Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where do we go from here?

My friend, Scott Diekmann, published a revealing post, titled, "A Church Divided," on his blog a couple days ago.  It was also posted here on the BJS blog, where an interesting discussion has ensued.  Included in the post is the following youtube video, which was created by the principal of the LCMS Church and School about which Scott writes:

First of all, NO Lutheran congregation should EVER allow such a cheesy, shallow, ridiculous, irreverent, nonsensical, dishonoring "song" to be sung before, during, or after her public worship Service.  To allow our Lord to be depicted in this fashion is simply atrocious.

But, here's the deal:  This little ditty is really not all that different from the vast majority of the "contemporary Christian praise songs" being sung week in and week out by congregations in the LCMS.  This genre of music is shallow and, for the most part, theologically bankrupt.  It deals primarily with the individual's emotional connection with a different sort of Jesus from the One we read about in Holy Scripture.  Most of the songs in this genre are written by individuals who have no training in theology, but merely want to express their own personal feelings about the God they worship.  Many of the songs are so generic in nature that people who adhere to religions other than Christianity could easily sing them without contradicting what they claim to believe.  Lutherans should steer clear of this stuff, but many don't.  They have been enthusiastically embracing this genre of music for years.  And the sad result is that they have been so indoctrinated into this shallow, fluff-fluff genre of music that it doesn't even occur to them that producing a song comparing Jesus to football is scandalously ridiculous.

How did it come to this?  The answer is rather simple:  We dropped the ball on church discipline many moons ago.  We forgot how to say, "No!"  We adopted the "agree to disagree" mentality of our post-modern culture.  We turned a blind eye to what was happening in our midst.  We knew congregations were adopting the practices of the methobapticostals and Americanized "evangelicals," but we didn't do anything about it.  We pretended as if it didn't really matter.  We thought it was just a phase that would go away.

And now, it's really too late to do anything about it.  Contemporary worship, featuring "praise bands" leading their congregations in the singing of fluff-fluff, emotional drivel is here to stay in the LCMS.  We can pretend that there is hope, but who really believes that?  Rev. Todd Wilken, host of "Issues, Etc.", hits the nail on the head in his comments within the thread of the above mentioned post:   
It’s time we admit it: We are two synods, united by a health plan and a corporate headquarters. These two coexist only because our leaders have forgotten what it means to be Lutheran.

Synod A is guided by the Lutheran Confessions, synod B is guided by American pop-culture. Synod A employs the Gospel and the Sacraments, synod B employs the methods of mass marketing and revivalism. Synod A is Lutheran, synod B is generically protestant. Synod A has a future because is has a past; synod B will fade into the wallpaper of Evangelicalism.

The question, of course, is:  Where do we go from here?


sag said...

And football (and a number of other things) is much better than this song. I had to pass on listening to all 4+ minutes.

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

I know, it was extremely difficult (and painful) for me to listen to the whole thing!

meggers said...