Another one of his favorite soap boxes centers around entertainment. I know what you are thinking: "he likely decries the increase of violence, vulgar language, and sexuality in media." Classic old person complaining, right? Not quite. In addition to being a former amateur boxer, I've also heard my grandpa cuss like a sailor. It's not the content that bothers him, it's the way the content is delivered.
"You can't hear people talk in movies anymore," he'll tell me with convicted frustration. And believe me, it's not because he doesn't turn his TV up loud enough. He's accustomed to blaring it so loud, that when my wife and I sleep over and put our little girl down for bed, he just mutes the volume. "You don't have to turn it all the way down," I told him on one occasion. "I might as well, he said. I won't be able to hear anything except the noise behind the words with it turned partially down."
Admittedly, part of the reason for this is because he is too stubborn to use a hearing aid. But I think he may be on to something. The movies he really loves date back to the era when sound effects were sparse, and the soundtrack consisted of classically orchestrated music. Dialogue was crisp, clear, and pointed - mimicking the oratory that was popular during the days that the radio was the primary form of entertainment. As technology has made leaps and bounds, so has our ability to add lots of "noise behind the words."
This is true in lots of areas, including the Church. As Christians attempt to attract others, we must be wary of adding a lot of noise to our message. It's one thing to focus on quality, but quality is not necessarily equal to quantity. In fact, for many churches, a good question to ask ourselves is: "what do we do that is unnecessary?" How much "noise" is there behind our words? And how can we lower the volume?
What kind of "noise" keeps you from connecting with God? What do you think your church can do without?