Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Interesting Discussions...

Keep in mind my background when I talk about this, Evangelical Free Church. I grew up in a more casual worship format. We didn’t recite The Creed at all, nor did we recite The Lord’s Prayer all that often. In our church, we spent a lot of time using the hymnal, but there was no order of worship in the hymnal. And, the denomination prides itself on its “hands off” approach to church affairs.

So, it seems, from reading different blogs and visiting different churches (I’ve visited three different LCMS congregations throughout the last two years due to travel) there are different views of liturgy, how much of the Book of Concord is important for laypeople to know, and what to do with this Ablaze thing.

I think the heart of the differences is: How can I witness to more people? You know, I’m not sure if there is a good answer to that question. Does denying ones liturgical past get more people to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus? Does denying ones theological past encourage discipleship? How do I attract more people to Jesus?

I think the first thing we need to understand when addressing these topics is “And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:2 ESV) We cannot attract more people to Jesus. Any attempts to “get people in the door to church” through special programs or special works is merely getting people in the door. Jesus is offensive. The message of Law and Gospel is offensive. It is hard to hear, even as a believer, for I still sin.

There are people out there who like engaging in extra-marital sex. There are people out there who like lying. There are people out there who like living a sinful life. There are people out there who like to live life on their own terms without submission to God. We cannot just say, “God loves you and has a Purpose to Drive your life.” It is true, however atheists are claiming to be every bit as moral and purpose filled as Christians. They have music that gives the warm fuzzies just as much as Christian rock gives the warm fuzzies.

I’m not saying particular tactics should not be used as tools in witnessing. I happen to know of a secular song that is particularly effective at explaining sin, “The Freshmen” by The Verve Pipe . “The Freshmen” is certainly more theologically correct then “I could sing of your love forever.” But, it doesn’t make a person feel as pretty. A really good gospel sermon could include the concepts in “The Freshmen” and give the answer to “I cannot believe we’d ever die for these sins.”

Tactics are fine. But we cannot let the world, who hates Christ, dictate how we market an offensive message. And I’m not saying the way one church uses tactics is any better then the way the other church uses tactics. We just cannot deny the truth that this world is not going to be attracted to Jesus on their own. We are all called to salvation by the Holy Spirit. We are called to proclaim the Good News, that Christ died for sins, once for all; that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. As long as the tactics employed do a good job of explaining the grave situation we are in, than go with it. But there is no reason to water down church history and tradition just because.*

*Side note, my church takes a more casual approach to liturgy. I don’t often have a problem with it as Pastor still preaches law and gospel every Sunday and it has the elements of Divine Service.

3 Comments:

  • At 9:41 AM , Blogger Barb the Evil Genius said...

    Excellent writing, and I agree, but what I really wanted to do was commiserate with you about probably losing Santana. I'll feel the same way if we can't get a contract inked with Sabathia in about a year or so.

     
  • At 9:45 AM , Blogger Liz said...

    Well... you know, I'm really not *that* disappointed. I was more upset about Torii Hunter. We're getting four prospects for Santana, and the Twins Farm system has a way with prospects. The deal isn't final yet. Santana has a no-trade clause and he would rather be a free agent then not get a six or seven year deal. I kind of hope he gets his deal because he won't from the Twins. And if he doesn't get his deal, the Twins won't get as much for him in free agency. Sad, though it is, he doesn't have the team loyalty gene that Hunter had, so Hunter was the bigger loss.

     
  • At 9:45 AM , Blogger Liz said...

    Though we did sign Cuddy and Morneau, and Mauer still has two or three years left!

     

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