Thursday, October 17, 2013

Service Review

Please watch this service, and then answer the question: How appropriate is this service for a congregation of a confessional Lutheran church body?

Video streaming by Ustream


Joel Lillo said...

Let's see, it's got a confession of sins, readings from God's Word, a sermon, prayers, the Lord's Supper, and hymns... Yep, Lutheran.

--Joel Lillo

Anonymous said...

Don't Baptists have those as well? Since they do, I guess they're Lutheran as well?

Bryan Lidtke

Daniel Baker said...

Let's see, it hasn't got the usual ceremonies (AC XXIV:1), it isn't celebrated with the highest reverence (XXIV 2), it doesn't have the Order of Lessons, (AC XXVI:40), series of prayers, vestments, and other like things (AP XXIV:1)... Nope, not Lutheran. At all.

Joe Krohn said...

I had problems with the works righteousness leanings that are typical of this paradigm as well as the overall casualness. I was quite turned off by the female lead vocal. A woman has no place leading worship. Period. It is clearly a violation of the created order which has no place in the church. Other than the keeping of Communion in the service (kudos for that), it could have been anywhere USA non denom church. And Daniel, even though I appreciate high church as much as you do, it is not compulsory.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Look at all these votes coming in all of a sudden for "Very Appropriate"!! -- Internet backbone between here and Waukesha must be glowing red hot. Who on earth is in Waukesha that is so insecure that little old irrelevant and insignificant IL would have them feeling so "competitive"? Maybe it's the same type of people who feel that in order to survive as a congregation they need to compete against Lutheran congregations that embrace their "catholicity" while competing with the sectarians for more members. --Franklin Brown

Joel Lillo said...


You live by the unscientific poll, you die by the unscientific poll. Given the audience of this blog, this poll was designed to make it look as if there were a lot of people who were offended by this type of Lutheran worship service. All I can say is: Turnabout is fair play.

--Joel Lillo

Joel A. Dusek said...

True Mr. Brown. The trouble with Internet polls is that it's very difficult to restrict the responses to "one man, one vote" to get a real representation. (For you CW and NNIV femininnys, that's "man" in the old-fashioned generic sense). The poll is only as good as the integrity and honesty of the voters. I was vote 80 at about midnight and it was overwhelmingly "inappropriate". By 10 am it was what you see now. Intentionally skewed? Yeah.

Anonymous said...

I have two responses to the comments that have occurred since my last one.
1) Are we really going to vote for one so many times that it gets the results we want? It seems ver childish to me.
2) Joel, you never responded to Daniel or I. I would love to hear what you think!

Bryan Lidtke

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the poll question would be better stated, "how appropriate is this church body for the confessional Lutheran?"

Joseph Jewell said...

Unbelievably immature. (Both the service and whoever flooded the voting overnight. Not even very subtle, but then the contempo advocates rarely are.)

A one-vote-per-IP policy wouldn't be a bad idea. It's still possible to beat that, but it takes a little more effort and is slower. A vote-with-your-name poll would be even better, but would of course get fewer responses.

It strikes me that the general trend in WELS these days seems to be geared towards the suppression of groups (even ephemeral groupings of folks on one issue) not created by the WELS itself, in response to the Time of Grace memorial last year, which of course acquired a long list of names and thus laid out in an un-ignorable way how big a problem that situation was. Now the policy is no more than three names on a memorial (unless, of course, it comes from a WELS committee like the TEC, and then the entire committee can be referenced), which has the effect of making "private" memorials appear to be the musings of a lone crank or a small minority, and I think also has the effect of reducing lay participation in the memorial process (if you can only put three names on your memorial, why "waste" one of them on a mere layman?)

Imagine how many signatures an anti-NIV2011 memorial would have gathered. I think it would have overwhelmed even the number that the Time of Grace memorial received, and it would have been an unmistakable signal to the convention delegates that they were not, in fact, required to choose from among only the options in the TEC's false dichotomy (i.e. would you like to approve NIV2011 only, or NIV2011 and some other stuff?) and that there was substantial support for that position. Instead we had a surfeit of anti-NIV2011 memorials, with only slight differences, each with just three signatures. Much less impactful and dilute--I have to hand it to whatever Machiavellian came up with the idea of limiting the signatures.

It is no coincidence that the powers-that-be eviscerated the grassroots memorial process in this way prior to pushing through the NIV2011 monstrosity.

Jon said...

Sadly, I skimmed through the video mostly because if I wanted to be entertained and while watching people being sincere about their religious beliefs at the same time, I could have watch an episode of Duck Dynasty.

Being a lifelong WELS member for over 50+ years it does not surprise me of this trend ... more services have been moving toward the theatrics. For instance:

A) When I was young, I actually was under the impression a Children's Christmas Eve Service was a "service" ... not. I'm told that not's how it's viewed by most who attend.

B) a Good Friday Tenebre Service
.... the message isn't enough anymore, now dramatize it by gradually dim the lights, making a loud noise like the tomb being closed, walking out somberly \ leaving the church without talking \ pastor not greeting the worshippers

C) A wedding service ....... I do remember when picture taking (even by the hired photographer) was not acceptable during the service.

Plus now many church's have their own multiple camera recording capabilities that it forces the pastor to be more of an on-screen tv personality that it would make sense to see it go down the slide of "The Tonight Show".

These are just a few examples of how far we've moved from "what was" to "what is" ... is that I don't know if "appropriate" to "Very inappropriate" is even relevant to the culture being cultivated.

Maybe what is happening is that the historical "Common Service" is going to become the "Uncommon Common Service" and be once again discovered as the "cool thing" generations later much like the OT Josiah that "re-discovers" the book of the law in the house of the Lord. 2 Kings 22

Brian G. Heyer said...

"...this poll was designed to make it look ..."

I wrote the poll question as I did to plainly ask a question and invite discussion. However people decide to abuse the poll mechanism is on their conscience.

Jon said...

I found this interesting from a different blog:

Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore | Steve McSwain

"According to the Hartford Institute of Religion Research, more than 40 percent of Americans "say" they go to church weekly. As it turns out, however, less than 20 percent are actually in church. In other words, more than 80 percent of Americans are finding more fulfilling things to do on weekends."

The 7 top reasons according Trends Impacting Church Decline are:

1) The demographic remapping of America.
2) Technology.
3) Leadership Crisis
4) Competition
5) Religious Pluralism
6) The "Contemporary" Worship Experience
7) Phony Advertising

6) the "contemporary" Worship Experience
"This, too, has contributed to the decline of the church. It's been the trend in the last couple of decades for traditional, mainline churches to pretend to be something they're not. Many of them have experimented with praise bands, the installation of screens, praise music, leisure dress on the platform, and... well... you know how well that's been received.

Frankly, it has largely proven to be a fatal mistake. Of course, there are exceptions to this everywhere and especially in those churches where there is an un-traditional look already, staging, an amphitheater-style seating, as well as the budget to hire the finest musicians to perform for worship. In traditional, mainline churches, however, trying to make a stained-glass atmosphere pass as the contemporary worship place has met with about as much success as a karaoke singer auditioning for The X Factor."

Peter Bockoven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rev. Rob Lawson said...

Not that it will persuade the practitioners and supporters of the kind of obnoxious, irreverent vacuousness "performed" in the "Service" in question, but here is something from the sainted Rev. Dr. Kurt Marquardt that others might appreciate:

"The early church studiously avoided the music characteristic of ostentation and voluptuousness of pagan state religion and mystery cults. Sobriety, not frenzy, was the mark of Christian worship, I Cor. 12:2; Eph. 5:15-20. In our own time it is difficult to imagine a more appalling travesty than a “service” or “hymns” reeking of the pagan debaucheries and obscenities of the “rock” cult. It is sheer mockery to turn the Christian mysteries into raucous nightclub acts. What has Light to do with Darkness, Christ with Belial, or the Agnus Dei with the Beatles, Monkeys and their ilk? The solemn celebrations of the church (I Cor. 5:8; Heb. 13:10) must not be defiled with the modes and manners of Canaanite fertility religions (I Cor. 10:7,8) and of their modern counterparts.” Kurt Marquardt. Liturgical Commonplaces, p. 344

Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...

Good quote, Pr. Lawson!

Pastor Spencer said...

Opps - commented on the wrong post. Sorry.

Yes, wonderful quote! Here, here!

Now, here's a little project for our readers: Find a quote making the very same point, but from a WELS, rather than LCMS source; then, also find a quote from a WELS source that expresses the exact opposite viewpoint. I'm curious as to which will show up first. Ready, set, . . . . GO! Be careful out there!

Anonymous said...

Let's see.
Disrespect for Office of Ministry: no vestments, pastor with coffee cup and hands in pockets, introduces himself as "Pastor Ben", also "student assistant Ben" (Is this a vicar or layman? He later states "Vicar"), a general attitude of "I'm your buddy".

General irreverence for the Divine Service. Little mention of the need for Christ, no "Sin and Grace", there is a confession and absolution but the rest of the service doesn't invite sinners but invites people looking for a church like a social club.

An attitude of "get people in here, we're cool": Encouragement to use Facebook during service, Marathon advertisement during service, awkward statements from the leader: "I don't know many of you, and that's great..."

Songs: to say these are "hymns" is a stretch. Even the few historic hymns are presented in a contemporary pop style. Wrong? No. Historic, orthodox? No. Lutheran? Debatable. One has to ask, "why?" If the point is to glorify, praise, & thank God, OK. If the point is to attract people and put the focus on the band, not good. Also, a couple of these songs were mystical, expressing an emotional connection to God. They likely would not pass the Cruncher!

The Other Joel, Dusek

Joel Lillo said...

This is really cool:

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