I am writing here of the congregation of people who refer to the earthly building and its organization as "their church." Many of these people belong to The Church, some do not. That judgment is reserved solely to the One whose blood was shed for the remission of our sins. I have attended this church for more than three decades. I was baptized in the baptistry in that building, dunked by the pastor who was in the water with me. That practice has been exchanged for a dunking in a horse tank placed on stage, presumably to save the pastor from the inconvenience of having to change his/her clothes. That's okay; it is not solely what I am "on" about.
Note that I referred to a "stage." That is the area once known as a platform on which stood a pulpit from which the minister delivered the Word. And where is the altar, or mourner's bench? There once was an organ and a piano on the platform as well. They have been replaced by a drum set and wires and amplifiers and electronic instruments of one sort or another. And the lighting. One cannot have a weekly rock concert without adequate lights and background. Huge screens on which is projected the seven-word choruses which are sung over and over serve as backdrop.
The pews are gone. In their place there are beautifully padded sturdy, comfortable chairs. The hymnals are gone. Charles Wesley, Fanny Crosby, Isaac Watts. All gone.
How came these changes to be? It is my opinion that no person or group of persons set out deliberately to hijack the church. Like most change, short a violent explosion, the theft took place incrementally, the planning resulting in unintended consequences. Then one Sunday morning we arrived to worship and discovered that our church was gone. We mourn for it, but praise God! Jesus is still on the throne and He is still in love with His bride. He will shepherd her, guide her to safety with Him for eternity
Now the issue is, being in the habit of corporate worship on Sunday mornings, where to?
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. --Jesus Christ