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Several weeks ago, Carol and I visited a church in California. It was the largest church in town with four weekend services: one Saturday evening and three on Sunday morning. I was really looking forward to hearing the pastor to see what was drawing the people.

One of the Sunday services was designated for the youth, and one parishioner said, "You don't want to visit that one -- it's the loudest kids service in this part of the state!"

Well, that explained one drawing card. It's too bad that neither the kids nor the church staff understand the destructive effect that high decibel-level has on our physical bodies -- including our heart and nervous system.

Here is some information regarding noise levels measured in decibels (db): 60 db is 10 times louder than 50; 70 db is 100 times louder than 50; 80 is 1,000 times louder than 50; and so on.

Normal conversation level is around 55-65 db. We endure about 84 decibels from a train going 45 mph about 100 feet away. The ear-drums can burst at 150 db and 185 db can kill a person.

Hearing damage starts at a continuous 80 decibel-level. Hearing degrades dramatically after only two minutes exposure of 110 db, but rock-concerts try to keep the sound around 105-120 db. Many churches try to stay between 95--110 db (some up to 115) during their music portion of the service because they want to use high noise levels to attract the kids. This is an ungodly way to reach the youth.

I also found that the church we visited has many weekly and monthly games and activities for kids; various support groups for confused and hurting people; outings for men, women and senior's groups; and a school -- kindergarten through high school. The church is serving as an overall social organization for a large part of the community -- with some of the kids' activities mirroring those provided by the non-Christian world. At least some hurting folk are receiving help, and that's good.

We discovered another concept in the church. The pastor openly proclaimed in his message that we do not need to believe the Bible, we don't need to live by any moral rules -- either health or Biblical -- and we don't need to adhere to Bible doctrine. We don't need any of that in order to go to heaven.

I communicated with him by email later that week to learn more of his point of view. He informed me that we can live any way we want to, by any code of ethics we choose, participate in any activity we want, and believe anything -- Biblical or not -- that we want to. It won't make any difference in whether or not God will accept us, because God has already chosen us for heaven or chosen us for hell. Period. And there is nothing we can do about it.

I asked him if we should believe what Jesus taught in Scripture, and he said it won't affect our salvation. If God has chosen us for heaven, He would make us live in a righteous manner; our will and decisions have nothing to do with it. Yet he wouldn't agree that we were robots.

He asserted that even though some repent and turn from their sin, if God didn't choose them, they would not go to heaven. Obeying the Lord is neither a priority nor a necessity, and he doesn't teach obedience to God.

I will state emphatically: That is not the God I find in the Bible. And that church doesn't represent Jesus who died for us. John 14:21 says, "Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them."

John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

2 Peter 3:9b says, "...But God is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to be lost, but he wants all people to change their hearts and lives."

I believe that pastor is defrauding the people: they are not coming to learn how to live for and honor the Lord. That is not the pastor's intent. It's a large social club, and I am concerned for churches like that. I am concerned for the people attending.

GENE LINZEY IS A SPEAKER, AUTHOR, AND MENTOR. SEND COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS TO MASTERS.SERVANT@COX.NET. THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR.

Editorial on 04/03/2019

Print Headline: A Concern For A Certain Church

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