Beyonce Worship Services

In April of 2018, over 900 people attended a Beyonce Service at Grace Cathedral Church in San Francisco. Now two more churches in New York will be having the same service. What is the Beyonce Service? According to their website; “Beyoncé Mass is a womanist worship service that uses the music and personal life of Beyoncé as a tool to foster an empowering conversation about Black women—their lives, their bodies, and their voices. Curated by Rev. Yolanda Norton, the H. Eugene Farlough Chari of Black Church Studies at San Francisco Theological Seminary, this groundbreaking spiritual experience has gathered thousands of people at worship services from Southern California to Portugal.”
If that seems a little far fetched, Rev. Jude Harmon of Grace Cathedral Church stated, “Honestly, I think Beyonce is a better theologian than many of the pastors and priests in our churches today. That is not an exaggeration.” So, basically, the words and life of Beyonce are being used to reach people for God.
What happens at a Beyonce Mass? According to the NY Times, “The Mass, which features black women singers, dancers and officiants, is a complete church service with a sermon, scripture readings and the Lord’s Supper.” I watched clips of the service and the format is very similar to an every Sunday type of church service. Yet, the songs are all Beyonce songs (swearing included), the sermon is in reference to Beyonce’s life, it is very specific to women of color and very little of God was referenced. 
Do they actually worship Beyonce? ““Absolutely not, and I’m a card-carrying member of the BeyHive,” Ms. Norton said, referring to the singer’s vast international fan base. Instead, the Mass uses Beyoncé’s story and songs, from “Formation” to “Flaws and All,” to reframe the narratives and struggles of black women through the lens of the Christian Gospels and their message of radical hospitality and inclusion.”
You can say all you want that you are not worshiping Beyonce. But, you are using Beyonce to reach people. You are singing Beyonce songs. Beyonce is a platform to extend the Gospel to the world. Beyonce’s life is what you are using for your sermons and conversations. If all of that is true then the object of your affection, the focus of your service, your praise and adoration is being directed to her, not God. When one comes to church, one should be coming to encounter God. But if all you encounter is Beyonce, then you can not say you are having a God-centered worship service. 
By using Beyonce as a means to get people to show up at church, you are saying that just using God is not enough. That He and His churches need more than just Him. What is even more backwards about this service, is in essence they are saying a sinful human, who is not even a christian, will do more to reach people for God than God Himself. God told us that the world would do things like this. “...because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” (Romans 1:25) So we should not be surprised. 
We should worship no one else except God Himself (Exodus 34:14). So that means your worship services should be about Him, not Beyonce! Worship is you showing by your words, actions and thoughts what you truly love. How can these people possibly say they love God if their service isn’t about Him? What they truly love is Beyonce! I can say I love my wife all I want to. But if I don’t show it by my actions, thoughts and conversations then they are just words. It is just lip service. I don't truly mean it if I don’t show it. How can these people say they care about God when they don’t show it? When they get together to worship God, they focus their affection on Beyonce. That would be like me saying I’m going on a date with my wife and bringing along another woman. “The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” (Isaiah 29:13) 
May the worship service you attend be God-centered. May it be a time of showing your love to Him. May it be an encounter with Him. May it be to lift Him up. Not you or anyone else. May you come to church to truly worship God and God alone.
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