As much of the professing church travels increasingly farther from the Word of God, the pews continue to empty.
Despite standards being lowered to the point where now there virtually are no standards left, there continues to be increasingly fewer people turning up on a Sunday to partake in many churches’ dead, ritualistic services.
So many Church of Ireland, Church of England, Presbyterian and Methodist churches are now “grouped”, with one minister responsible for two, three, sometimes four churches at once.
Whenever you see a minister in charge of several churches, you can usually guarantee it’s a result of apostasy somewhere along the way.
Of course, there are those churches which are still drawing in the punters, but that is because they have adopted the tactic of including worldliness in the church, turning meetings into soft rock concerts, full of pounding drums, electric guitars, dimmed / flashing lights, arm waving and jumping about.
But for the most part, churches which have overthrown the Word of God have slowly died over the decades, and this is no more prevalent than in the Church of England.
As the numbers there have consistently decreased, the church has consistently deteriorated and become increasingly repellent to Bible-believing Christians.
And in the past couple of weeks reports have emerged of two ludicrous efforts at English cathedrals to bring people in.
Indeed, it would be laughable were it not so serious and sad.
Rochester Cathedral has brought in a crazy golf course (pictured, below), while Norwich Cathedral has introduced a helter skelter fairground ride (pictured, top).
In the case of Norwich Cathedral, Rev Canon Andy Bryant said the motivation behind installing a 55 foot tall helter skelter in the main body of the church was to show off the roof bosses, or ornamental carvings in the cathedral ceiling, which stands 69 foot tall.
Quoted in an article for The Guardian newspaper, Canon Andy Bryant said: “We have one of the greatest collections of medieval roof bosses anywhere in northern Europe. The trouble is they are so high up that most people never get a chance to really appreciate them.
“And so was born the idea, could we get people up higher to these roof bosses and so appreciate that they are exquisite art as they are the most beautiful pieces of stone carving but also the story that’s captured within them which is the story of the Bible.”
So the main idea of this foolhardy initiative is to allow people to appreciate the building’s architecture.
Canon Andy Bryant wanted to show people the work of man rather than focus on the finished cross work of Christ.
Canon Andy Bryant wanted to celebrate the temporal, temporary beauty of what man has wrought, rather than implore people to “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2).
The house of God is to be treated with reverence and to be respected as a place where we meet with our Creator, the Almighty God of heaven.
It is not to be turned into a fairground or a carnival to lure people in or create a few headlines.
Psalm 89:7 says: “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.”
Is there reverence or godly fear at work in Norwich Cathedral as photographs and videos show people sliding down the helter skelter in what is supposed to be a venue for the worship of God?
It would hardly seem so.
The same sad conclusion can be drawn from a similar act of tomfoolery at Rochester Cathedral.
Clerics there have introduced a crazy golf course in the cathedral’s nave.
The move is the result of a link-up between Rochester Cathedral and the Rochester Bridge Trust to help educate people about the various bridges in that town in Kent.
And, apparently this move to introducing worldly entertainment has resulted in a marked increase in visitors to the cathedral, funnily enough.
It has been reported that over the first 16 days of the initiative the cathedral had received 13,000 visitors, double the 6,500 who visited the cathedral in the same time period last year.
According to the BBC report, “the golf course was a joint idea with the Rochester Bridge Trust and is designed to encourage young people to learn more about the engineering behind bridges.”
So it was not about encouraging young people to learn more about God or His Word, it was not about encouraging young people to realise they are a hell-deserving sinner in need of salvation, it was about teaching young people about the engineering behind bridges.
What a sad state of affairs.
The cathedral says there has also been a 22% rise in the “number of candles being lit at prayer stations”. So it has led to more Popishness as well.
Let us be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with helter skelters or crazy golf courses, but the church is a far from appropriate place for them.
The church exists to bring people closer to God, not to admire ceilings or swing golf clubs about.
We are told in God’s Word how we ought to reach those who are outside of Christ and the ordained means God has blessed in order to draw sinners to Himself.
It is by the faithful, simple preaching of the Word of God.
Romans 10:14: “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
1 Corinthians 1:18, 23: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness”.
Would that the foolishness of helter skelters and crazy golf courses would be firmly swept to the side and that the preaching of Christ’s atoning death at Calvary was central in every section of the professing church.
We need ministers to preach of the corrupt nature of man brought about by the Fall in the Garden of Eden and how all are condemned except they repent of their sins and put their faith and trust in Christ for salvation.
Would that we could again live in revival times such as those in the time of the Acts of the Apostles.
Acts 6:7: “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”