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Friday, April 28, 2006

TV Screens Cause Rift at Megachurch

Screens[from Horn+Swoggled] A fight over TV screens in the sanctuary has caused a congregational rift at Praise Him Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The trouble started when the congregation's board of directors voted to install three giant televisions in the main worship center. Members unanimously praised the concept, but many expressed disappointment with the implementation.

"My wife and I came to Praise Him because we wanted to be part of something exciting and special," said Jason Marler, 23. "But now we find out they're installing analog TVs. It's like the church is stuck in 2002."

Marler is a leader among a vocal group of attendees who have called for high-definition televisions in the sanctuary. "Our God is an awesome God," he said. "We do him a disservice when we pixelate our praise."

Church leaders have tried to quell the growing disenchantment by promising other improvements to their Gospel proclamation. "We're putting in an all-new DVD system that can play all kinds of different formats," said media minister John Mason. "We felt like the old system was really boxing in the Spirit by not being able to play DivX and .mp3 files."

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April 28, 2006 in Humor | Permalink

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ROFLOL. The only sad part is that pretty room has 4:3 (not widescreen 16:9) screens! Too bad they can't type the lyrics like they're actually sung - the real benefit of 16:9.

- Anthony

Posted by: Anthony D. Coppedge | Apr 28, 2006 10:50:04 AM

Actually, I'm not laughing as much, because if my church installed 4:3 screens in 2006 I'd be pretty upset, too. It shows that they make decisions about important matters without even consulting someone who knows something...

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Apr 28, 2006 11:33:21 AM

Hey, at least they didn't cover the cross! That always caused an uproar in my old church - and it wasn't even a TV screen, just a retractable projection screen.

By the way, what's the aspect ratio of a cross? And is that determined by culture or history?

Posted by: Randy Ehle | Apr 28, 2006 11:46:53 AM

As long as we don't 'pixelate' it, we can make the cross any size we need... It originally came in "ONE SIZE FITS ALL."

Posted by: Jeff | Apr 28, 2006 1:43:11 PM

I see the use of these screens, becoming a "wordly thing" For entertainment, for the agenda of the man in charge. I do not understand why there is so much importance put on the Pleasing of the lost. To entice them to come to church. I would like to know were in the bible, the teaching of Jesus & Paul pleased the people. I find NO where in the bible of such teaching. Jesus was straight to the point, and stepped on toes. In the same maner Paul did too. There was No hoop-la of constant singing, or being careful on what we say, because the un-saved might not come back. The church was sent up to TEACH the Saints, Not please the lost. I feel that this day and age we are in some very sorrowful times because the Church is no different than the world.

Posted by: concerned | Apr 28, 2006 8:58:20 PM

Ahhh... now that was refreshing.


Posted by: Todd Rhoades | Apr 28, 2006 9:54:31 PM

I have a friend who is very conservative. When I said once that he was a fundamentalist, he laughed and informed me he was a “Dominionist”. I’m not really clear on the differences but I understand they are very conservative. He is against not only same-sex marriage, but inter-faith and inter-racial marriage. I’m not real sure how we’ve remained friends except that I still hold out hope that Jesus will un-harden his heart and he says he still has hope that I’m one of the “elect” and will one day really be saved.

Anyway, he’s always telling me that we need to focus on the Gospel and not worry about culture or society or relevancy. If we preach the Gospel, some will believe and be saved because God has chosen them, and those who do not believe and are not saved have not been chosen by God and therefore we should not be concerned with them for it is God’s will that they are not saved.

I don’t wish to offend “concerned” or anyone else, but I think my friend is full of it and his beliefs are counter-mission. We MUST, MUST, MUST continue to reach out to the unchurched and unsaved. We must present a culturally relevant and scripturally correct Christian spirituality, both in our churches and in our lives. We must live the example we want people to follow, Jesus’ example. And our churches must be seen as culturally relevant, relevant to peoples lives, or we’re not going to reach many of the people Jesus wants us to reach.

Making the church relevant is NOT making the Gospel irrelevant. Wanting our message to reach the world is not making our churches “worldly”. Jesus and Paul were relevant to the culture of their time, Jesus’ church needs to be relevant to the culture of our time. No, the church was not set up to please the lost, but part of the mission of the church is to reach the lost. If you believe the church is no different than the world, you either haven’t taken a good look at the world today, or you’re going to a church I’m not familiar with.

Posted by: DanielR | Apr 29, 2006 10:23:36 AM

And here I thought this was another humorous Friday post.

Posted by: DanielR | Apr 29, 2006 10:41:52 AM

I myself think it is funny, that they would get into a rift over T.V. Screens... Looks like the Baptist are rubbing off on them.

Although it is funny it is an enbarrassement that they would allow something like T.V. Screens casue a rift in the church...

Our church used a white wall with a overhead projector for years before we moved into the new church building and had overhead screens installed.

This is completely silly...

Oh yea, these people who are fussing about this will be the same ones who go out to eat at a resturant after church fuss, complain, talk about the food, church memebers, the resturant, the service is poor, and the waiteress is big, ugly, or they don't like them...

Posted by: Clairvoyant 1 | Apr 29, 2006 1:00:52 PM

Good comments, DanielR. Can anyone say (with a straight face) that Jesus wasn't culturally relevant? Let's see, with fishermen, he spoke of fishing. With religious leaders, he told parables about religious leaders and their nemeses (is that the right plural of nemesis?). With farmers, he told parables about sowing seeds.

Okay, he didn't use TV screens, but he did position himself in ways that would ensure that people would hear...like when he got into a boat and pushed out from shore because people were crowding in around him so much that the people in the back couldn't hear. I don't know if the boat was 4:3 or 16:9, but it certainly helped the projection of his teaching!

Posted by: Randy Ehle | Apr 29, 2006 5:42:21 PM

Where's my flannelgraph again? O...I need to buy a needle for my hi-fidelity record player. The 8 track is stuck again. Hmmm. Screens? Will a king size white bedsheet do? Now where is that autoharp...?
The mimeograph machine will just have to be replaced with a copier ... maybe one of those thermal jobs will do. Technology...don't you just love it!

Posted by: Dan Moore | Apr 29, 2006 11:26:44 PM

First of all, I would trust that those in leadership took time to pray and to realistically check with the budget, as well as with the congregation. Secondly, those screens are more than they had before and can always be upgraded in the future. As long as they are used to bring praise, worship and glory to God, I think that they are great! What I'd really like to know is what this church, or any church for that matter, is doing regarding effective evangelism and discipleship! We need to keep our hearts focused on the most important aspects of our minitries! All eternity is at stake and we need to reach the lost at all cost! Let's prayerfully keep our priorities in the right place!

Posted by: Don Schink | May 1, 2006 10:36:34 AM

Hey Ya'll... SATIRE ALERT!!!

This is from Horn Swaggled; and most of you have been.

This is a joke... I would have labeled it as such; but that 1. really takes the fun out of it and 2. I thought it was pretty obvious from the source.

Lighten up! :)


Posted by: Todd Rhoades | May 1, 2006 10:40:52 AM

It seems that so much time and concern and money is spent in making a contemporary presentation to the lost. But very little or even NO time is spent in presenting ourselves Christ-like and modeling our changed lives. Too much concern on washing the outside of the cup.

Posted by: Brian | May 1, 2006 11:56:55 AM

I'm sure Praise Him church has done everything possible to eradicate poverty and provide healthcare, housing, and any other assistance needed to the less fortunate in the Cincinnati area, and having done so, I'm quite positive that the most important priority among the wonderful people in this congregation is whether to go High-Def or analog on the Big screens in the worship center. In fact, there's little doubt that the High-Def route will display to the city of Cincinnati what an "awesome God" we serve.

By the way, I'm a musician and make a living in the entertainment industry and am as into the latest cutting edge techno gadgetry as anyone, but OH MY GOSH!!!


Posted by: danny | May 1, 2006 12:24:12 PM

Ok, my bad. Didn't see the source. Reacted immediately. Guilty as charged. The bad news is that, based on my experience, this was not remotely out of the question as a church rift topic. But, having said that.........

I feel SO punked!! LOL

Posted by: danny | May 1, 2006 12:26:28 PM

Poor Jason - all concerned about pixelating praise yet expressing himself with a tired old tune (God bless the talented late Rich Mullins) that refers to an awesome God who "ain't just puttin' on the ritz..." That line always makes me laugh because it reminds me of the scene in "Young Frankenstein" where the doctor and the monster are dancing and singing.... (Please spare me posts doubting my sanctification because I like Mel Brooks movies) Seriously, if God gave you a funny bone that appreciates healthy satire and dry humor, you have to visit www.larknews.com and www.churchmarketingsucks.com. Remember - Jesus came to take away our sins, not our minds :c)

Posted by: CindiCF | May 1, 2006 1:53:02 PM

Three quick observations:

1: No matter what type of humorous post is offered someone will turn it into a mega church vs small church or culturally relevant church vs old time religion argument.

2: No matter how extreme a farce is offered, we live in such extreme days that it could possibly have happened somewhere in the US.

5: God loves a good sense of humor.

Posted by: Todd - Not That Todd | May 1, 2006 2:36:43 PM

Todd (not that Todd) is more right on Point #2 than he probably realizes! The comments at Horn+Swoggled are pretty funny sometimes -- unintentionally. When someone like Todd (yes, that Todd) posts a link to my blog, it brings in a bunch of people who aren't aware that the whole thing is satire. And I am constantly amazed at how many people take it seriously! It makes it kind of hard to write satire when real life is so outlandish, but I have fun doing it anyway.

Posted by: David Brazeal | May 1, 2006 5:25:54 PM

Todd, I was disappointed you hadn't gone for a "light screen" that's used in concerts. BTW: the pixelation problem still occurs on 16:9 depending how you compress, tape etc. Photoshop has a nice "filter" called Stained Glass window in case the congregation would wish to project a window or avant garde cross, then the projector could do double duty in the budget.

Posted by: lizmeyer | May 2, 2006 1:05:26 AM

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