The idea of contemporary worship stems from the liberal illusion that the church is to emulate the world in order to get the world in the church. This has been evident to be fatal to church as a christian institution, only to turn it into a worldly gathering of non-christians that are neither interested in the dogmas of the faith nor truth, but rather can at best see a socially motivated benefit of attending church.
When I was attending fundamental baptist churches, this was how the Southern Baptist convention was viewed. Usually one could see a deteriorating of the denomination starting with a weak stance against sin and worldliness combined with an ambition to evangelize but not knowing how to get the avarage man interested.
This would result in a compromising of scripture and doctrine to lessen the threshold for modernists that would otherwise be uninterested in attending church. Soon big screen TV:s would be brought in, traditional hymnals replaced by modern worship songs on the screen, weaker preaching and standards which at it’s fulfillment would result in lukewarm churches that stood for nothing, only to not offend anyone.
I have seen this precise thing at my local WELS-Lutheran congregation. The WELS, with a reputation of being so strict it sometimes becomes almost cultish, is where I live no different than any avarage evangelical church. What do I mean by that?
When I visited the local WELS-Lutheran church it had no more of a mass structure of their service than a faith movement church, the pastor (in Sweden a Lutheran pastor is rather referred to as a priest) was wearing a soft looking button up shirt and suit pants, instead of the traditional vestments of priests and preached a weak uplifting message with little bible, based on elementary doctrine at best. Like I mentioned in regards to the Southern Baptists, there were no hymnals but modern worship songs on a big flat screen tv accompanied by electric guitars and a drum set. There were no Eucharist since they don’t see a benefit in taking it every week.
If you have ever been to different churches, you learn pretty quickly to cut through the aesthetics and doctrinal statement to discern the congregation culture and level of bible adherence or, in lack of a better term, conservatism.
In my correspondence with this perticular WELS-Lutheran pastor, he extensively explained the reason for their evangelical type church and confirmed exaclty everything I had predicted as the reason for it. That is, from his perspective all of the parts of what and how a church is to be are nonessential, or in lutheran terms “adiaphora”. As long as the foundational doctrine is pure, one could essentially have any sort of service and way of expression, especially if this was a means to reach people with the gospel.
My criticism to this is that pastors and church leaders simply lack the experience of what this mentality results in. A watered down modernist church service does not have to contain heresy or false doctrine to be destructive, a soft message with zero substance delived in a secular setting by a preacher using casual language will give the attendee a casual and weak view of church and God. A church that is no different from the world does not reflect the holiness of God, the gospel of salvation and the severity of the church as instituted by Christ.
Every church has their certein liturgy. Every evangelical, baptist or pentecostal church has essentially the exact same structure to their service every Sunday. What happened was that these low free churches simply changed the traditional thousand year liturgy for one that they arbitrarily made up themselves.
They sing then pray, then preach, then collection, then they sing, followed by an altar call or invitation. This developed with the revivalist psychological ideas of stirring up certain emotions (while the piano plays) to get the attendee in the right feeling or mindset. This came as an attempt to as far as possible break away from anything seemingly remotely Roman Catholic, and understandably so. However, it is just trading tried and true wholesome tradition for modernism and egocentric preferences with little or no religious meaning. Thus, in the process of attempting to distance themselves from anything thay looks Roman Catholic, they simply created a similar liturgy as the Catholic Church, but with different songs, readings and aesthetics.
There is need for a call to ancient, historically tried and true liturgical worship. The worship of our fathers, the way christians have always conducted their church services is the mass.
A solemn mass rather than a strobe light rock concert. A sincere and doctrinal sermon delivered by a trained and ordained priest rather than feel-good “relevant” preching from an adult dressed like, and speaking like, a teen. A church room that glorifies God and emphasize his holiness and places the gospel’s sacrifice of Christ on the cross in the center, rather than hip slogans and modern interior design made to attract the post-modern secular person.
These things are biblical, reverent and rest on the historical consensus of practise of the entire church of ages. The modernist lukewarm and feel-good type church does not attract the young generation. It perhaps did in 1968, but today’s youth are seeking truth, dogma, tradition and a church that takes a stance.
Let us consider the ways of old, let us stand for the doctrines of old, and flee the selfish and hollow decadence of the modern world with a sincere and uncompromising christianity.