Monday, January 29, 2007

There are so many things wrong with this idea...

When you remove biblical teaching and the Bible no longer becomes the final, inerrant, and infallible guide to all things pertaining to life and godliness, you get the "U2-charist". The "U2-charist" is the Church of England’s newest way to grow their churches.

Yes, it’s as bad as it sounds. The "U2-charist" substitutes famous songs by the Irish band U2 for traditional singing. Also, the Bishop of Grantham, the Rt Rev Timothy Ellis said that the service would be inclusive, welcoming anyone to come.

I am not even primarily concerned with the doctrine of the Eucharist (as I am familiar with it in Roman Catholic theology), although is a concern, but it is with this continual prostituting of the message of Christ by people who claim to be Christ followers. How far has the gospel slipped from the minds of any Christian that would consider this form of secular music an acceptable means by which to draw people to church?

Now, on one hand, I too would encourage any and all people to come to church. I would want them to hear the clear gospel that calls for repentance from sin and trusting in Christ alone for salvation. However, I would not ever say that a church should be inclusive in the sense that all ideas and lifestyles are equally valid in those who would be members or workers in the church.

In an attempt to be relevant, these Anglican leaders have missed the most relevant thing to their desired parishioners; namely, every single one of them will die, and how will God reward them at that time? The gospel is the most relevant thing to everyone. That doesn’t mean that everyone will (a) like it or (b) accept its validity, but that does not diminish the overall importance of it. If all I am concerned about is trying to sooth the distressing lives of people around me and I am unwilling to ever cause any grief at all, I will simply add U2 songs to my worship music rotation and make the message to my congregation so cryptic, superficial, and generalized that anyone and everyone can get whatever they want out of what goes on.

However, if my goal is to save people from the ultimate wrath of God (which is also wrong as a primary motivation), I will preach the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to them. Will it offend them? Yes. But will some be offended and yet bend their will and their knee to the truth of the gospel and be transformed and saved? Yes. This is what is truly loving and truly compassionate and truly relevant.

Why is a goal or motivation of saving men from going to Hell an insufficient or unsatisfactory primary motivation for proclaiming the gospel? Because our goal as believers is not primarily about other people, it is primarily about glorifying God. And our primary motivation with anything should always be to glorify God. And we glorify God by proclaiming His message. Oh, because we love God we will have a compassion for the lost (just like He does), but our love and devotion to Him comes before any other motivation for doing Christian work.

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St. Michael the Archangel said...

I think it just sad and sick. This is a direct fruit of the reformation. You see it as something different. But I think we can both agree that it is bad.

This is called rebellion and a lack of respect for Christ. The Anglicans are falling so fast, 100,000's are joing the true church each year, I guess they are trying to stop the people from going, by jamming in church.

This is what happens when people interpret Christ themselves instead of being like the ethiopian that went to find out the truth from a "teacher" <-> "priest".

EJ said...

We can agree that it is an evil thing to use completely secular means in order to draw a crowd. They'll get a crowd, but the atmosphere doesn't seem to be built up to be a worshipful one at all.

As far as your comment on personal interpretation, you're also pretty right. The problem with various protestant denominations (Anglican, ELCA, PCUSA, and others) is that they use some sort of a three legged stool approach to interpretation: Bible, tradition, and reason.

The problem with Bible + anything that can trump or override or skew what the Bible says is that then the Bible is relegated to second place (if that).

That is one of the reasons that many protestants are so against the idea of a Catholic-type traditional system because it is a place for extra biblical teachings to be weighed with equal (or more) value as those contained explicitly in the pages of the Bible.

Of course you will disagree with me, but it this type of problem (the one in the article) is not relegated to only non-Roman churches. There is at least one church (Joan of Ark, I believe) that is heavy on the inclusivism of homosexuals into the body and ministry of Christ. Not to mention Archbishop Flynn who “works for a time when Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Catholics are affirmed and experience dignity through the integration of their spirituality with their sexuality, and as beloved persons of God participate fully in all aspects of life within the Church and Society.”

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