Monday, August 11, 2008

Lutheran Whorship

No, the title, "Lutheran Whorship," is not a typo -- at least not this time. But it was born of a typo I caught even as I hit the wrong key, and which set me off on a mini laughing jag.

The the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like the perfect word to summarize and characterize both Contemporary Worship and Church Growth [heretofore CW/CG] in light of

  • the close Scriptural connection between idolatry and adultery
  • the praise worship and outreach that is born of human passion and lust for numbers
  • the selling of the Gospel that is CG
  • the employment of priestitutes in the holy office of the public ministry
Over the past ten years I have heard two things that invariably are given by "Lutherans" as rationale for adopting unorthodox practices, or as excuses for their friends and relatives who leave or do not want to join an orthodox Lutheran church:
  1. going to church doesn't save a person -- all you need is Jesus in your heart; as long as you love Jesus; your faith saves you, etc.

  2. you can worship God wherever and however you want -- all you need is God/Jesus in your heart; as long as you love God/Jesus; as long as you pray to God and praise Him
Leaving #1 aside for now, #2 is precisely what the Israelites thought when they proceeded to fashion the golden calf.

It is the thinking that fuels the CW of ABLAZE! and the LCMS. And it is that promotion of the Synod that is a contributing and motivating factor for the "firing" (now there's a nice ABLAZE! image for you) of many faithful pastors, not to mention undermining the faith and jeopardizing the souls of of countless "seekers" and baptized children of God.

So, while my laughter has turned largely to tears, perhaps you will find some humor and irony in the term Lutheran Whorship, and maybe a way to see the connection between CG/CW, the idolatry of the Old Testament, and the adultery of what Lutheran pastors are ordained to present as Christ's pure and faithful bride.

Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly-- and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:1-2, NKJ

1 comment:

anguskohler said...

As a young minister in Kentucky, I was asked by a funeral director to hold a graveside service for a homeless man, who had no family or friends. The funeral was to be held at a new cemetery way back in the country,and this man would be the first to be buried there. I was not familiar with the backwoods area, and I soon became lost.
Being a typical man, I did not stop to ask directions. I finally arrived an hour late. I saw the backhoe and the open grave, but the hearse was nowhere in sight. The digging crew was eating lunch. I apologized to the workers for my tardiness, and I stepped to the side of the open grave. There I saw the vault lid already in place. I assured the workers I would not ho ld them up for long, as I told them that this was the proper thing to do.

The workers gathered around the grave and stood silently, as I began to pour out my heart and soul. As I preached about "looking forward to a brighter tomorrow" and "the glory that is to come," the workers began to say "Amen" "Praise the Lord," and "Glory!" The fervor of these men truly inspired me. So, I preached and I preached like I never had before, all the way from Genesis to Revelations.

I finally closed the lengthy service with a prayer, thanked the men, and walked to my car. As I was opening the door and taking off my coat, I heard one of the workers say to another, "I ain't NEVER seen nothin' like that before and I've been puttin' in septic tanks for thirty years!"