For those who think that I’m being unreasonable in respect to “big-box, happy-clappy” “church”, I submit the following from John Stackhouse in Leadership Journal (Winter 2015 p 14). Leadership Journal is a great publication, all due respect to them and John Stackhouse, but neither are known for their support of “high-church/liturgical” worship.
“As for reciting creeds, well, no: evangelicals normally do not recite creeds in our services. [help me out here, do you really believe that if you say Jesus a couple of times in a sermon and then make the rest of it about you, don’t do any of the things that Jesus told us to do or we do in order to strengthen ourselves in Jesus, that is being a Christian? Seriously how do you figure? We are told that we are supposed to take our relationships seriously and then we make the one with Jesus all about me? How does that work?] “Evangelicals that are not part of liturgical traditions – and that’s most of us – instead tend to worship in “hymn sandwich” [and what evangelicals sing are not hymns] services: lots of singing, with maybe a greeting and some announcements in the interstices, then a longish sermon, then more singing – with perhaps a collection and a closing prayer … No call to worship, no confession and absolution of sin, no series of Scripture readings (OT, Gospel, Epistles,) no congregational prayers, NO “OUR FATHER” [???], no Creed … And so on. It’s pretty bad – and it’s actually regressing…
…nowadays the trend-setting churches seem to have fallen back into two halves – singing and preaching – … that’s pretty much all there is to the service.” [pg 14 Leadership Journal]
Sorry folks that is not Christian worship! Throw Jesus’ Name around a couple of times and that’s Christian worship? Ya… No! Heavens, can’t mention sin! We have some sensitive souls here and anyway, we’re all basically good suburban-living people. None of that blood and gore stuff, the crucifixion? Just doesn’t work for us. There certainly won’t be a crucifix in any “Evangelical” sanctuary and ya, no cross either. Lord’s Supper? Body and Blood! Really? Confession? I refer you back to line 3 of this paragraph. And no Lord’s Prayer? What is the point? We were told to do these things, or at least we are honoring the Lord when we do this. The point of worship is to lift up and praise and worship God. One woman, from “evangelical” tradition, complained that I had my back to the audience most of the time. Ya, her words. No Creed? Really what do you believe? Ya, you, it’s all about you.
And gotta tell you, “sermons”? Pretty much Joel Osteen feel good, how can we have a better life, yada, yada. Hey there’s plenty of good Christian music out there. I have no problem with Christian music, I will sprinkle it into worship once in awhile to enhance the sermon. But, sorry, one reason why men do not get involved with Christian worship is because, when it’s singing, dancing around and a little gratuitous preaching, it’s hard to take it seriously. If guys really can’t see the point and have nothing to take seriously, they aren’t going to do it and this is alienating a lot of guys from Christ. The happy-clappy types will be called to account for the way that they don’t worship, that they make it too much about them and very little about Jesus.
This kind of worship is a travesty, it’s not worship. It’s self-gratification and mutual edification, but no room for God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Sorry, but we continue to look ridiculous and irrelevant to the rest of the world. If we don’t take Christ seriously, why on earth would the world?