Monday, January 31, 2005

Thanks to Bugs for leading me to this very interesting site: MereComments. It is a feature of Touchstone Magazine online. Bugs, back on Bunnie's blog, had mentioned this site as a place where evangelicals critique themselves. On this site, I found the following very interesting and encouraging post, "Younger worshipper drawn to traditional service." That 17 year old's journey sure sounded familiar to me. Victor Li writes:

I find that the service: the hymns and anthems sung, do provide a lot more depth for reflection and meditation. I enjoy the music, and I enjoy the theology. I enjoy being able to hear myself sing, and not being subject to worship leaders who take themselves too seriously, and imagine themselves as pop stars.

While there, check out "Boomers, Not Their Kids, Driving “Contemporary” Worship Trends", too.

What a find! Thanks, Bugs. As I keep finding more and more and more people like Victor who have traveled the same path as I, it just encourages be to speak up.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Theresa,

That 17 year old said it better than I can!

I grew up partly in a pentecostal church (denomination will not be mentioned to protect the innocent and theologically naive). You never knew what would happen next. I didn't like it at all-but still respected the adults who were obviously good Christian people. I see this new "praise team" evangelicalism as more of the same. It seems SO shallow, irreverent, demeaning and just generally without any significant content. I can't imagine why it appeals to anyone, but it obviously does.

What should my attitude be toward it? It appears to me that God blesses some of those churches and the people who attend there. They do some good work. (Judge the tree by its fruit) They have obvious problems and errors, but God seems to bless them anyway. That's how I felt about the pentecostal church of my childhood. There were some absolutely wonderful Christian people there. They're still role models to me, although most of them have been dead for many years.

We are all so corrupt, without God's grace we're all hopeless, whether we're pentecostal, HappyClappy, liturgical, or even Lutheran! If God accepts these folks, should I criticize them? I guess that answers itself.

But does that mean I should be one of them? I hope not! I prefer the liturgical approach.

Now Theresa(or others), correct my attitude where it's wrong. Please!

TKls2myhrt said...

Theresa,

That 17 year old said it better than I can!

I grew up partly in a pentecostal church (denomination will not be mentioned to protect the innocent and theologically naive).

I also try to rarely mention offending denominations. What's the point? As you said, there are good people and honest believers in nearly any church where the gospel is preached. Someone, on another blog, once commented, "But what is the gospel?" If the gospel is to be truly preached - remember Jesus' command to keep his word- then it's got to be preached as is, not as we'd like it to be. It seems that you are starting to notice the things that it took me longer to notice, like "why the chaos?".

You ask a good question in, "What should my attitude be toward it?" That has been an ongoing question of mine, too. I don't want to appear bitter and judgemental toward things that don't matter, but the argument then becomes "What does matter?" What doctrine matters and is there any that doesn't? And if doctrine matters on all counts, then are we/should we be more directly speaking out on this matter. This question is discussed frequently in many Christian blogs.

"It appears to me that God blesses some of those churches and the people who attend there. They do some good work. (Judge the tree by its fruit) They have obvious problems and errors, but God seems to bless them anyway." Yes, that describes most churches. There is no perfect church. It's just that churches that emphasis examination of doctrine get criticize for being...well, overly-critical.

Amen a thousand times: "We are all so corrupt, without God's grace we're all hopeless, whether we're pentecostal, HappyClappy, liturgical, or even Lutheran!"

"If God accepts these folks, should I criticize them? I guess that answers itself." I consider that an ongoing question, not an answer. The bible clearly warns us against false teachings and false teachers, so the question becomes "What is false teaching?"

"But does that mean I should be one of them? I hope not! I prefer the liturgical approach." Me too! It has provided me with much deeper satisfaction and emotion than twenty years of praise services. How is that possible? Because I've learned that I can, indeed, have assurance of salvation when I remove my works out the equation of salvation. I couldn't eat candy forever; my family and I must drink milk and eat meat and vegetables and fruit...a well-balanced meal to grow as a Christian. Law and Gospel are the well-balanced meal, I have found.

"Now Theresa (or others), correct my attitude where it's wrong." I working on a further answer, but will ask for help from trained theologians. Be back soon.

Anonymous said...

Bugs,

I'm no theologian and I'm just a simple Lutheran convert from evangelicalism. But I do have a few thoughts about your post. I admire your generous attitude toward other churches, but I really do think we need to be careful not to interpret growth or enthusiam in a congregation as a sign of God's favor (if this is indeed what you were implying.) Much of what is happening in churches today is manipulation based on business and marketing practices gleened from very smart church growth strategists and consultants. There is a very dark underside to these methods that can ultimately destroy faith.

Mary