Monday, March 11, 2013

What Evangelicals Can Learn from Catholics...

Curious?  Click here and learn from one evangelical his appreciation for the liturgy, for reverence and dignity in the worship service, and for a focus less on the pastor in the pulpit and more on the things of God.

The biggest thing that Evangelicals can learn from Catholics is how to worship.  

The typical worship service at an Evangelical church is very sermon-centered and is, therefore, very pastor-centered. The structure involves the singing of hymns during the first part of the service. It is this portion of the service that Evangelicals equate with “worshipping God.” Music is very important to Evangelicals, and because the singing of hymns is nothing less than the worship of God, the quality of the music is usually very high. However, that doesn’t mean that Evangelicals sing classical Lutheran or Wesleyan hymns. The music is generally contemporary and upbeat; modern instruments, such as electric guitars, are frequently used.

After the singing, which lasts for approximately 30 minutes, there is a short scripture reading, followed by the centerpiece of the service, the sermon. Because such great emphasis is placed on the sermon, the better Evangelical pastors spend a lot of time in crafting them. In some of the larger churches, the Sunday sermon may be the most significant task of the senior pastor. Evangelical sermons are longer than a Catholic homily: the typical sermon averages 30 minutes.

Maybe it would be a good thing for some Lutherans to read this article... since it is this very thing that the author lauds that is the complaint of some Lutherans.  Funny how it is that we find ourselves longing for things that the folks who have them do not appreciate.  Perhaps I should qualify this.  While I often hear Roman Catholics asking for better sermons, I seldom hear them asking for longer ones (evangelical preachers preach about 2-3 times longer than their Roman Catholic counterparts).

The article goes a long way to educate what liturgy it and its value to the Christian.  One place where it fails is in the essential nature of how Christ is present in the liturgy -- through the means of grace.  The liturgy draws the focus and our attention to the promises of God placed on absolution, the water of baptism, and the bread and wine of the Eucharist.

It is a good read, nonetheless!

1 comment:

El said...

The baby rapers are electing a new head baby raper Pope Pedophile.

Matthew 1:23 says that Jesus (the messiah) would be called Immanuel, which means "God with us." Yet no one, not even his parents, call him Immanuel at any point in the bible.

The Messiah must be a physical descendant of David (Romans 1:3 & Acts 2:30). Yet, how could Jesus meet this requirement since his genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 show he descended from David through Joseph, who was not his natural father because of the Virgin Birth. Hence, this prophecy could not have been fulfilled.

Isaiah 7:16 seems to say that before Jesus had reached the age of maturity, both of the Jewish countries would be destroyed. Yet there is no mention of this prophecy being fulfilled in the New Testament with the coming of Jesus, hence this is another Messiah prophecy not fulfilled.

*Statements Jesus Made Which Are False:*

Jesus in John 14:12 & Mark 16:17-18 said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." This implies that Jesus’ true followers should be able to routinely perform the following tricks:

1) cast out devils, 2) speak in tongues, 3) take up serpents, 4) drink poisons without harm, and 5) cure the sick by touching them and MANY other of Jesus’ "works". Curiously I have yet to see a Christian that can do any of the above on demand.

In John 14:13-14 Jesus stated: "And whatsoever ye ask in my name I do, that the Father may be glorified in the son. If ye ask any thing in my name, I will do it." In reality, millions of people have made millions of requests in Jesus’ name and failed to receive satisfaction. This promise or prophecy has failed completely.

Paul says Christianity lives or dies on the Resurrection (1 Corinthian 15:14-17). Yet Jesus said in Matthew 12:40 that he would be buried three days and three nights as Jonah was in the whale three days and three nights. Friday afternoon to early Sunday morning is only one and a half days, so he could not have been the messiah by his own and Paul’s admission.

Jesus’ prophecy in John 13:38 ("The cock shall not crow, till thou [Peter] hast denied me three times") is false. Mark 14:66-68 shows the cock crowed after the first denial, not the third.

In Mark 10:19 Jesus said: "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother." Jesus needs to re-read the Ten Commandments. There is no Old Testament commandment against defrauding. The only relevant statement about defrauding is in Leviticus 19:13 , which says : "Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor." This is an OT law, but is not listed with the Ten Commandments. Surely, if Jesus was god incarnate he would know the commandments.

"And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (John 3:13). If Jesus is in heaven, how can he be down on earth speaking? Moreover, according to 2 Kings 2:11 ("and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven") Jesus was not the only person to ascend into heaven, nor was he the first. Elijah preceded him and apparently Enoch did also ("And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him"--Genesis 5:24).

In Luke 23:43 Jesus said to the thief on the cross, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." This obviously has to be false, for Jesus was supposed to lay dead in the tomb for three days following his crucifixion.

Jesus says : "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy" (Matthew 5:43). This statement does not exist in the OT either. In fact, Proverbs 24:17 says, "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth…"