Friday, January 14, 2011

Funny, but Revealing, Video

Fr. Hollywood posted this video over at Gottesdienst Online earlier today: 

First, I have to admit, I laughed pretty hard as I watched this absurdity unfold before my eyes.  An elderly choir singing rap and pop songs in the attempt to be hip and cool is just funny stuff!

But, after I stopped laughing, I began thinking (I know, scary, right?).  What I began thinking about is how this video reveals a truth regarding the genesis of "contemporary worship" among Lutherans, which many advocates of the same often refuse to admit, namely that it wasn't the youth who were clamoring for new and improved, hip and relevant, worship back in the day when Lutherans began flirting with this stuff.  It was the adults.  The adults, not the youth, advocated that we needed to change the way we worship to make it more appealing for our youth.  But, really, at the end of the day, what the adults really wanted was to make worship more appealing to themselves.  That is not to say that there weren't some well-intentioned adults back then who really did believe that changing the way we worship would have a positive impact on our youth.  I'm sure there were many who honestly believed as much.  But, at the same time, if those adults are honest, they would have to admit that this was just as much, if not more, about them than it was about the youth.

The inconvenient truth is that the genesis of "contemporary worship" among Lutherans really had nothing to do with the youth, even though many tried (and still do try) to make that case.  Instead, it had everything to do with many Lutherans buying into the principles of the Satanic Church Growth Movement (CGM).  And, yes, I said Satanic.  When a movement is begun which suggests that the Church must change who she is and what she does; that she must follow a worldly business model, treating the Gospel as a product to be creatively marketed to appeal to consumers (i.e. unchurched, or, really, unbelievers), and that such creative marketing must be based on what those consumers want and desire, this is the work of the old evil foe.

Already, we see Lutherans becoming enamored with the CGM in the 1960s and 1970s, but it really wasn't until the late 70s and early 80s that it gained a foothold among Lutherans.  Within our own LCMS, Church Growth Seminars were all the rage during that time frame.  In fact, reviewing the minutes from Church Council meetings and Voters' Assemblies at the congregation where I serve, it is amazing to see how often these sorts of seminars are mentioned in the pastor's reports during that period.  Of course, the goal among Lutherans back then was to Lutheranize the principles of the CGM, sifting out what was good from among what was bad about those principles.  But, this was (and still is) an exercise in futility.  The idea that the Church must make changes based on the wants and desires of unbelievers simply cannot be Lutheranized.  Can it?

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