I don’t quite know why I was traveling in the dark part of the internet where I found this, but find it I did. It’s a blog post at an LCMS church named, for the ages, Epic.
I stole the title for this blog post from a blog post at the Epic Velocity site. I figured it was going to be about how all our “righteousnesses are like filthy rags,” which would be a very Lutheran topic for a blog post. But that’s not what the post was about. It was about how church workers should do better:
Excellence honors God and inspires others. God is worthy of nothing less than our most excellent effort. Non-Christians assume that things will be shoddily done. Non-Christians assume we will have low standards. Non-Christians expect us Christians to give less than our best. They think everything we are doing is a big charade. But when we value excellence, it makes a statement about the kind of God we worship. It makes a statement about the commitment we have to our excellent God. In response to his holiness, greatness and his ultimate sacrifice for us, our attitude should be to give God our best. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
There is much to agree with here, but I thought this Epic post was a great example of what is lacking in so much of this trendy emergent contemporary schlock. And that would be the Gospel. One of the links on the sidebar of this Epic Velocity (a name which induces giggles in me each time I read it) site is to an “online confession” site where people may confess their sins into the ether and receive anything but absolution.
The latest posts, incidentally, include one where the pastor says he was brainstorming ideas for “message series”* for the coming year and was inspired by a message given by, coincidentally, one of my neighbors here in DC. That neighbor is a pastor of an Assembly of God church that meets in my local movie theater and is affiliated with the Willow Creek Association. Call me crazy, but isn’t this precisely why the historic lectionary was developed? So that people wouldn’t be seeking inspiration from my neighbors?
Is this what we’ll get with more churches Ablaze! Is there something — anything — about this church that makes it Lutheran? Do let me know.
*Apparently this pastor frequently has trouble coming up with message series ideas, which led him to purchase a sermon series called “Pure Sex” from another (non-Lutheran, obvs.) church. Even without the lectionary, my pastor would never sink so low. Still, it’s yet another good argument for using the historic lectionary.