Is Your Church a Concert Venue or House of Worship?

The ambiance of some churches today is dark, filled with dazzling lights and dangerous superstar pastors

After WW2, churches departed from ornate architecture to simple design. It costs less and faster to build. After all, the Gilded Age was associated with oppression. In the 1990s, Hillsong Music made concert halls filled with dazzling lights the standard for worship.

Darkness descends on Christian churches

Contemporary churches that pack huge numbers are often set in a dark ambiance filled with stunning displays. They’ve disposed of large windows to save on electricity but installed state-of-the-art lights to create a dramatic interior.

Gone is the “old world” of stained glass and artsy halls. Understandably, young people find those boring.

A worldly church

To make it more appealing, they have preachers wearing signature clothes that match their huge homes. People are naturally drawn to this—well, “the world” is.

In the USA, several of these “pitch-black worship” have false teachers who say little or none about repentance and sanctification. Some don’t even quote Bible verses. Instead, these superstar pastors preach “be yourself” rather than “die to self.”

While we can worship God anywhere, a “dark church” is not a place, especially for corporate worship. In heaven, we will worship God in the light of His omnipotence—not in darkness.

Therefore, bright and natural lights should remain a staple in church, especially during praise and worship.

John 12:46
“I have come into the world as light so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”

Natural lights should remain.


hillsong darkness
Hillsong’s pitch-black church with Carl Lentz. In 2020, he admitted committing adultery. In 2008, their worship leader admitted to faking cancer to win audiences. In 2018, Hillsong released “Peace” set in a bizarre dark-occult theme. (What’s wrong with Hillsong?)

The world has infected the church

John MacArthur, criticized for being old school, insists “the world” has infected the church and turned it “dark.” He said:

“Cut out the music. Turn on all the lights—normal lightbulbs, please. Have a man stand in front of them and preach the Word—Try and sell that.”

Today, we see more worship leaders push an emotional experience, a culture they grew up with, when Hillsong effectively changed how we experience worship. It’s essentially entertainment where the melody moves us, even if the lyrics are more about us than God.

Dark ambiance draws young crowds, but is it working to lead them to the faithful Jesus?

  • Despite efforts to make worship appealing, church attendance declines in America.
  • Woke churches and false preachers are gaining more followers than churches.
  • A lot of contemporary Christian music focuses more on vocal affections and melody rather than “worship substance.”
  • Today’s Christian song lyrics are mostly about “blessings” rather than “worship.”
  • Satan has infiltrated music.

Demonic spirits during worship

I was a youth worship leader and have been to many “worship nights.” During a music retreat, I discerned a strong demonic manifestation. The person beside me saw visions of snakes crawling during the “high worship.”

Most of those who attended were devoted Christians. Yet how can demonic entities be present?

Emotional setup of Christian music

Growing up in faith, I saw an “emotional setup” in many praises and worship events. Some people I knew raised their hands, shouting Jesus! But it was all just feelings. Although they professed to be Christians, repentance was not real because they still lived in sin.

In 2008, a worship leader composed a song about how God would heal him. He had cancer, and his song performances packed the church. However, it was a show. He later confessed he faked his sickness to get attention while covering his struggle with porn.

An “emotional setup” rather than true worship.


Most churches today are set in dramatic dark themes and dazzling lights. People are drawn, but is it winning them toward the true light of Christ? In heavenly worship, the glory of God gives it “light”—where there is NO darkness.

God calls us to a higher form of worship

God calls us to a higher form of worship, which has nothing to do with the ambiance or how excellent or emotional our praise and worship are. Remember, music is Lucifer’s turf. He uses it to draw young people to cheap grace and turn them into lukewarm Christians.

Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

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  1. Amen! So very true! Churches have become theaters and concert hall without worship! May God have mercy on those who have turned worship into stardom!


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