Friday, February 25, 2011


A good friend of mine directed me to this excellent blog post by Pr. Mark Love, where he discusses how the "magisterial" use of reason has given way to the "magisterial" use of emotion in our day and age, which results in "Meology."

I think he hits the nail squarely on the head here, and nowhere can this "Meology" be seen more clearly than in the realm of worship, as indicated by the video I shared in the previous post, and by these two oldies, but goodies:

Granted, these videos are an exaggeration - parodies meant to be funny - but they touch upon the "Meology" that plagues the Church today.  In our own circles, I hear Lutheran pastors arguing that we need to take the likes, tastes, and desires of the "unchurched" into consideration when it comes to worship, the idea being that if we don't make worship more appealing to people, we won't be able to get them through the doors.  And, what is appealing to people in our day and age, especially here in America?  Entertainment.  The solution:  Make worship entertaining.  The result:  Meology at work. 

But, where in Holy Scripture does God ever take into consideration what people like, or leave us with the impression that we should do so, when it comes to worship?  Where?  I've asked this question of many Lutheran pastors, who employ "contemporary worship," over the years, and I have yet to receive a satisfying answer.  Oh, I have received the expected responses, pointing me to David dancing before the Ark or St. Paul's statement about becoming all things to all people in order to win some, and so forth, but none of these responses actually backs up the assertion that God desires us to consider what people like in worship.  On the contrary, the responses I've received ignore the fact that God is pretty clear throughout Holy Scripture in revealing to us how He desires to be worshiped.  He spends ample time on this particular issue in the second half of Exodus and throughout Leviticus, as He is forming the Israelites into a nation.  And, as we make our way through the rest of the Bible, all the way to the end of Revelation, He never erases the principles of worship He lays forth there.  You simply cannot read all that God reveals to us about worship in Holy Scripture and come away with the idea that worship should be based on what people like (and, people outside of the Church, no less!), or that it should be fun and entertaining.  Unless, of course, you employ the "magisterial" use of emotion as you read and interpret Holy Scripture.  Well, then, sure, you can make the Scriptures say whatever your little heart desires about worship.  But, you wind up in the same boat as those who employ the "magisterial" use of reason when reading and interpreting Scripture - a different boat than the Holy Ark of Christ's Church.   

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