Thursday, March 3, 2016
More goofiness. . .
This is a very long image, to be sure, and I generally do not post such large images but it is about the only way to get what David Haas, one of the several very popular pop song writers for Roman Catholic worship, has to say about ministry.
First problem is the generic term ministry. I have a friend who met a pastor who spoke of his BBQ ministry. I have serious questions about whether or not this is a ministry even though right now I am pretty hungry for either grilled or smoked meat (both of whom generally fall under the moniker BBQ). Ministry has become a catch all word for the things we like to do, the things we think we do well, and the things we want to do. Lutherans should not fall into the trap of speaking so vaguely. Ministry is Word and Sacrament and ministers are those who have this office by ordination and who exercise it by call. Rome is even more specific in its terminology so the whole subject is, well, goofy. Ministry is not some generic term but specific to place and people, and especially to the means of grace!
Second is the romantic idea of coaching people into the faith, of walking with them on their journey with Jesus, of listening to their heart language, and of endless conversations made up of questions mostly without any concrete answers. We Lutherans have such foolishness in our midst as well. Just the other day a member handed me a PR piece from another (so-called) Lutheran parish in our community. It was sent supposedly to new people (or at least those with new addresses) and promised the same sort of open minds, open hearts, open hands, open truth idea Haas is talking about above. It presumed that Jesus was all about questions and not so much about answers or truth and it ridiculed churches with convictions and held the sending congregation up as a people for questioning minds who love to talk. Uh, yeah, we love to talk (at least I do) but the Gospel is not about our talk or our opinions or our questions. It is about the fact of Jesus' incarnation, suffering, death, and resurrection (previewed by the prophets and witnessed by the disciples) for us and for our salvation.
Half of these are just so goofy they need no comment. Choosing absence so God can show up? Gag. Not about reading Scripture but becoming the living Word? Either goofy or heresy? Your pick. Oh, well, as long as there are spirituals who don't want to be religious, there will be enough folks who resonate with a Christless Christianity without fact, conviction, doctrine, or creed. Sadly, there are already too many who like this kind of fluff. But it does not seem to appeal so much to the younger folks who are looking for substance and truth. Thanks be to God!