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 design to simple architecture. It cost less and took faster to build. After all, the gilded age was associated with oppression. In the 1990s, Hillsong Music made concert halls the standard.

Churches today are often set in a dark AMBIANCE filled with dazzling lights.


Darkness descends on Christian churches

Churches that pack huge numbers are often set in a dark ambiance filled with dazzling lights. Some go overboard, and it’s almost like musical entertainment.

Gone is the “old world” of stained glass and artsy halls. Understandably, young people find those boring. Instead, more churches adopt a dark-themed ambiance.

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.

Church lights should remain open, especially during praise and worship, because we will worship God in heaven in broad daylight—not in darkness.

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

Church lights should remain open, especially during praise & worship.

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. 2018, Hillsong released “Peace,” set in a bizarre dark-occult theme. (What’s wrong with Hillsong?)

False worship in dark churches

Today, we see more worship leaders push an emotional experience, a culture they grew up with when Hillsong effectively changed how we experience worship. We are moved by the melody, even if the lyrics are more about us than God.

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.”

We are moved by the melody, even if the lyrics are more about us than God.


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.”

Have a man stand in front of them and preach the Word—Try and sell that.

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

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

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?

Truth not feelings

As I grew in the faith, I began to see an “emotional setup” in many praises and worship events. Some people I knew would raise their hands, shouting Jesus!, but it seems to me it’s all feelings. Although they knew and sang praises to God, their repentance was not real because they still lived in sin.

The church is not for entertainment

Many love to sing praises to God because of what He gives them—not for who He is. Feelings have nothing to do with worship; the heart is deceitful.

We can have modern worship and equip the church with good sound and light technology, but the reason should have nothing to do with expanding members; the church is not meant to entertain. The church will grow when God’s people are faithful.

An “emotional setup” rather than true worship.

A higher form of worship

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

The point is 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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