Thinking allowed

Advice to "traditional worshippers"


In an art­icle Dear Tra­di­tion­al Wor­ship­pers blog­ger “Jonath­an” gets to grips with some of the issues between “tra­di­tion­al” and “con­tem­por­ary” wor­ship. Writ­ing from an Amer­ic­an Meth­od­ist per­spect­ive he lists some of the things that are lost by “con­tem­por­ary” worship,

It’s dev­ast­at­ing to see what’s happened to wor­ship in the church. You’re right. The blind­ness sur­round­ing the issue is astound­ing. The insist­ence that the com­mon trends of the day are most fit­ting for pub­lic wor­ship is wrong and short-sighted. It’s griev­ing that most churches now let Chris­ti­ans choose to not learn the his­tor­ic creeds, or the great tra­di­tion of hymns and songs, or the great priv­ilege of pray­ing togeth­er and read­ing Scrip­ture togeth­er. The com­mer­cial­iz­a­tion of our sac­red time, well, it’s noth­ing short of tra­gic. Yeah, we’ve sac­ri­ficed so much of who we are.

I know you feel like it’s been stolen from you. I know the pain runs deep. I know you’ve lost jobs, friends, fam­ily, con­greg­a­tions. I know you’ve paid a dear price.

I hear you. I’m one of you. I get it.

But he continues

But here’s the deal. We’ve become part of the problem.

It’s not enough to say “we like it.” That does­n’t mat­ter. The worst thing that “con­tem­por­ary wor­ship” did was come on the scene, label itself as a viable choice, and then get away with labeling the liturgy as a choice, also. But we can learn from the brokenness.

It’s not enough to say, “That was my mom’s favor­ite hymn.” Or, “It’s my pref­er­ence.” Or, “Those were some of my best child­hood memor­ies.” It’s got to be deep­er than that, or we’re just guard­ing our rel­ics, our museum pieces.

It’s not about sen­ti­ment­al­ity. It’s not about taste or pref­er­ence. It’s about meaning.

The bot­tom line is this. We don’t keep tra­di­tion because it’s tra­di­tion, or because it’s old, or because it’s comfortable.

We keep tra­di­tion because it’s worth doing. Because it anchors us. Because it’s big­ger than us. Because it reminds us that we’re not alone. Because it keeps us hon­est. Because it helps us avoid think­ing that this wor­ship thing is all about us. Because it builds up the church. Because it lets us bet­ter engage our minds with our spir­it. Because it helps us respond as the vis­ible community.

So maybe we need to rethink our plan of action.

And he goes on to list a dozen point where action can be taken.

Def­in­itely worth a read.

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