I read this in the local Cheyenne paper this morning.
At first this may seem like a good compromise – it has the contemporary aspect (really contemporary, not the type promoted by many Americans) and also uses the word “Mass” (which should make confessional types happy as well. I am joking of course, but as you read the article you see how the Swedes got to this point of Church without its marks (unless you consider music a mark of the church).
Although the author of the article is just reporting, he says some great things that are quite telling about the change in these type of churches which results in no church at all.
+ street dance moves and throwing hands in the air before singing right in front of the altar (center stage is a man, not Christ)
+ instead of prayer and singing hymns, there is a rave
+ disco at youth center rather than a service
+ attracting people rather than converting them
+ looking to “feedback” from people rather than faithfulness to Christ
+ club music is brought in from the world instead of the catholic music of the Church
+ traditional services mean empty pews, techno masses mean turning away people at the door (although the very next line talks about how this second attempt couldn’t live up to that – reflecting the faddish nature of such worship, it loses its followers as quickly as it gained them
+ organs and choirs are replaced with beats and loud approving claps and shouts and cheers (no doubt the person clapping loudest is Satan himself)
+ sitting in the seat or kneeling or standing is replaced with dancing and standing up in the seat
+ ornamented wooden ceilings are masked with disco lights
The end result – people are entertained, not converted. From the article:
“”It was superfun, it was really kicking, I didn’t think it would be this good before I came,” said Ella Schwarz, 15. “The church isn’t really my kind of thing, but after this it seems like it is great,”” [the greatness of the church is not Christ or the Gospel, but the music services – sounds familiar with those catechized under contemporary models]
Of course there is also the quote from the all-benevolent forty something who is only looking out for the young people as well. (by the way, my generation of early thirties like rich tradition and ancient ritual – that is why many of us have fallen into paganism, beside the fact that we were poorly catechized and were allowed to have the world’s preachers as our teachers).
The article does note the fall into apostasy in the Swedish Lutheran Church, noting it as “progressive”. Jesus would have another word for it.
There is also the token comment of a conservative (politician no doubt, not a pastor or anything). There is also comment by the “church” that they are a democratic people’s church. Let the people have what they want and you end up with no church whatsoever.
And just in case you don’t like techno music – you can attend a non-church service with hip-hop, rock, jazz, U2, coptic, animal masses, and even motorcycle masses.
The Old Adam makes poor decisions when we let him choose things in the Church. He will choose works, he will choose pleasure and entertainment all the time. That is why it is important to return to the Word of God and allow the Old Adam to be disciplined rather than catered to. Yes – the same catering can happen with smells and bells.
For those who have used the same language and methods as this techno-mass church – realize that you are opening the door to such things where Christ is absent but the Old Adam is pleased (his master Satan is too!). Go back and read the Third Article of the Creed and Luther’s description of it one more time… I believe that I cannot believe – and that goes for all of those who are outside of the church (you know – the slaves to sin and Satan). Stop letting them (or rather their master) determine what goes on in your church. If you want to entertain – then entertain. Just stop doing it in the name of Christ and His Church.
Here are some Scriptures which fit this situation:
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
2 Timothy 3:1-9
2 Timothy 4:3-4
1 Peter 4:3-5
2 Peter 2
And thanks be to Christ, there is hope yet for such folks (the same hope we cling to):
A side note on this article – it is sad that many will read “Lutheran” and assume that is us as well…