September 17, 2007

A Great Evil in our Midst

Pr. Stuckwisch recently pointed out that the problem with "contemporary" worship is that it demonstrates a failure to trust in the Word of God. Ronald Feuerhahn addresses this problem in the final essay of the book, Through the Church the Song Goes On:

The fundamental problem [facing the church may be described] as a loss of faith--a loss of faith in the words and promises of God in His means of grace. We have come to a day in which there is no trust in those words and promises, but instead a compulsion to add something. Our Confessions call this the extra Christum--something added to Christ, "Christ plus something." That is a great evil in our midst.

1 comment:

Richard Townes said...

Of course the opposition will say, "Any liturgy is 'Christ plus something.' Why then is your liturgy better than ours? You simply add a historic setting to the worship of Christ, while we add a more contemporary setting." Yet, if one compares the worship of our churches and "contemporary" churches a clear difference exists.

As Feuerhahn states, worship in our church is centered on the Word of God, and what that Word tells us. Even in the sacraments, the elements would remain if the Word of God were not spoken over them. From the Word springs faith. The liturgy in our churches is carefully chosen to enhance the reverence and depth in worship of our God. Also, our churches have endured some less than ideal liturgies, but the church survives because of Word of God and the promises therein.

On the other hand, churches that may use "contemporary" worship focus on an aspect of worship which is not the Word of God. These churches are commonly under the opinion that they should use pub music and pithy preachment to attract a crowd. These church bodies focus on the number of butts in a pew (or out of the pew and dancing in the aisle as the case may be). They focus on numbers, not the Word of God. Further, they often show no reverence to the almighty God, which is biblically commanded, and even reject our Lord's institution of the Sacraments.

This argument is completely debunked with a comparison between the focus of our churches and those who are "contemporary." Our churches worship the true God, their churches worship numbers. Ultimately their churches look internally to produce numbers, while our churches look externally to Word of God.

Perhaps this is what the holy bishop of South Bend has already written. I have not read his article yet.