Great Stuff Found on the Web — What is REAL Lutheran Worship anyway? on Intrepid Lutherans

There is a great post on Lutheran Worship over on Intrepid Lutherans. By the way, the Intrepid Lutheran site was in part inspired by BJS. They are a group of Wisconsin Synod Lutherans who, like the Brothers of John the Steadfast, are concerned about the intrusion of the Church Growth mentality into Lutheran orthodox churches. When they saw what we were doing, they thought it would be a good thing to start a similar site with a WELS bent to it.

From Intrepid Lutherans:


Now and then in my discussions with those who favor sectarian worship, or even so called “blended services,” I hear comments like – “. . . the service had everything that Lutheran worship should . . .” And this, I think, is the main problem with this issue today.

I believe what these folks mean is that a particular worship service definitely seemed to be a Christian worship service, and also with a dose of Lutheran theology thrown in. But is that all a Lutheran worship service should be – worship with some Lutheran theology? No, it’s more than that. Allow me to explain.

I would not say that sectarian worship was totally unchristian, anymore than I would say my grandmother’s First Christian worship was, or my sister-in-law’s Roman service, or my nephew’s Pentecostal service. I know they appreciate that. They, on the other hand, would not claim that their services were “Lutheran.” And I appreciate that.

To be absolutely clear, let every reader please understand – the issue is NOT – repeat NOT – all about what kind of instruments are used, or the style or tempo of music, or the even the order in which things are done in a worship service. Can we all just put these things aside for the most part? They may have a role at some point. But right now, let’s just concentrate on the main issue. And as the Intrepid Lutheran blog has been valiantly trying to point out, this is not about “contemporary” worship. Using contemporary forms is NOT the problem. Using non-Lutheran forms IS the problem.

It all comes down to exactly what “Lutheran” worship is, and also what it isn’t. I’m not going to argue whether or not the way Lutherans have worshipped in the past has “turned off” some people, or that some people don’t like it or that some feel it’s not the most “effective” way of attracting new members, or whatever. That’s simply not at all the point. I don’t happen to think it’s true anyway. But, again, that’s not the point.

It’s really very simple: If you say you’re a confessional, orthodox, historic, evangelical Lutheran, then act like it; preach like it, teach like it, live like it, speak like it, think like it, and yes, worship like it. Be consistent. Be honest. Say what you are, and be what you are, and be what you say you are. This is especially true in our public worship.

Luther could have made huge and gigantic changes in worship – other Reformers of his day certainly did. But the fact is he didn’t. His was a “conservative” Reformation, not a “radical” one. It seems that some of our brothers in the ministry must think that Luther made a big mistake in continuing to follow, by in large, the outlines of the (c)atholic worship service.

And why did Luther do this? Because, in the end, even the Reformation wasn’t all about worship. It was, and still is, about the way to heaven – salvation by grace alone through faith alone given through the Means of Grace alone; the Gospel in Word and Sacraments.

And as we here at Intrepid Lutheran have said from the beginning, and will continue to emphasize; our concern with other worship forms is not about hanging on to the trappings of the 16th century, it’s about preserving and promoting the Means of Grace as the focus of all worship. These Means alone are the only way whereby faith can be created, preserved, and strengthened. And that’s what all people need. And that’s what confessional Lutherans want people to have, especially in worship!

It also seems some want to “have their cake and eat it too.” They want to be conservative Lutherans, and members of a solidly Bible-based church body, but they also want to look, and sound, and have fun, be entertained, and maybe even grow, like a lot of our protestant or “evangelical” neighbors. That’s just not honest, plain and simple.

I’m sure there will be a lot of Romans, and Baptists, and Methodists, and charismatics, and Pentecostals, and all kinds of other Christian believers in heaven. I’m also sure that Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell, and even old Bob Schuller have been tools for the Holy Spirit to lead some souls to eternal life. Good for God! But I don’t want to BE in one of those churches, or even be affiliated with them. I don’t want all the various false teachings they have. And I don’t want the sometimes trite and vapid worship they have, not just because I don’t like it, but because it does not serve the true needs of my soul.

Truth be told, there are dozens of churches in every city in America where one could get the exact same kind of service that you find at any one of the sectarian-type services taking place in some WELS congregations. So, one more such church isn’t going to make much of a difference. But a thoroughly confessional WELS church, promoting the true Means of Grace will make a difference. We need to face up to the reality that some churches in our midst just don’t seem to want to be Lutheran anymore – at least not confessional Lutheran. And that’s not name-calling. That’s just the way it is. Why? Because the kind of worship service they support is not Lutheran.

Back to what makes a Lutheran worship service again: The biggest, most noticeable thing is not the hymns, or the chants, or even the order of service itself. The biggest thing is the focus on the Means of Grace alone to bring people to faith and keep them in the faith. Confessional Lutheran worship is not music, not show, not plays or skits, not lighting, not “talks,” and not simply even the Word either in readings and sermon, but the whole package of the Means given to us by Christ – the Word, and Baptism, and Confession & Absolution, and the Lord’s Supper. What is so telling about these sectarian or mock-Lutheran services is often the absence of these last three items, at least quite often and much of the time.

  • Baptisms are done, but in almost all of the sermon pod casts and such I have listened to, reliving ones’ Baptism is seldom, if ever, mentioned.
  • Confession and Absolution takes place, usually only once in a while, and in some places not at all. And the “made-specially-for-this-service” confessions and absolutions are much poorer theologically than those used for hundreds of years in the confessional Lutheran church. Quite often the Biblical doctrine of “Original Sin” is either watered down or missing entirely. Now it’s true, confessional Lutheran services didn’t have public confession/absolution during the years right after the Reformation and throughout the period of orthodoxy, but that was because they retained Private Confession, as Luther himself desired.
  • Some of these churches observe Holy Communion, but often infrequently, and when they do, most do it behind closed doors, or out of the view of most who attend the service. Again, it is true that such was the practice in Apostolic times, but I doubt anyone today is going to accuse us of cannibalism (unless we’re in a Muslim country)! The Pastors of these “different” churches claim that they can’t have open and public communion services because the kind of people they attract “wouldn’t understand” things like “Closed Communion.” That’s just not “Lutheran,” again, at least not historically and confessionally Lutheran.

These Pastors and their people must like the way they worship. I’m sure some people get saved through their work. That’s fine. God does indeed work in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform! But I wish they wouldn’t call it Lutheran worship, because it’s just not!

And that’s the issue at hand. Does sectarian/mock Lutheran worship really have “everything a Lutheran worship service should have”? Certainly not by historic Lutheran standards. Some, it seems, want to change those standards. Intrepid Lutherans want to preserve them. Aye, and there’s the rub!

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

Great Stuff Found on the Web — What is REAL Lutheran Worship anyway? on Intrepid Lutherans — 12 Comments

  1. “And why did Luther do this? Because, in the end, even the Reformation wasn’t all about worship. It was, and still is, about the way to heaven – salvation by grace alone through faith alone given through the Means of Grace alone; the Gospel in Word and Sacraments.”

    Small quibble: This *is* what worship is all about. So the Reformation *was* all about worship. But, for all intents and purposes (“all those camping and dolphins”–work it out….), he pretty much lays this truth out in the rest of the article. Lutheran worship is all about what God is doing. All sectarian worship somehow diminishes or distracts from this Divine Service approach.

    Fascinating that CG WELS churches choose to minimize the Supper and its frequency, rather than open their altars ELCA-style (and all too many LCMS-style). I have to wonder, though, whether open communion is a hidden but rapidly growing problem in the WELS, too.

  2. Thank you for this good article.

    I know in the Phoenix area we have about 15 WELS churches that do the historical, liturgical, confessional Lutheran worship.

    I believe that there is much common ground now between our two SP’s; WELS and LCMS. Both of them love the Word of God as defined by our Lutheran confessions.

    It would be great to see the new LCMS SP break fellowship with ELCA.

    Blessings,

  3. Rev. David Mueller #1: All of the WELS churches that I have been in, or heard about, all practice closed communion.

    The pastors will make an announcement before the Lord’s Supper; that only those that are WELS members, or in churches that are in fellowship with the WELS may commune.

  4. Thanks to BJS for linking Pr. Spencer’s article, and a special thanks to BJS for setting the fine example we are trying to follow at IL.

    There may be a handful of WELS congregations that have a more liberal Communion practice (e.g., “Here are some fundamental teachings about the Sacrament. If you are in agreement with these, you are welcome to commune with us…”), but this is not widespread in WELS, as far as I know. (I hope not to be proven wrong.)

    Much more common, as noted above, is the tendency to simply omit the Sacrament for the sake of “evangelism,” because it’s just “not good manners” to invite someone over to your house and then not let them have supper with you. (This is not my argument!) So in WELS, rather than invite everybody to supper (which is so obviously anti-Scriptural), the supper is simply foregone (in the name of communion frequency as “adiaphora”). On the surface, one might say this is better than open communion. But the false understandings that it fosters (re: the Supper, the Church, the Means of Grace, etc.) can become just as dangerous.

  5. I will try it this way (from the Intrepids):

    Lay Ministry: A Continuing Legacy of Pietism

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    Pietism was a raging problem among Lutherans in mid-19th Century America. It was a movement begun in mid-17th Century Germany by Lutheran theologian Philipp Jakob Spener (d. 1705), with the 1675 publication of Johann Arndt’s postils containing a preface written by Spener entitled Pia Desideria, or “Pious Desires.” In this preface, Spener called for six seemingly modest Lutheran reforms that he thought would bring about spiritual renewal among Lutherans, extending Luther’s doctrinal Reformation into the life and works of the Church and individual believers:
    1.a greater study of Scripture among Christians, assembled in small groups called “conventicles”,
    2.the practicing of the Universal Priesthood of all Believers through lay participation in congregational ministry,
    3.encouraging Christians to live out their faith, rather than mere intellectual assent to Biblical teaching,
    4.a more brotherly treatment of heterodox teachers,
    5.ministerial training that cultivated personal piety as well as academic prowess, and
    6.preaching which dwelled on Sanctification1,2
    Never desiring to be outside of Lutheran orthodoxy, Spener insisted that his teaching should not be construed as outside the bounds permitted by clear Scriptural teaching, and that if it did, it was due to his own inadequacy as a teacher. Indeed, through 1689, he enjoyed the endorsement of orthodox leaders in Germany, who themselves noticed and were eager to correct the problems wrought by recent history (devastation of the Thirty-Years’ War and the impact of theological attacks from Jesuit Scholasticism resulting from the Catholic Counter Reformation, among other things), even if that meant they had to tolerate his aberrations.

    Pietism in Germany
    Spener’s Pia Desideria spread like wildfire, spawning the movement known as Pietism, which quickly grew beyond his ability to influence it. Before long, Pietism no longer resembled orthodoxy in the slightest, resulting in increasing criticism from orthodox leaders, particularly from Wittenberg. Unable to cope with their criticism, Spener broke with them to form the University of Halle in 1694, along with August Francke (d. 1727) and others, where he hoped to give some form to Pietism and influence it’s practice in wider Christianity.What the movement came to represent, however, was the replacement of religious objectivism (the fact that man finds outside of himself in the Gospel and Sacraments the assurance that he is a child of God and heir of eternal salvation) with religious subjectivism (the idea that man finds affirmation of his status before God through the experience of certain emotions, and the ability to display certain works), reducing the objective promises of God’s Word to secondary stature, and elevating subjective “conversion experiences” (ictic conversion) and displays of pious works in their place; the rejection of orthodoxy altogether, and its replacement with unionistic theological indifferentism; the denigration of the Means of Grace (God coming to man to give him blessings) to opus operatum, a crutch for the complacent Christian, and replacement of these Means with the fervent prayers of the Christian (man going to God in hope of blessings); and use of the Law to make sweeping accusations against society in order to stir the hearts of Christians and to motivate pious works (Law rather than Gospel motivated works), while use of the Gospel was made to raise questions regarding whether one could really lay claim to a living faith (Gospel used as Law).3

    Professor John Brenner of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, in a lecture entitled The Spirit of Pietism,4 characterized the most potent and critical influences of Pietism in the following way:
    1.Pietism’s emphasis on Sanctification over Justification resulted in Legalism, by shifting the emphasis in the use of Law from the Second Use (as a mirror) to the Third Use (as a guide) and by prescribing laws of behavior in areas of Christian freedom, leading further to Perfectionism; and
    2.Pietism’s elevation of religious subjectivism, in addition to what has already been mentioned, also “separated God’s Word from the working of the Holy Spirit” (breaking down the Biblical teaching of the Means of Grace), “changed the Marks of the Church from ‘the gospel rightly proclaimed and the sacrament rightly administered’ to ‘where people are living correctly,’” and “divided the church into groups according to subjective standards of outward behavior.”
    Valentin Ernst Loescher (d. 1749), an orthodox Lutheran theologian and eyewitness to German Pietism — who was also one of the most effective opponents of it — uses the following words to describe the characteristics of Pietism in his work, Timotheus Verinus, and devotes an entire chapter of analysis to each word as it is applied to Spener’s movement:
    indifferentism, contempt for the Means of Grace, the invalidation of the ministry, the confusing of righteousness by faith with works, millennialism, precisionism, mysticism, the abolition of the spiritual supports, crypto-enthusiasm, reformatism, and making divisions…5
    The first wave of Pietism eviscerated orthodox Lutheranism in continental Europe, leaving Christianity unprepared for the next spiritual scourge. Because Pietism viewed the role of intellect in spiritual matters with suspicion and displayed strong preference for emotion and intuition, the Church largely became an unwelcome place for the intellectually capable. So, instead of applying their gifts in service toward God in the Church, such individuals learned to ignore the Church and sought instead to apply their gifts in the realm of secular academia. And so the Enlightenment was born. From the death of Loescher forward, the voice of Lutheran orthodoxy in Germany was rendered silent. The dwindling remnant persevered through remaining pietistic influence and Enlightenment rationalism, until, finally, the Prussian Union — forced ecumenical mergers between Reformed and Lutheran churches — rousted what was left of the old, orthodox Lutherans out of Germany. Those coming to America landed mostly in Perry County, Missouri.

    Ecclesiolae in ecclesia
    Throughout the period of German Pietism (~1675-1749), some European governments, acting under the advice of the State churches being decimated by Pietism, sought to restore order by passing anti-conventicle laws, as these conventicles had been identified as the hallmark of pietistic activity. Conventicles, under the encouragement of Spener, Francke, and other pietists, were gatherings of Christians within the congregation, sometimes with, most often without pastoral oversight, where individuals were encouraged to study the Scriptures together, express their own thoughts concerning the meaning of a given text, while taking the expression of others within the group as spiritually edifying. As happens in any assembly of humans, an authority structure naturally developed within these conventicles, a structure that was largely dependent upon displays of external piety among the members, in word and/or deed. Such activity elevated the role of the Universal Priesthood of all Believers, as Spener intended, while subverting the authority of the Office of the Holy Ministry, perhaps not as Spener intended. Nevertheless, conventicles became the seat of division and source of false teaching in the Church, and became known as ecclesiolae in ecclesia, or “little churches within the church.” Such were disorderly and contrary to the Doctrine of the Call since ministerial authority within the congregation was established outside the appointed order by which individuals were Called to fill the needs of such an Office. In addition, contrary to the Doctrine of the Church, conventicles established “little churches” within the congregation, not only with lay leaders carrying out the roles of the Public Ministry, but often with the inclusion of individuals outside of the congregation and/or outside the Lutheran Confession. As such, small groups were the source of separatism within congregations and from the church body they were part of: the “little churches,” without the Marks, without legitimate exercise of the Divine Call, without a Confession and a basis for true biblical Fellowship, became the essence of church life for their members.

    The State also had political interest in controlling or eliminating these conventicles, as a result of another peculiarity of Pietism taught by Spener — a form of millennialism in which the Christian is to hopefully wait for the “better times” of the one-thousand-year reign of Christ on Earth, with a perfect earthly Church being his seat of government.6 This teaching was known to cause various groups to take it upon themselves to work toward such “better times” rather than wait for them, creating political unrest by considering themselves above both the State and the imperfect visible Church, in some places reminiscent of Thomas Muentzer’s peasant uprising.7 In other words, conventicles also became hotbeds of subversive political activity.

    Haugean Pietism in Norway
    In Norway, such a Conventicle Act was passed in 1741. Under the reign of the pietistic state of Denmark, this Act was intended to institute a healthy Pietism in all of its lands, while avoiding its excesses. Its chief purpose was twofold: “To protect those who evinced true solicitude of the edification of themselves and others from persecution, and secondly, to prevent the disorder arising from those who under the cloak of greater religiousness left their natural calling and wandered about from place to place as preachers without having either a divine or human call to do so.”8 The specific provisions of this Act are an interesting commentary on what was regarded as problematic with conventicles and lay leadership, even among the moderating pietistic Danes.

    According to popular accounts, this Act did very little to promote Pietism at all, however. It is reported that by the close of the 18th Century, the laity had grown entirely complacent and the clergy was increasingly accused of various forms of corruption, not due to a line of corrupt leadership, but through a state-church system that nurtured an unhealthy political separation of clergy from laity.9 Enter the layman, Hans Nielsen Hauge (d. 1824). Raised a farmer, his upbringing consisted in regular reading of Scripture and devotional works (including those of Johann Arndt), the singing and memorization of Lutheran hymnody, and other generally healthy Christian practices. His family being regular church-goers, his upbringing taught him to take his faith seriously, so much so that he was considered odd by his friends and acquaintances, and was a regular object of their ridicule. He was granted perseverance in his faith. At the age of 25, in 1796, singing a hymn while working his father’s fields, he was overwhelmed by spiritual experience, prompting him to pray, “Lord, what wilt thou that I should do,” whereupon he was reminded of the prophet’s words, “Here am I, Lord. Send me.”10 And so he went, to the people of his own nation, in whom he saw so much vice and need for faith and repentance, as a lay evangelist intent upon preaching the Way of Salvation through “repentance and conversion,” and to do so reverently as a servant of the Church. Yet, Hauge had no Call to preach. At first, he did so haltingly with reticence, but as time progressed and he discovered the approval of those who heard him, as he saw them repent of their sin and embrace their Saviour, he grew more bold and confident. He wrote many devotional books, preached both publicly and privately on many occasions, traveling from one end of Norway to the other in the process. He was a national sensation. One could say that many good things resulted. Many people were turned to Christ. Hauge, being a very bright man, keen on recent developments in farming and gifted with business acumen, also freely assisted his countrymen in their temporal needs, publishing books and offering business and farming advice, even taking part in the creation of several industries. Many people were lifted out of poverty as a result. Yet, having no regular Call to do so, he continued to carry out the functions of the Pastoral Office. Moreover, he abandonded his own Vocational calling to do so. The Church took notice. So did the State. Hauge, despite all the good it may be said that he had done and was doing, did not have in his possession a Divine Call to carry out the functions of the Pastoral Office. He was in violation of the Conventicle Act of 1741, and he was in violation of Scripture, both of which required such a Call.

    In 1804, with several short incarcerations already behind him, Hauge was arrested for a tenth, and final time. For ten years he remained in prison, not receiving a finding from the court-commission until 1808, which found him guilty of the following crimes:
    1.He had violated the Conventicle Act of 1741;
    2.He had tried to form a sect and a communistic society;
    3.He had encouraged especially the young people to break the Conventicle Act;
    4.He had in his writings heaped contempt on the official ministry11
    This resulted in a trial late in 1813, the verdict of which was rendered a year later, in 1814, finding Hauge “guilty of having preached the Word of God, encouraged others to do the same, and heaped scorn on the ministry,”12 for which he was ordered to pay the equivalent of $1000, plus the cost of the trial, and released from prison.13

    Lay Ministry a Cultural Fixture in Norway, Emigrates to America
    During his time in prison, other lay preachers followed in Hauge’s footsteps. Young pastors in the Church of Norway adopted his practical and relevant sanctification emphasis and common manner of speaking. Coincident with the growth of Haugean Pietism in Norway, between 1796 and 1814, was a growing political predisposition toward independence. These factors coalesced with the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, resulting in political crisis in Denmark-Norway, which had allied itself with France. Delegates from across Norway were selected from the State Church (in which Hauge and his followers had been active for nearly two decades), as representatives to Norway’s Constitutional Convention, which resulted in a new Constitution in May of 1814, emancipating them from Denmark. The followers of Hauge, farmers and other common folk, soon realized “the power that was given them in the Constitution of 1814.”14 As they swiftly gained positions of influence in the Church and State, the Conventicle Act of 1741, long ignored since 1814, was officially repealed in 1842, consistent with movements within the government and cultural religious sentiment, driving the nation toward greater liberty.

    Hans Nielsen Hauge married for the first time in 1815, lost his wife that same year as she bore him a son, was remarried in 1817, and himself died in 1824. By then, he had become a folk hero, the legacy of Pietism continuing in Norwegian religious culture as a result of his influence. Politically and culturally, religious liberty became synonymous with lay participation in the functions of the Office of the Ministry within the congregation, such that, by the time of the first wave of Norwegian emigration to the United States in the middle of the 19th Century, not only was the practice of laymen carrying out the functions of the Pastoral Office culturally accepted, it was considered a political right. It was also a theological problem, which vexed the young “Old” Norwegian Synod in America for years. How the “old orthodox Lutherans” assisted them in resolving this issue will be the topic of tomorrow’s essay.

  6. While the above writing was from a WELS source, I was using it to analyze my LCMS congregation, and I got to thinking particularly about this phrase:

    “Confession and Absolution takes place, usually only once in a while, and in some places not at all. And the “made-specially-for-this-service” confessions and absolutions are much poorer theologically than those used for hundreds of years in the confessional Lutheran church.”

    While my church does not omit Confession – Absolution from the liturgical framework, It drives me crazy that at the so-called “Traditional service” (read: Creative Worship + service inspired by the hymnal) the confession is always a “made-specially-for-this-service” innovation, and all the other services (blended, contemporary, informal, other informal service), the pastor asks everyone to privately (silently) confess their sins, and usually in a matter of 15 seconds, he’s already giving a public Absolution. And the sad thing is, the church is not lacking hymnals–we have plenty of LSB hymnals in good condition, yet it is as though the pastor and others have forgotten that their is content other than hymns in those hymnals (maybe the books are too heavy for some???), and the hymns are ONLY used at the so-called “Traditional” services, and 1/2 of the “Blended” service. I am sick and tired of the liturgical reductionism going on there, which approaches liturgy from the perspective of “is this element absolutely necessary in the worship service”, rather than valuing the various historic parts of the service. I would sooner see the church remove the word “Lutheran” from the sign outside. And toying around with the liturgy has actually witnessed decreases in attendance, and several back-door losses. Thankfully there is another more faithful LCMS congregation near by.

  7. Rick#7:

    I believe that all of our 15 or so churches in the WELS in the Phoenix churches do our services right out of the hymnal. Some also put the hymnal stuff on “power point” for those that have a hard time with the smaller print.

    I’m sure that the pastors find it a heck of a lot easier to just do the services right out of the hymnal. It is what confessional Lutheran folks are comfortable with. It contains the proper theology, and the pastors don’t have to “re-invent the wheel.”

  8. Helen #9:

    Hi Helen!

    How nice and easy for any visiting pastor to just pick up the hymnal, and two thirds of your service is already prepared for you. All you have to do is just preach the Law and Gospel and administer the sacraments!

    We will do the chanting service on a five week month. It helps if the pastor can sing!

  9. @Lloyd I. Cadle #10
    We will do the chanting service on a five week month. It helps if the pastor can sing!

    Kantor Resch was down here for a CE class on theology and music a couple of weeks ago. He says most of the seminarians can sing with a little training. Once in awhile, he has to tell someone, “Perhaps you’d better do the spoken service.”

    We have communion at every service and most of the service is chanted out of LSB.

    A week ago I had the pleasure of visiting a congregation in Edna, TX, which is used to having all parts of the service chanted. It was nice to have the congregation moving smoothly through the liturgy, as confidently as the Pastor.

  10. I will speak from a recovering EFree affiliation. Blended worship by any other name is still lukewarm pablum no matter how loud the music or soft the lights. You please half the people most of the time and offend half the people most of the time. Rarely does the blended service click with even 3/4s the congregation (audience as we called it) This boring tale about worship wars has been going on far too long and someone is going to finally have to say “STOP” that’s enough. It has been tried, it has failed, let’s move on. Why do I say it has failed? Because so many new members of the LCMS are recovering evangelicals who just couldn’t take it any more and wanted authentic Christianity which meant returning to our……yes I will say it……..Roman roots and true Scripture interpretation over devotional type Bible reading. Won’t someone out there lead the charge? My standard comment to those who are disgruntled over our stodgy services is that there is a church on every corner that will give you fluff but maybe not even one in your town that will give you authentic Christ. I don’t understand why we must change our confessional, solemn, respectful way of worship to please those who can find the loud, disrespectful, happy clappy anywhere else. Is it pastor worship that keeps them in their blended pews or friendships that they can’t leave or a rockin’ youth pastor that keeps the kids entertained while letting their spiritual hearts become hard and worldly? Why are we beating this drum of change, Change, CHANGE so frantically?

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