Are there any reasons to believe that colourful stage lights and fog machines are anything else than the toys of Christian stage technicians and a compensation for lack of Biblical revival? No. The global trend of churches investing billions of dollars in superfluous show equipment has increased dramatically over just the last few decades, but not many have asked themselves why we do it and what happens to church when we do it.
Of course, if someone dares to question this unbiblical practice that person is easily dismissed as someone who doesn’t understand young people or who isn’t into culturally relevant evangelism. So hi, I’m a young evangelist, and I hate stage lights. And fog machines, those horrible, stupid fog machines! How painfully obvious isn’t it that modern, Western churches lack God when they literally try to fabricate something which the Scriptures describes as a manifestation of the Lord’s presence?
As I’ve explained in my God vs Wealth series, Jesus doesn’t want us to be rich but live as simply as possible so that we can give as much to the poor as possible. This applies not just to individual disciples but to churches as well. There are hundreds of millions of Christians around the world living in poverty. If we truly think that they are our brothers and sisters, we can’t ignore their suffering by spending loads of money on superfluities.
As John puts it: “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” (1 Jn 3:17)
Church buildings aren’t even biblical, and nowhere in the New Testament are we told to make a show out of our worship or gatherings. We’re supposed to be a family, not a concert audience.
And it doesn’t help to walk up on that stage (because yes, “platforms” in modern church buildings are stages) and just say that we shouldn’t treat worship as a show, because when accompanied by stage lights and fog machines it is a show in every possible way.
But just look at the parts of the world where there’s actually revival, where the blind see, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and multitudes come to the Lord. These are places where Christians and churches thrive in simplicity, even poverty. Stage toys are a total waste of money, focus and work. Burn them to the ground and start doing some actual biblical stuff instead.
Great post. I’ve only seen stage lights and fog machines used in a special dramatic production. If they are used in regular worship service, that is definitely a substitute for the lack of the power of the Holy Spirit. Keep fighting, the good fight, Micael. Blessings.
Thank you Cassandra! I really poured my heart out on this one. Bless you!
I sooooo want to share this on FB – but right now I’m in a position where I shouldn’t due to recent quarrels with people from a certain Church with fog machines that it’s just wiser not to worsen…
But that being said – I love the post.
Reminds me of Judas… “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
I don’t think it is always as cut and dry as you have pointed out. Still, I love your passion for the poor and a beautiful church that is authentic and generous 🙂
Hello brother! Thank you 🙂 I’ve done a video and written about the alabaster jar here: https://holyspiritactivism.com/2013/04/21/god-vs-wealth-part-7-the-woman-with-the-alabaster-jar/ To sum it up, it is impossible to apply that text on a modern example since Jesus emphasises that it is because He is bodily present and His funeral coming up that makes the alabaster pouring OK. Furthermore, are we really in the same position of Judas or the other disciples if we, unlike them, haven’t sold everything we have?
Agree, good post. People spent too much money to build & rebuild gathering places (churches) claimed because the buildings are the house of God. And so much money for a Christian concert. May your voice (post) ascend to heavens, and the birds to catch and drop it to churches/congregations around the world. Blessings!
I think you are missing the point a little and falling into the trap of worrying about what other churches are doing. The technology that you eschew are just tools and when used well can be a blessing.
Here is your statement: “I hate stage lights. And fog machines, those horrible, stupid fog machines!”
Jesus used every opportunity to enhance his message by using the available tools, such as mountains, boats and other locations that enhanced the sound projection of his voice. He was also not averse to the occasional bit of stage lighting as in the transfiguration, he also felt free to use pigeons, storms, clouds and the time of day to both enhance the message and its dramatic impact.
Don’t get hung up on the surface things, but pray for those churches you have a problem with and develop a more mature view.
As other comments have indicated you are obviously a wonderful christian with a heart for God and his mission. Please be encouraged by these comments and continue to be blessed.
Our church has started using lights and fog machines, unfortunately it is affecting people’s health as it can cause respiratory issues, throat issues , eye issues, headaches etc. They will not listen to reason and people leaving the church because of it. I am so grieved in my spirit and can only pray for them. God does not need mans fake attempt to draw young people.
man I hate you old farts…dont even make me start with how you “worship”…your “worship” feels like you are burying God and not praising Him. you guys are going to die soon anyway…just go peacefully and let the new generation and way of worship do its thing.
I pray for you too, God bless you sweetie
“I hate you old farts”? What are you learning from church anyway?
In speaking with our church leaders, they did not realize the negative effects of the fog on many people. When they realized it was affecting people’s health out of love and concern for their congregation they decided to stop blowing the fog, I so appreciate their sensitivity and love for us.
Thank you for this article. I have been struggling for some time why churches use fog machines. When God isn’t enough it’s no longer a church.
Fog machines and rock concerts are pathetic for the work of God on Sunday mornings. Maybe they’ll replace the regular seating with bar stools and beer next. We need to make the services appealing and meaningful to attract and hold new people, but turning the Sunday morning service into an entertainment concert is putting the whole church into a fog. Shallow people will go to the church that has the best free entertainment.
We don’t need fog, we need the Holy Ghost, the clear exposition of the Word of God and a life-changing commitment to Jesus. He is too good not to share!
Thank you for this article! I hate the stage show as well. My daughter has asthma and the smoke makes her sick. I have mentioned it to leadership and have been totally ignored. How can leaders hinder people from worshiping God? She is not alone in not coming to worship because of the smoke. It’s ludicrous.
I totally agree well said it’s really a distraction to me and I really don’t understand why they do it I want to go and praise my Lord not feel like I just left some rock concert keep the lights on …