I attend a church that would be classified as “contemporary” by “churchy” standards. We meet in an office park-turned mega church. There is no steeple and no stained glass. Our pastor wears jeans often times, and I regularly play guitar in sandals. I’ve been accused of being at least somewhat metrosexual. I’ve been a part of “modern worship” for close to 15 years now.
There are many aspects of it that I love. First of all, there is a freedom to worship at our church, and in many modern churches, that I truly believe pleases God. Just as David became undignified before the Lord, I think a little loss of dignity is needed for many churchgoers today. I mean that too many of us are more concerned with what the guy in seat 23 thinks of us than what God in heaven above thinks.
I also believe that there’s nothing wrong with songs that fit the day and age, as long as they are good songs. By that I mean they are theologically sound and not just trite little love songs that happen to say “Jesus” instead of “baby.” And believe me, there are plenty of those out there. If you’re unsure, just turn on most Christian radio stations and wait a sec.
But here’s the thing: if someone from the first, second, third, or even 18th century church walked through the doors of my church, would they find anything that remotely resembles what they did? Call it liturgy. Call it tradition. Call it old school, whatever. My fear is that the modern Protestant church has thrown the baby out with the bathwater. We have become so hung up on being “relevant” that we have no roots.
Think about these things: how does your church approach the Lord’s Supper? How often? With what degree of solemnity and sincerity? What about baptisms? What about discipleship? What about conversion? Folks, does your church in any way shape or form have any ties to the historical church? I’m worried that, in our effort to be cool, we’ve forgotten our foundation. I’m afraid we’re missing it. I’m afraid we’ve lost some of the ties that bind us all together.
I have these thoughts on the tip of my brain right now, but can’t quite flush them out. More to follow…