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Deep End of the Pool

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 1

Another Facebook conversation that went a little sideways.


C: At what point did Christians decide worship of God should always be subdued and orderly? Will we not be emotive and exuberant in heaven?!

Me: 400 AD 🙂

Me: When did Christians decide church was good music followed by a 6th-grade lecture?
Worshiping God is like loving your spouse. It’s not something that you do for 30 minutes one morning of the week. It’s a lifestyle. Now… Date Night might be subdued with candles and red wine one week and kayaking the next.

We should be careful not to judge the quality of our outward expression of Godly affection based on our own proclivities for enjoyment. And more so in comparison to others.

C: I might agree except that culture accepts exuberant emotive outbursts in sports settings, concerts, etc. there are scores of people willing to abandon their pervading personalities for love of their favorite band and then decide ‘that’s not their personality’ or ‘that’s not appropriate in church’. That’s the lines I was thinking.
Me: …but that’s not worship. I’ve cheered at football games (when I’ve had free seats and am there with a friend) and I don’t follow sports ever on my own. I’ve also photographed concerts I was literally PAID to attend and it was easy to enjoy the energy although had never heard of the band. …it’s not worship. A few years back I attended a Native American event with a client. Had I shot video and not told you what it was you’d easily believe it was a Pentecostal “worship” service, except it wasn’t, it was pagan and identical.

My fear lies in assigning the quality of “church” by what “we” do. When it is real really what God does.

In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul says he prefers we share prophecy rather than speak in tongues because prophecy is an evidence of God’s presence to the unbeliever, whereas tongues edifies one’s self.

Style is the epitome of self-edification and is in no way an adequate assessment of quality.

I’d much prefer to judge the quality of a service by the amount of actual service happening. Sick healed, brokenness fixed and so on.

Note that I loath the conjunction “praise and worship” it is interesting to ask people what “two” things are happening when you sing “Awesome God” smile emoticon

Here is a list of Worship in the NT. Take a read and tell me how many of them are tied to or indicate any kind of music or singing. Praise on the other hand definitely has a musical component.
MJ:

Notice the scripture, “In his sanctuary”…..you’re getting too “intellectual” not to mention a bit judgemental on and entire group (those who desire to gather and worship and fellowship and hear from the Lord on Sunday, which is every Christian I know…
Show more  <– I didn’t expand this part of his rant 🙁


Hey Taylor…not finding any scriptures where Jesus ever laughed….or even smiled…let’s slam them happy people who laugh in church…


Cigar puffing Taylors right, and 50 million christians who love to clap and worship the Lord w music are wrong…my bad.

Me: I’ll do my best to respond in order.
_____

You’re getting too “intellectual”…

I find this an odd (insult) as God is the author of Wisdom. Later you quote Psalms 150. You may want to read what comes next in Proverbs 1.
Do you include writers like C. S. Lewis, N. T. Wright, G.K. Chesterton, or Barth and Bonhoeffer, who I have a hard following as being too intellectual? They are certainly all smarter than me.

_____

“…and a bit judgemental.”

My judgments or assessments are centered around how words are defined and what meaning and metaphors may be derived from them. I made no direct judgment of any person, their motives or the state of their heavenly reward.

I go to church now and am even attend a discipleship class. That said, all churches aren’t equal. Some are better than others, and it can take time to find the ones worth the family investment.

I hate camping and fishing and have done neither in forever. That said I experience God more often out of church than in it. I assume this is a time issue as I am at church less than 3 hours a week. It would be sad if I only got 3 hours of God a week, or only experiencing Him was limited to being in a particular building.

_____

“I experience God as much …”

I don’t recall making this claim. – PASS

I wrote, “Praise on the other hand definitely has a musical component.”
Which your verse clearly and beautifully expresses.

However, you’re using an Old Testament verse in a conversation about Christians deciding things about “Modern” Worship. A mistake I too made, at first.
Psalms was written in a time when animals were still sacrificed, and the sanctuary was typically reserved for the High Priest.
NOTE: The veil separating the two chambers of the Sanctuary was torn at Jesus’ death signifying the end of the Levitical priesthood. The church as we know it is not a sanctuary, a temple or a tabernacle, it is an ekklesia according to Jesus..

Praise can and should be an element of worship, but worship is not praise, it is so much more. Kind of like God is Love – but Love is not God (as a portion of the secular crowd would have us believe.)

_____

Jesus never smiling…

Not sure what to say here other than this some form of a Red Herring fallacy – which is an argument given in response to another argument, which is irrelevant and draws attention away from the subject of the first argument. – PASS

Am I right to assume “Cigar-puffing” is some sort of slam?
I’m in good company with C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Karl Barth, J.S. Bach, and Charles Spurgeon. Plus I don’t inhale. 🙂

_____

50 Million… This is a dangerous argument on two counts.

1. Simply, we are Protestant and not Catholic. If Martain Luther had not confronted the Catholic Church with his list of issues, our entire Faith wouldn’t exist. I find it funny when Protestants try to shut down a Protester. The irony is rich. Hey, I just laughed, did we decide if that’s okay? smile emoticon

2. There are billions of believers in other religions. Muslims are the world’s fastest-growing religious group in the world at the moment. If they exceed us in numbers, do they become right, merely because of body count? Jesus and His 12 were certainly a minority.

Finally:
PLEASE NOTE: I never said, don’t sing? Rather be careful that we don’t judge our kind or quality of worship based on the way we sing or how we feel about the experience. I worry that we may judge the Spiritual nature of things based on shared taste and good performances.

MJ:
Taylor, as always you’re real good at denying what you “said” (as with out many past debates) after I call you on it, and then putting words into my own post…All I know is you judged an entire group with this broad statement;” When did Christians decide church is good music followed by a 6th grade lecture?” My pastor doesnt give a 6th grade lecture, nor has any pastor I have ever known, let alone every pastor in the world….it insinuates something “wrong” with the churches outline…even though its an outline that encourages, inspires and motivates countless millions on a weekly basis…but you have apparently been to every single one and thereby able to judge every single one as “wrong”…Id continue with my examples but you just pull out some big words and articulations to show me what you didnt say…but the fact is, I never said YOU didnt go to church….but people who dont often use the same excuse you are using…same with camping…but your CNN style “spin” answer seized the opportunity to make it appear like Iand therefore you filled half the page defending yourself from something I never accused you of…typical political distraction tactic…. now go ahead….defend yourself from watching CNN or ever being a politician.

Me: “I must be frank with you: the greatest danger confronting American evangelical Christianity is the danger of anti-intellectualism.” —Charles Malik, speaking at the Billy Graham Center Dedication

This is not written by a Christian, but his perspective it interesting. As a Brand designer, I see lots of truth in it. http://www.amazon.com/Shopping-God…/dp/0743292871

 


Me: Again I’ll try to respond in order.

_____

“Taylor, as always you’re real good at denying what you, “said” (as with our many past debates) after I call you, on it…

The only actual claim I made in my first response to you was to note, that I never said, don’t sing? What denial are you referring?

I’ve saved a couple of our past conversations, and I don’t recall me making other denials. Had you not blocked me I suppose I could have reviewed more closely.

______

All I know is you judged an entire group with this broad statement;”

I am questioning a system for sure. But, it’s no different than rethinking public education, election process, or the effectiveness of a national diet plan.

Curious, do you do this to liberal and Muslims?

______

“When did Christians decide church is good music followed by a 6th-grade lecture?”

Which I don’t and didn’t deny. You might have opened with this in your first rant. 🙂

Also, I followed up with the clarifier, “Seeker Sensitive” this, of course, precludes non-Seeker Sensitive churches.

______

…a 6th-grade lecture?

We know from both Hebrews 5:11-14 – 6 1-2 and 1 Cor 3:2 that my sentiment is not new. In both verses, the authors are irritated that the congregation is still drinking theological milk when they should be teachers.

Google the Dumbing Down of the Church, Bible, Worship, or Evangelicals. I’m not alone nor did I invent this line of thinking.

Let’s look at this outside of the church. When a restaurant grows beyond their local roots becoming a regional or national chain one of the first thing to go is the original “flavor.” A mediocre subdued profile is often used to create larger mass appeal. (Is our Mexican or Chinese food actually Mexican or Chinese food?) I can’t even eat “real” Thai food, and I like spicy stuff.

How about music. When a band makes it leaving their local venues and cult following they are often coerced or forced by the record label to be more mainstream for broader appeal and are ridiculed by their original fans as sellouts.

Even sport’s rules are altered to fit better media and advertiser schedules.

The above is the epitome of “Seeker Sensitive” and I believe the larger the church, the more likely this happens.

Ask your pastor or associates if they’ve ever been told to “tone it down” or “you’ll lose half the congregation” if you teach this. I called a pastor friend, today and he confirmed this has happened to him.

______

…it insinuates something “wrong” with the churches outline…

Let’s look at it another way.

In your Sunday morning service do you have in attendance people who are attending for the first time and people attending for the thousandth time?

If so, what is being offered to both participants?

Is it new and easy to understand for the new person, or it is stimulating and maturing for the veteran? In either scenario, the other is left out. Finding something to appeal to both might sound good, but it is effective?

I don’t see this outline as functional in say, taking karate, learning the guitar, snowboarding. A first karate class is considerably different than the 100th.

I’d love a church that separated services via Bunny Slope, Blue Squares, and Black Diamonds instead of which music you like or time you’ll roll out of bed.

The “outline” as you called it, doesn’t work at school either. The newly entered and the long time educated each has their specified curriculums.

How strong can someone get if all the weights at the gym are 10lbs? I don’t see how maturity can happen when “entry level” teaching is constant and the same for all and through the years.

______

“encourages inspires and motivates countless millions on a weekly basis.”

So does Oprah.

______

“you have apparently been to every single one”

I think this is the All or Nothing Fallacy

______

I’d continue with my examples but you just pull out some big words and articulations to show me what you didn’t say

I’ve read your claims, what were your examples?

Again what have I denied?

______

I never said YOU didnt go to church….

Since you used the word insinuates, I will too.

(The truth is, I didn’t go to church for a while. I thought I’d told you about that. I needed to disconnect for a bit, see it from the outside, unlearn a few things. Then come back in with better clarity.)

______

“but people who dont (go to church) often use the same excuse you are using…”

What did I excuse or need an excuse for? I don’t recall trying to justify anything.

______

same with camping — I never accused you of

You did end the camping thought with “Good for you.”

I’m sorry I assumed your use of “you” in a post directed at me wasn’t about me. My bad.

______

CNN style spin — political distraction tactic

This is becoming a theme for us. 🙂

I do my best to stay logical, civil, and biblical as well as respond to each of your contentions, in order, answering the best I can. As to political distraction tactics, I’m not sure what you mean by this. I try to create clarity not distraction and rarely use tactics other than logic.

 I reached to a pastor we both respect and one you’ve attended.

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1
2 Comments
  • Garth Penglase
    May 10, 2017

    Hey Taylor,
    Saw your posts on Mike Frost’s site and felt you articulated the point well – agree entirely. Mike Frost is thoughtful but I have problems with a lot of his posts.

    my FB is https://www.facebook.com/gpenglase if you want to connect, you’ll probably enjoy posts from my friends.

    (small note on word use, if I may…: “definitely”, not “defiantly”)

    Please note that your contact form isn’t working, hence using a comment to reach you – you probably want to delete this comment. If you need assistance with your blog let me know as web dev is my area.

    cheers
    Garth

  • Taylor
    June 9, 2017

    I just saw this. Sorry. I’m not getting notifications.
    I’ll see to the fixes you recommend too.

    Thank you.

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