Saturday, July 14, 2007

Contemporary worship as idolatry?

On adopting "contemporary" practices in worship...

Contemporary/Alternative/non-liturgical worship is not a new invention. Short-sighted pastors and congregations get all excited about what a tool such non- or anti-liturgical worship could be for outreach and education.

In 1920, Bjug Harstad, then President of the Norwegian Synod wrote:

"The unclarity, lukewarmness and liberalism of the times are dangerous because several harmful things follow from them. Because people do not stress the heart's inner life of faith and heartfelt appropriation of God's undeserved grace and gifts, the forgiveness of sin, life and salvation through faith alone without the deeds of the law, then no particular desire to dwell much with the doctrine of God's essence, attributes, grace and the Means of Grace, is felt, but mostly the need for cooperating in the externals. Meetings and talks revolve then most around practical things, man's own undertakings, often completely ordinary worldly business which sometimes is praised as Christians' deeds of love, while a precise exposition of one or another important doctrine would produce disturbance and disagreement. Must I ask if such church work is anything other than idolatry before God? Read on...

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