Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Glory And Praise

The collapse of liturgical praxis in Western Christianity can be defined along a continuum: Catholic liturgy has become mainline Protestant, mainline Protestant liturgy has become New Age, and evangelical Protestant worship has just gone crazy, according to this Lark News article:

First Nazarene Church used to start Sunday services with announcements and a generic welcome from the associate pastor. Now service starts with whirling spotlights, stadium music and a cougar mascot bounding down the center aisle slapping high fives and making "raise the roof" gestures.

"Adding Christian Cougar was a great move for us," says the pastor. "No one calls our church boring anymore."

Churches across the country are adopting mascots to pump up Sunday mornings and rally people in worship.

"Our new mascot energizes things," says pastor Del Richards of Valley Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark., which just introduced Lift-Him-Up Lion.

On Sunday morning during worship time, the Lion rushes on stage and does the running man dance to "Blessed Be Your Name." He then makes "I can't hear you" motions and broad clapping gestures, then kneels with his hands raised when the songs turn slower.

Sure, it's satire now. But there's a liturgy committee somewhere that will read this article and treat it as gospel. Liturgy committees can be fooled into doing anything.


Anonymous said...

Personally I'm not much for liturgy for the sake of liturgy however I have noticed over the years the drift in the evangelical and more specifically the charismatic churches towards the rah rah methodology described. I think much of this is to be attributed to the intellectual drubbing the church has received from the teachers in the church's own seminaries.

SouthernOntarioan said...

For a moment I actually thought this was a real story.. *gulp* guess I'm just gullible.

In all seriousness though, a lot of churches have been drifting in that direction, with more focus on 'making you feel good' rather than on theology and doctrine (which can be boring but essential).