Friday, March 15, 2019

The Danger Of Loud Churches

This was an email from the guru who graciously let me put a title on it and post it. Parents beware!

Our pastor is often a firebrand when preaching.  Good sermons, but I have never liked people yelling/screaming at me, and do not like LOUD amplified sounds and music where I have to use foam earplugs to protect my hearing — and do!

I measured our church's sound levels surreptitiously (electronically using my pocket sound meter) which rarely drops below a congested major city's traffic sounds inside a regular car or taxi at 85 dB.  But it has been as high for extended periods as 98db, which is as loud as a basketball score board buzzer or a school fire alarm horn and only slightly lower than a large, un-muffled gas lawnmower at 5 feet. OSHA states that monitoring requirements begin at 90 dB and that starting around 90-95db regular sustained exposure may cause permanent hearing damage.

Conservatively, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) states that repeated exposure to sound at 85 decibels or above can be enough to cause hearing loss. I guess OSHA allows a bit more as it is worker/business/factory-oriented and NIDCD is people-oriented.

Either way, I think of the babies and youngsters there at our church (and perhaps other similar amplified churches) and am concerned ... but several of us feel our pastor is partially deaf himself, due to life long exposure in many amplified churches.  When he is elsewhere, such as on crusade, visiting pastors turn down the volume and I do not need to use foam ear plugs, which I always keep in a tube on my keychain!

Either way, our pastor's messages are usually good and appropriate!


Leigh said...

Interesting! More people need to think of it this way. We used to belong to a church where the organ before the service was so loud that folks had to yell to talk to one another over it. I never liked being screamed at for a sermon either. Please speak as though we are both intelligent, rational adults. And I know this is going to sound shockingly antisocial, but I've always liked quiet churches, the kind where you feel like you're supposed to whisper and tiptoe. The kind you enter and feel an instant but refreshing peace and calm. The kind where you can spend some time shedding mental distractions and prepare for worship. The kind that just makes you want to sit still and bask in the glory of the Lord. But then, I'm an oddball. :)

Gorges Smythe said...

Leigh, we used to have guy for revival who really gave a good message but was WAY too loud, both personally and electronically. I had to quit going as he always gave me a headache.