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Monday, February 25, 2013

Local Church Does "The Harlem Shake"

Local Church Does "The Harlem Shake"
As the internet meme called "The Harlem Shake" is sweeping across youtube, one local church is jumping in on the action.

Open Arms Community Church is no stranger to culture, as being culturally relevant is one of their core values. A group from the church decided to hop on board the cultural fad just for the fun of it.

The Harlem Shake, a song by Baauer has become number one on the Billboard charts, now that Youtube views are counted in their formula, and it's become a popular internet phenomenon for groups of people to record themselves dancing along, and post it on youtube.

Four people were recently arrested for filming a Harlem Shake video in front of the pyramids in Egypt, and locally, videos have been filmed at Saint Bonaventure and Pitt Bradford.

Open Arms filmed the video at their Flashback Sweetheart Dance, which was hosted as a fundraiser by the Epic Faith Youth Group at the church.

The video can be seen by searching for "Harlem Shake Open Arms" on youtube, or on the Open Arms Community Church Facebook page at


Anonymous said...

To all you "Harlem Shake" video creators. Just so you know the lyrics, "con los terroristas" translates We The Terrorists.

Anonymous said...

For Christ's sake 5:21, who cares?

Land of the "free"
Home of the "brave"

Anonymous said...

Translated - "With the Terrorists" Not a good place to be, but I guess that's what striving to be culturally relevant gets you.

Advice? Rethink this, be Jesus relevant & get back to basics.

"Harlem Shake" also features a sample of a feminine voice yelling "coloterroritaj", probably meaning "con los terroristas", which translates to "with the terrorists" in Spanish

The Problem with Christians Doing the 'Harlem Shake'

Anonymous said...

If I may, 6:17, you have it backwards

For Who's sake 5:21, Christ cares!

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a good article

The three month itch is back and most fad driven churches are buzzing with the latest fad in town. The rumor is if you do this (enter name of which ever church marketing strategy you fancy Gangnam style, Harlem Shake e.t.c), people will like your church or if you do that you will be considered a ‘relevant’ church. So every three months or less you will find all these self styled church growth gurus keeping a hand on the pulse of culture so as to keep the church looking trendy. The fads just keep coming and today it’s the ‘Harlem shake’ (see video clip below)! With all this craziness going on in church (just like when Kundalini and Slaying in the Spirit was a fad) there’s hardly any time for Bible study and hey don’t even speak about having reverence for the Lord or his house.

These relentless overtures to make the church more hip or more culturally savvy are in themselves a danger to any church. They downgrade the gospel, make people seek excitements as vehicles for their silliness and pander after entertainment instead of seeking Christ as a Savior for their sins. These excitements are a judgement to any church. Believers come seeking for bread and to be fed and you offer them stones! Oh brood of vipers, and you call yourselves Christ-ian (Christ-like)!

Ah, it’s just harmless fun in the sanctuary. No one is being hurt you reason – but some of these very antics only harden the hearts of many sinners to the gospel. (Let me take a deep breath here and add…) these antics when done in church actually blur the line between what is sacred and the profane. In the Bible such antics are called ‘abominations’ and at times ‘false fires’ and at other times ‘foolishness’. I cannot for the life in me imagine the Apostle Paul saying to the Corinthians, ‘When I came to you I chose to know nothing else but Christ and Him crucified the ‘Corinth Shake”![Gasp!]

Please Mr. Worship leader guy or youth pastor or church growth consultant (wheeeew …. there are so many titles in church these days) do not darken the face of my Lord by trying to bring these endless fads to your local church or church youth group. Instead relentlessly and faithfully point the sinners and kids entrusted to you to the cross. The message may come forth with weakness and trembling but the gospel in itself has the demonstration power of the Holy Spirit (who is greater than any ‘Harlem Shake’). In the words of Edward Mote (the hymn writer) show me that my hope should be built on nothing less than Christ the Solid Rock so that I too can say:

Anonymous said...

Just want make sure I have this right??
Doing a silly little fun dance is bad?
Molestation of innocent little boys can be over looked??
Just checking.

Anonymous said...

It does seem a bit "worldly" but today's generation isn't the same. You don't want to dilute the Word of God, but at the same time, I can understand doing these things to get attention and get people into the House of God. All it takes is one seed to be planted. Who knows what it could blossom into. Don't judge this church for doing everything they can to win souls for Christ.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I say good for them......I don't attend church and I have to say this video would not sway me either way. I will admit that the things that keep me home is people like you guys who always have to put people down, judge them and tell them what they're doing wrong. Why would I subject myself to that on a weekly basis?(i.e Sunday church service)
I'm sure those that gave their opinion about what this church should or shouldn't do already attend another church, so why do you care what this church does. Leave them alone and go pray about your own sins....Oh and I faintly remember a bible verse from my youth stating something about not judging other because it's NOT YOUR JOB!! If you truly are a practicing Christian keep your thoughts to yourself and leave the judging to God.

Josh Hatcher Media - said...

I think what amazes me is how people think they can speak authoritatively on this, without a clue really.

I don't feel a need to be defensive, so please don't misunderstand my statements with that in mind. I just want to clarify a few things, because some of these comments (hiding behind anonymity, interestingly enough) don't know anything at all about our church.

Open Arms is a very different kind of church in many ways.

We don't compromise on our commitment to scripture. We don't compromise on issues of biblical morality. We don't teach half-truths or a watered down gospel.

And simultaneously, we try to present the gospel for what it is.... GOOD NEWS (the literal meaning of "gospel")

Yes, sometimes the gospel is offensive to people who don't want to deal with the moral teachings in scripture. And while we don't sugarcoat it, we certainly try to find a good balance between teaching what the Bible says is "right" and "wrong" and teaching the truth the Jesus loves sinners. (like me.)

This "Harlem Shake" video was seriously, just for the fun of it.

As for the spanish words, "con los terroristas" - eh... that could mean a million different things, and to be honest, it really doesn't mean anything at all. To assume that those words somehow imply that we're siding with terrorists is just stretching for something to be critical about.

As for us being a "fad" driven church - I'll say that you don't really understand us. We're not driven by the fads - but what we want to do is "redeem" them. It's our desire to follow the model that Jesus set for us - to find the things in our culture that have value - or COULD have value - and "buy them back" or "redeem" them. If you want to understand that further - I'd HIGHLY encourage you to read this blog post by Pastor Mike McAvoy from Open Arms.

It also addresses the comment that said, "doing the harlem shake in the sanctuary blurs the lines of the sacred and the profane" - To be honest - we don't see those same lines the way you see them.

Read the blog. Take the time to understand. And if you still disagree, well, we respectfully acknowledge your right to disagree with us. But that doesn't change our mind.