Sunday, November 22, 2015

Everything is awesome!

One of the things I have noticed is that there is plenty of what Alan Greenspan once termed irrational exuberance going on in the church.  It is irrational exuberance to adopt diversity as the primary goal of witness and worship.  It is irrational exuberance to borrow indiscriminately from all sources and presume that there will be on consequences upon doctrine and confession.  It is irrational exuberance to believe that practice is just practice and that we can change, move around, and adapt practice without affecting what it is that we believe, confess, and teach.  It is irrational exuberance to welcome every advance in technology and adopt it into the worship life of the congregation and make it the primary platform of mission.  It is irrational exuberance to think that the best way to make people come to church is to make church less like church and more like what they are already doing on Sunday morning.  It is irrational exuberance to insist that every idea have equal status and every voice is equally true when it comes to who we are, what we believe, and how we live as church.  It is irrational exuberance to believe that the savior of the church is coming in the next trend, the next wave of technology, or the next fad of worship.

Now there are surely those who think that I believe no new idea is a good one.  They are wrong.  I use Instagram and blog and utilize technology more than most.  But I do not attach to these any hope that they will make the Gospel or my ministry relevant or successful.  I am fully convinced that God and His Spirit make things happen and that our role is to faithfully proclaim the Word so that God can do what He has promised.  I think there are plenty of good ideas out there but the ideas are not our savior, they will not rescue a moribund church, and they will not transform us from faithful minority into mighty majority.  Confidence that God will work through the means of grace and courage to be faithful to the Word of the Lord -- these will be our hope, our future, and our victory if only we will manifest such confidence.

There is a certain naivete among many in the progressive wing of most all churches.  We saw it in the LCMS in the 1970s and our conflict, we see it in Rome and its less than fruitful Synod on the Family.  This naivete seems to devalue the means of grace and God's work through them and to expect that culture, society, trend, and what people think in the moment are the places we need to focus to reinvigorate the church and her mission.  There is no down side in this way of thinking.  The progressives have made their peace with change and have rested their hope for the future in that change.  Everything is awesome if we just get along, celebrate our differences, flaunt the values of diversity, and adapt to what is happening and what is being thought right now.

The theme song of the progressives in every church seems to be the same:  Everything is awesome!

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