Tag Archives: happy clappy

Evangelical, worship?

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?

Yea, get it right! Let’s take Jesus and ourselves seriously

A lot is being written lately, about how younger generations have just stopped going to church. I’m not sure that means stopped being a Christian, but just stopped going to church. Yea I guess this is my favorite whipping boy, but it’s tough to take a lot of “Christian” churches seriously today. Which is why I think it’s not just an issue of younger people but also of men. Women are relationally oriented and will support things that are important even if they don’t seem to be a achieving their purpose. I think the young and immature are too critical in their assessment of anything, except their own shortcomings. I think with men there is too little in terms of cooperation and truly understanding the purpose of a strong Christian relationship, e.g. “I have all the answers don’t need no one else.” Again a maturity issue since it does seem when guys get older they realize that they really don’t have all the answers and it’s not a weakness to find someone who does.
I do find it bizarre how I’m often treated as if a clerical collar took away almost 30 years of corporate and military experience. That lack of respect and maturity seems to have something to do with this lack of respect lack of seriousness on the part of many, the young particularly in respect to the church. The church needs to get out of the entertainment business, it needs to challenge the “big box” churches who lower the credibility and seriousness of the church and clergy need to start being a lot more assertive and a lot less in terms of people-pleasing and a sort of “Sunday School” theology. The rest of society would be doing itself and everyone else to start holding the church, clergy responsible for a serious theology and not country club/Sunday School mentality.
The church should start holding people to high expectations instead of just being happy there are butts in the pews. As much as the world doesn’t treat the church and clergy with respect, perhaps it’s time to have higher expectations of others before they are treated seriously instead of seeming to be accommodating just to get them into church.
Why is there an exodus of men and young from the church is that they aren’t serious and they, rightly perceive the church is not serious.
It’s reached the point of obnoxious with the NFL “gotta get it right”, multiple “reviews” of every tricky-tack play. Frankly they’re not interested in getting it “right” as much as trying to get some cheesey edge. In terms of living our lives in Christ in integrity, seriously trying to get our lives right for ourselves, our wives and our children and all that in relation to the church, not really interested in getting it “right” especially when the happy-clappy, people pleasing churches make it easy to not be taken seriously.