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.