ou can read the well reasoned and thorough response of one liturgical Christian to the borrowings of Evangelicals here. There is too much for me to cut and paste the article in snippets here so I urge you to read it. My take is slightly different. It is the reverse. Just as this article notes how liturgical worship is the rage among many Evangelicals but suggests toying with forms is not enough to pass muster, so do I content that it is equally ineffective and quite deceitful to toy with Evangelical forms and attempt to retain a Lutheran theology.
The liturgical author is saying that it is not a "style" or a "form" that attracts the folks and therefore one cannot merely keep the same content and borrow an inauthentic "style" to reach out to those who find the liturgy welcoming and not offensive. What I am saying is that it is equally not a matter of "style" or "form" when Lutherans (liturgical Christians) ditch the appearance in order to mimic Evangelicals and insist that they are still authentic Lutherans and that their faith has not changed. When you worship like an Evangelical, you will believe like one. When you believe like a liturgical, sacramental Christian, you cannot worship like an Evangelical. The doctrinal content and practical face of Sunday morning cannot be at war with each other.
Those who seem to be attracted the liturgy are smart enough to sniff out preaching and faith that does not flow from and back to the altar, font, and pulpit in a way that is authentic and true. In the same way, those who seem to be attracted to praise bands, spectator services, entertainment style worship, and preaching that focuses on the immediate more than the eternal can sniff out a lie equally as well. They will find the discrepancy between their evangelicalism and Lutheran confessional theology and liturgical practice equally disconcerting.
Honestly, sometimes I think we Lutherans are idiots. We think that borrowing from the Evangelicals who are borrowing from us will somehow not be noticed as antithetical to what we believe, confess, and teach. Of course we are assured all the time that the people leaning toward evangelicalism have not at all surrendered their doctrine to the altar of expediency -- only their Sunday morning practice. Again, who are we fooling? I would suggest we are fooling no one at all.
The folks we are trying attract will not be attracted by evangelical wannabes when they have the real thing available just down the block. What may be the real problem is that these Lutherans are no longer evangelical wannabes. They have sold their souls to their worship "style" and have, for all practical purposes, begun to believe like the evangelicals they want to look like.
We celebrated St. Bart's day only a month ago. In the Gospel for that day our Lord saw into the heart of this man and found him without deceit. He was even honest enough to diss the hometown of the Lord. Would that we had such honesty today. If there are those Lutherans who do not want to be Lutheran in practice as well as in doctrine, let us be honest and admit it. If there are Evangelicals who do not want to be Evangelical in practice as well as in doctrine, let them be honest and admit it. Perhaps we could make a few trades along the way and everyone will be happier.
I once had a family visit our parish after being catechized and a member of one of our LCMS big box evangelical style congregations for a decade or so. This family found our congregation a great disappointment. They just did not get how Lutherans could use a liturgy, sing hymns, have a weekly Eucharist, chant the liturgy, baptize infants, etc.... I politely informed them that their issue was not with us but with Lutheranism for they had been sold a bill of goods about what Lutherans are and what they believe. They promptly ditched us for a big box evangelical place down the road. But the problem remained, what were they told about Lutheranism in their catechesis and life within the church and did what they were told have a shred of integrity with what our Confessions. This is my problem. If Evangelicals want to be Lutherans, I would be happy to catechize them. But if Lutherans want to be Evangelicals, I would be sad but know we would all be happier if parted company in honesty.