all the heartstrings about how even he rejected a girl who died the next day … and the treatment he could have offered only cost a DOLLAR! Oh, the guilt! The horror …

But, thankfully, there were volunteers with envelopes and cards right in our section. We could raise our hands and take one… we could put our credit card information in …

WHAT???

Yes, you heard right. They were asking people to put their financial information on cards and hand them back to strangers in the Target Center!

Oh, and if they do … they could get a bracelet to go backstage after the concert to meet the Newsboys!!

Fine print: they have a show tomorrow, so this will be limited.

Another 15 minute intermission from the commercial.

Then the stars come out almost 2 hours after the show started. Or was this a worship service? They did open in prayer. We did get a few messages. And they did have someone going around to collect money.

Do I have to go to church on Sunday, or does this count?

The Newsboys … or rather, the Michael Tait Band did a very nice job. Michael Tait was entertaining and the songs were well-done. I’ll hand it to Mr. Tait … he came the closest to anyone in regard to proper exegesis. He referenced that God will not hear us if we don’t repent! Gasp!

I guess Trump is right … if you’re a celebrity, you can get away with anything!

Overall, I enjoyed the music, but found that they truncated most of their songs. I kept thinking that maybe they could have done the whole song He Reigns if they hadn’t had the commercial stuck in there.

And, for this guy, I was a little disappointed that there weren’t any other Peter Furler songs done. It was as if Shine, Devotion, Breakfast and God Of All Nations had never happened. Instead, we got Born Again, God’s Not Dead, Save Your Life, Crazy … all of which are very light on, or missing entirely, any Biblical content. They do what Peter Furler rejected in his songs about not being ashamed: they emphasised the beat and downplayed God.

Maybe I expect too much.

The most interesting thing for me, though, was how all the performers tried to act as though they were “not rock stars,” yet were having special meetings with fans backstage. They acted as if they were doing a worship service … but we all paid to get in.

I’d prefer them to be a bit more honest. They are rock stars. They are performing for pay. It isn’t a worship service and it won’t change anyone’s life.

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