Listening to the average evangelical sermon in our modern age will soon fall on our ears as sermons with very few to no BIG words in the content.
It has long been my contention that the modern church has made it their purpose to dumn down the message of the gospel to the point of becoming quite meaningless.
The BIG words of our faith of yesteryear, words like propitiation and redemption, eschatology and ecclesiology, have been given the boot in the church in order to make way for little words.
Many preachers today do their utmost not to use these words in their sermons, perhaps because they don't know or understand these words themselves.
Even our Bible translations are getting dumbed down. Just reading The Message for a few minutes is enough to convince me that many in the church has lost the plot and are no longer following the marching orders of our Saviour.
What is it with these BIG words? Why are churches and their pastors so scared of them?
Our culture has moved away from little boys wanting to grow up to become men, to men wanting to hold on to eternal youth. Many adolescents refuse to grow up into mature adulthood, and while their bodies reach adulthood, they never reach that stage of psychological and sociological adulthood, resulting in rebellious teenagers in adult bodies. It is because of this that we have so many physical adults today that never seem to take up responsibility for their own lives and actions. We see this trend everywhere, but especially in the popular culture espoused by the media and movies. In the old movies, for example, young actresses and actors would portray mature people in the movies and sometimes play parts that are much older than their own ages. These days we find that older men would portray very immature, youthful men on the screen, that are in reality bumbling, irresponsible idiots.
The fact is, that our churches have started treating their flocks in this way, as if the people in the pew hardly have brain waves! The BIG words have been jettisoned in order to make way for many little words. And since there are so many little words used instead of BIG words with meaning, it has become like a very watered down salty water. If I have 1 teaspoon of salt in 5ml of water, the water will be VERY salty. However, if I add that 1 teaspoon of salt to a pool of 50,000 litres of water, there will be no real discernable difference! This is what the church has done. All the BIG words have been removed out of the message and have been replaced with little words. Those little words later on became too big and they were replaced with even smaller words. Right now, we have a message with words so little and with so little meaning, that in the scheme of the message we preach, those little-smaller words have rendered the message meaningless!
It is not as if society no longer use big words! It is the church that took the wrong step somewhere along the line and have started treating the people as if they are all children. So, now we have a church that never grows up. Instead of taking the people from a young age and helping them grow a healthy vocabulary, their growth have been stunted by pastors whose message has become meaningless.
It is also because of this eternal-youth syndrome that the church has come to believe that the greatest sin they could ever commit is failing to keep people excited. The value of a church service is gauged by the level of excitement raised in the service. So, what happens when you somehow get to have a killer service one week? Next week, a better one will be expected, and the week after that even better. You see, in this materialistic world of ours, this attitude of materialism has even crept into our worship services. Christians have become so used to these experiences of excitement, that it has become the commodity that the church uses to barter for our loyalty as happy "excitement" customers.
It is for this reason that worship in much of the church has lost its meaning, since it no longer worships with the correct attitude and neither is the worship aimed at God, but at man himself. Man has become the arbiter of what worship is, and to the extent that there is excitement in the worship, man can feel happy and fulfilled.
Biblical worship never loses sight of the fact that the object of worship is God, and that He is to be satisfied in worship. Modern worship has lost that from its view, and man has become the master of worship while demanding feel-good sessions of excitement so that the master may be appeased in order to keep him loyal to the church where his own selfish, manward desires may be pleased.
This worship is no longer aimed at God, but at man, and to attract man, and as a result has fused worship and entertainment to create the evil chimera of worshitainment. The church has become so weak in its message that it has succumbed to the false belief that we have to bow down to what would work in the world to draw people, and so the church has married the world of entertainment (a world of smokescreens and mirrors where false ideals and expectations are created) with the worship of the Holy God.
It seems to me that the loss of the BIG words of our faith coincides with this need for worshitainment. Is it perhaps the fact that we have lost the BIG words that the church has now reached toward something other than the message itself to attract people? It is only in the last 40 or so years that the BIG words have gone into disuse. Does it not strike you as odd, that the charismatic movement started about 40 or so years ago?
I believe that it is time for those pastors of churches like those portrayed here, to become mature men willing to teach their people as though they can think and can increase their vocabulary. Remember, we need to preach the unadulterated message from the Bible!