From Michael Horton at The White Horse Inn blog. Horton articulates the issue that seems to be at the heart of the discussion about our worship that usually ends up centering on music and style or preference. Where one sees bias in another’s opinions, another sees continuity with the past. Either way we usually end up talking past each other and miss the elephant in the room. Horton takes on the elephant by asking the question — Why do we go to church? I think if we grapple with this question honestly, we might be able to work through differences of style or music preference. What do you think? The entire article is reproduced below.
Why Do We Go to Church?
How the “Worship Wars” Often Miss the Real Issue
Where going to church was for most Americans the default setting, today it’s a conscious choice. Many churches tried wooing Boomers back with softness and smiles, affirming images of a God who is helpful for our life projects, and myriad activities for the kids. Many of their children and grandchildren are burned out on it all. Some head for the exit, toward Rome, the East, or the “spiritual but not religious” category. Others are calling the church to be less consumer-driven and to make God the focus.
For too long the “worship wars” have coalesced around style. These are not unimportant questions; how we worship says a lot about the object and significance of the event. However, all the sides (simplistically drawn between “traditionalists” and “contemporary-worship” advocates) in the debates share more in common than any do with the rationale of Reformation Christianity.
Continue reading “Why Do We Go to Church? — via The White Horse Inn”
A couple of months ago I posted an article entitled “Do We Miss the Point of Worship? Is it for Seekers and Evangelism?” I have been thinking about that article quite a bit lately in the context of the worship life of the church. Seekers are generally thought to be unchurched persons who have a desire for things spiritual. They know there is something more, they are just trying to find it. They are said to be seeking God, looking for Him. We are told that our services need to be user friendly, non-threatining, not offensive, and accessible so that unchurched visitors — seekers — will not be turned off to our message and will return. Listening to an Internet radio program the other day — Chris Rosebrough on Pirate Christian Radio — the commentator observed that there are no seekers in the church. As the basis for this statement, he referred to Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapter 3:9-12:
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
Paul quotes Psalms 14 and 53 here, for the proposition that no one seeks for God, that we have all turned aside, becoming worthless, pursuing what pleases us. This recognition that there is no one who seeks after God, therefore, has ancient authority as the Psalmists attest. Paul says elsewhere in Ephesians that we are dead in our trespasses and sins. Continue reading “There are NO Seekers in the Church”