Does Worship Really Need To Be Exciting?

Over here at Not For Itching Ears, we don’t often repost what others have written.  Today is an exception.  Andrew, over at The Reformed Reader, wrote an excellent article called “Does Worship Really Need To Be Exciting?”   I wanted our readers to get the opportunity to consider that very question.   I have included an excerpt of Andrew’s post along with a link back to the entire post.  And now, our featured presentation:

“I’ve been reading through Kevin Roose’s book The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University.  If you have an interest in learning about evangelicalism and fundamentalism, this book, written by a Brown University student who enrolled at Liberty University for a semester, is a great volume to read.  Informed by George Marsden’s more historical Fundamentalism and American Culture, this is a fun and witty memoir of someone who decided to “act the part” of a Christian fundamentalist for a semester.

I was especially struck by Roose’s contrast between the simple, Quaker worship meetings of his youth and the contemporary worship at a local megachurch.  He writes:

You can see why I didn’t go to [Quaker worship] meeting[s] much.  As a kid groomed on cartoons and video games and Little League, an hour of motionless silence was excruciating.  At Thomas Road, on the other hand, there’s almost too much stimulation.  The stage lights, the one hundred-decibel praise songs, the bright purple choir robes, the tempestuous bellowing of Dr. Falwell – it’s an hour-long assault on the senses.  And all you have to do is sit back in your plush, reclining seat, latte and cranberry scone in hand, and take it all in.  It’s Church Lite – entertaining but unsubstantial, the religious equivalent of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie.  And once the novelty wears off, once the music becomes familiar and the motions of praise become pro forma and mechanized, you start to realize that all the technological glitz and material extravagance doesn’t necessarily add up to a spiritual experience. [emphasis added]

Today, from my perch in the Thomas Road choir loft, my mind wandered back to the little brown house with stone steps.  I think I’d appreciate the minimalist Quaker worship more now than I did as a kid.  It didn’t have Jumbotron screens or a five thousand-watt sound system or a cafe in….”  To read the rest of this great post, follow the link below.

About Jim

Not For Itching Ears is a blog dedicated to discussing the American Evangelical church. It is a place for people to share their thoughts on a host of issues relating to this subject. Jim is available to speak at weekend services, and retreats at no cost to churches in Florida. Contact us for more information.

Posted on September 5, 2011, in Christianity, Contemporary Church Culture, Theology, Worship and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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