Saturday, July 17, 2010

What do you think of . . .

this description of worship?
Worshiping together is a powerful way for us to experience God, His love, and His life transforming Spirit. Our desire is to lead those who attend worship at _________ Lutheran into genuine, life-giving, life-changing praise and worship, and to encourage praise and worship as a daily lifestyle in their hearts and lives.
Appropriate or not?


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

It is weak. Why?

1. The subjects. We are worshiping together - and then there is change. The praise brings change. These can imply that it isn't God who brings about these changes by the power of His Word and Sacraments.

2. Speaking of - where is any mention of preaching or the Sacraments?

3. Worshiping together is **a** powerful way. . . what does that "a" mean there? Is worship just one of many? Is it optional? What are these other ways? Does meditating upon God while on the golf course on Sunday morning work just as well?

4. We are determined to know nothing but Christ and Him Crucified -- except in this description of worship?

5. I actually prefer speaking of the Holy Spirit (is this the Trinitarian Holy Spirit?) as being the giver of life, rather than just transforming it. If you move the shape of something dead, it still stays dead unless you give it life. They bring it up later down below, but starting off with transforming is eh.

6. Is the major purpose of worship to fix your life style or to forgive sins? Can a lifestyle be fixed without a focus on the forgiveness of sins?

7. What is meant by the word "genuine"? If your life change isn't big enough, is your worship bad? Or will you change more if you come here rather than there? Or is the worship I do at my Lutheran Church not genuine, perhaps - and if so why not?

8. If I do daily praise and worship, why would I need to come to the Sunday worship. If it's merely something I do, why can't I do it just by myself?

But let's not just be negative, and rather take these observations and craft another option.

"God calls His children together for worship at __________ Lutheran, where we receive the forgiveness won for us by Christ Jesus with His death and resurrection. Here in worship, the Holy Spirit gives us new life in Christ, and God gives us growth in both faith towards Him and in fervent love toward one another - growth that impacts us throughout the whole week."

Dennis Peskey said...

Look at the "for us" and this will tell all. The "for us" in this statement is man-centered (antropomorphic); our power and our experience. Lutheran Divine Service centers on Christ and what He has done for our salvation and continues to do for us.

The second half of this statement is ladened with emotive content (i.e., "genuine", "life-giving", "life-changing") which is quite appropriate in a Baptist setting. If the "desire" of this worship is "to lead those who attend" - the "leading" should direct all focus on Christ and His Cross. When we focus on anything else, we're lost. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. There is no other way.

Since Rev. Brown has already stressed santification as the proper work of the Holy Spirit, I'll conclude with this observation: This is appropriate for Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals; this is not Lutheran.

Rev. Thomas C. Messer, SSP said...

Wow, Pr. Brown, I think you covered everything, including a wonderfully crafted description based on your most salutary observations. Excellent, dear brother - excellent!

Dennis, I agree - not Lutheran. And yet, this is the description of one of the LCMS congregations honored at the convention during a special presentation. I pray that under our new leadership, our Lord will bless us with faithful and patient conversation, with the Word of God and our Lutheran Confessions in hand, that we would move toward healing the disunity which so obviously exists among us and come to a shared confession of the faith which embraces the same theology of worship.

IggyAntiochus said...

To put it another way...

There's no Jesus in this statement.