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Archive for the ‘Wrong Worship’ Category

How to Get More Worshippers in Church – Lutheran Satire

March 22, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: Wrong Worship

FAIL! Hey, UMC: Church Is NOT about Fairness and Justice in the Workplace

September 10, 2013 Leave a comment

When you have thrown away the Gospel, this garbage is what you have left:

That’s NOT Church

Categories: Wrong Worship

Mysticism at the LCMS’ National Youth Gathering (Part 2) – Pr. Jonathan Fisk

August 17, 2013 Leave a comment

As he addresses here, it is also moralistic, therapeutic deism:

Categories: Catechesis, Wrong Worship

Mysticism at the LCMS’ National Youth Gathering (Part 1) – Pr. Jonathan Fisk

August 10, 2013 Leave a comment
Categories: Catechesis, Wrong Worship

On Flags in the Sanctuary – Pr Larry Beane

January 9, 2013 Leave a comment

Flags (even “Christian” flags) don’t belong the in sanctuary of any church. Pr. Larry Beane gives many good reasons. Here’s one:

Another example of the jurisdictional use of national flags involves embassies. The Saudi Embassy, for example, is located in Washington, DC. But it does not fly the U.S. flag. Embassies are outposts of the countries they serve, and the Saudi Embassy in Washington is actually “Saudi soil” (not sand in Washington!). U.S. law does not apply there. The Saudi flag is indicative of sovereignty and jurisdiction.
In a sense, the church (whose space we sometimes call the “nave” – that is, the “ship”) is like a ship or an embassy that flies under its own flag. Churches, though located in the U.S. or Canada or Russia or Ethiopia – are actually missions or consulates or embassies of heaven. The sovereign of the Church is not the king or the queen or the president — but the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ, He who said, “My kingdom is not of this world,” He who rebuffed Satan’s temptations to give Him all of the kingdoms of the world.

Read the rest.

Categories: Wrong Worship

Quote of the Day

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

If the Book of Concord has ceased being an accurate description of doctrine and practice in a given congregation, either the pastor of that congregation should preach and teach in order to bring the congregation back into communion with those confessions, or pastor and parish should both openly renounce the Lutheran confessions and leave our fellowship. Integrity demands it. It is openly hypocritical to stand before the holy altar and pledge fealty to confessions that one feels he is free to ignore.

[Are the Confessions Prescriptive or Descriptive? – Pr. Larry Beane – Gottesdienst]

Categories: Wrong Worship

Worship Wars: It’s About Doctrine

October 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Pastor Todd Wilken gets to the real reason for the worship wars, in his article in the Fall 2012 issue (6.1 MB pdf) of Issues, Etc. Journal, titled, “Behind the Music: The REAL Worship War”.

Excerpts:

Pentecostals worship like Pentecostals because they believe what Pentecostals believe.

Baptists worship like Baptists because they believe what Baptists believe.

Methodists worship like Methodists because they believe what Methodists believe.

Riddle: Why do some Lutherans worship like Pentecostals, Baptists and Methodists?

I admit, it isn’t much of a riddle. The answer is obvious, or at least it should be.

Some Lutherans worship like Pentecostals, Baptists and Methodists because they believe what Pentecostals, Baptists and Methodists believe. It is that simple. Certainly, these Lutherans will never admit it, but the truth is, they worship like they do because they believe what they do. They no longer believe what Lutherans believe.

Decades of Pentecostal and Revivalist worship in Lutheran congregations have produced congregations that are effectively Pentecostal and Revivalist, not Lutheran. These congregations may still carry the Lutheran logo, but Sunday after Sunday they are practicing Pentecostal Revivalists. Your church’s logo may be different, but I bet the results have been the same.

The worship war is about doctrine. Doctrine is teaching. So, what does the pastor’s latest new idea for worship teach? What does it confess? What is the new idea’s, the new practice’s Doctrine? What will we be teaching and confessing if we do this?

Before the lead singer steps into the spotlight, before the guitar sounds its first power-chord, the question must be asked. What does this confess? Before the house lights dim or the video splash screen rolls, ask: What does this teach? Before we lift our eyes to the big screens or our voices in another Hillsong or Casting Crowns chorus, ask: What are we teaching and confessing with this?

Everything in worship confesses something. Putting the preaching of the Word and Sacraments front and center says something about what we believe. What does putting the praise band front and center say? The preaching of Sin and Grace says something about what we believe. What does life-coaching and how-to preaching say? Reciting the Creed says a lot about what we believe. What does omitting it say? Following the historic liturgy, with its unmistakable emphasis on the forgiveness of sins and the presence of Jesus in the sacrament, says something about what we believe. What does abandoning the liturgy say?

Categories: Wrong Worship

Shepherds That Hate Their Flocks 4

July 22, 2012 Leave a comment

As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance (Law) and forgiveness of sins (Gospel) should be proclaimed in his (Jesus’) name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”  (Luke 24:36-48 – ESV)

One of the highlighted posts on this blog is about the Issues, Etc., programs on Preaching with Pastor David Petersen. It is a five-part series that should be heard by every lay member of every congregation of the LCMS along with their pastors. Lay people should insist their pastors do the things that Pastor Petersen encourages.

Another highlighted post is Dr. Carl Fickenscher’s series on Sermon Preparation, which should also be viewed by every LCMS layman and pastor. Pastors should be following Dr. Fickenscher’s advice carefully.

Unfortunately, most pastors won’t listen to the series, because their so-called ministries are focused on the wrong things. Instead of the preaching Law and Gospel every sermon, he talks about what he and his family did this past week. Oh, he’ll throw in a little Jesus now and then, but he mostly talks about himself, how his people should be doing this or that (attainable law—third use, even though the Old Adam hears it as second use—sins of omission), how they have separated themselves from those who are heterodox (self-righteousness), or, worse yet, giving them nothing of spiritual value whatsoever.

And forget about the pastor actually studying the Scriptures in the original languages to see how the Gospel (or any) lesson for that Sunday should be preached. No, he’ll just get up and tell us what *he* thinks it means. No context. Either he’s too lazy to study the original languages or just busies himself with “doing ministry” or with his personal life that the languages fall by the wayside.

Mostly, though, he hates his people. He has given up on his promise, spoken so solemnly during his installation, to preach the Gospel in all its truth and purity and to administer the Sacraments according to Christ’s institution. He refuses to confront sins with the Law, especially his own sins, let alone his members’ sins. He refuses to examine the Ten Commandments to see through the mirror of God’s Law how utterly terribly he hates his own parishioners. He would rather neglect telling them that they are damnable sinners, completely deserving of God’s wrath and punishment, including the fire of hell and eternal separation from God. He refuses to call them to repentance and to turn from their sins and believe the Gospel, that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, paid for their sins on the bloody crucifixion cross.

You pastors that can’t be bothered with keeping your promises: quit. Either quit neglecting your promises, or quit the ministry. Either start fulfilling what you promised to do, or you will continue sending your members to hell. Stop hating your people and love them enough to call them to repentance through God’s Law and Gospel. Give them what they so desperately need, even if they are not aware of it: the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 1:8-10 (ESV):

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 2:1-2 (ESV):

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Jesus died for you, faithless shepherd of Christ’s flock, so that you are to now preach the Law in all its sternness and the Gospel in all its sweetness.

Categories: Unbelief, Wrong Worship

A Helpful Suggestion for Non-Liturgical LCMS Congregations

March 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Pr John Frahm provides a very helpful statement that can be used by not-very-Lutheran congregations of the LCMS in place of AC XXIV in their Books of Concord (if they still recognize such a thing):

Rightly are our churches accused and convicted of abolishing the Mass; for the Mass is rarely seen among us, and celebrated so casually one would never know we are dealing with heaven on earth. Nearly none of the historic ceremonies are observed among us. For ceremonies are observed among us for these purposes alone — to draw a crowd, make everyone happy, and convince them we are no different than the Methodists down the street. To paraphrase St. Paul, we have become all things to all protestants, if by some means we may solve our budgetary problems. In some places, the people are accustomed to partake of bread and grape juice together, about once or twice per month. For everyone is admitted regardless of whether they are examined, under the catch-all of pastoral discretion and outreach. The people are rarely taught regarding the sacrament and are pastorally encouraged in the belief that it is more special if it is celebrated less often, and that it is properly there for a warm fuzzy feeling. This kind of worship is more acceptable to the masses and keeps up the church budget and prevents the pastor from being fired. Therefore it certainly appears that the Mass is more devoutly celebrated among our adversaries than among us, but that doesn’t bother us anymore. We do abolish the Mass and religiously purge it from our churches, at first making it only one flavor on the buffet of services, or relegate it to nostalgic Sundays at the very most. Again, almost none of the usual public ceremonies are observed, the series of lessons, prayers, or the use of any vestments at all, even the black Pietistic sort, in many places. For we confess that the Mass is indeed a sacrifice, a praise service and worship experience designed to generate a certain spiritual mood. We indeed, also shun and persecute those who refuse to abolish the Mass. For ultimately we appear to question whether the Word of God in itself is effective, as it does not appear to produce the results we expect, neither on our schedule nor in the quantity we prefer. Therefore we prefer to trust in personal charisma, entertainment, programs, and liturgical karaoke. For these make for effective, successful, seeker-sensitive, and truly missional experiences, in our opinion. This is hopefully true. This is our abiding confession, which we have no intention of departing from, at least not until the next new big culturally relevant (indulgent) program comes our way.

Categories: Wrong Worship

Shepherds that Hate Their Flocks 3

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

UPDATE: Here is the semi-regular repost.

Farther down this blog is a post about the Issues, Etc., programs on Preaching with Pastor David Petersen. It is a five-part series that should be heard by every lay member of every congregation of the LCMS along with their pastors. Lay people should insist their pastors do the things that Pastor Petersen encourages.

Unfortunately, most pastors won’t listen to the series, because their so-called ministries are focused on the wrong things. Instead of the preaching Law and Gospel every sermon, he talks about what he and his family did this past week. Oh, he’ll throw in a little Jesus now and then, but he mostly talks about himself, how his people should be doing this or that (attainable law), how they have separated themselves from those who are heterodox (self-righteousness), or, worse yet, giving them nothing of spiritual value whatsoever.

And forget about the pastor actually studying the Scriptures in the original languages to see how the Gospel (or any) lesson for that Sunday should be preached. No, he’ll just get up and tell us what *he* thinks it means. No context. Either he’s too lazy to study the original languages or just busies himself with “doing ministry” or with his personal life that the languages fall by the wayside.

Mostly, though, he hates his people. He has given up on his promise, spoken so solemnly during his installation, to preach the Gospel in all its truth and purity and to administer the Sacraments according to Christ’s institution. He refuses to confront sins with the Law, especially his own sins, let alone his members’ sins. He refuses to examine the Ten Commandments to see through the mirror of God’s Law how utterly terribly he hates his own parishioners. He would rather neglect telling them that they are damnable sinners, completely deserving of God’s wrath and punishment, including the fire of hell and eternal separation from God. He refuses to call them to repentance and to turn from their sins and believe the Gospel, that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, paid for their sins on the bloody crucifixion cross.

You pastors that can’t be bothered with keeping your promises: quit. Either quit neglecting your promises, or quit the ministry. Either start fulfilling what you promised to do, or you will continue sending your members to hell. Stop hating your people and love them enough to call them to repentance through God’s Law and Gospel. Give them what they so desperately need, even if they are not aware of it: the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 1:8-10 (ESV):

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 2:1-2 (ESV):

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Jesus died for you, faithless shepherd of Christ’s flock, so that you are to now preach the Law in all its sternness and the Gospel in all its sweetness.

Categories: Wrong Worship
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