Jul 3, 2007


I had a thought yesterday concerning Evangelicals (of which I suppose "I am one") or those who attend "bible-teaching churches". We don't have much of a heritage to draw upon. Other denominations - Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, Orthodox - have centuries of saints, leaders, and liturgy to draw upon and connect them with generations past. Because evangelicals formed in an attempt to create a church that "didn't do" certain things - responsive readings, incense, infant baptism, communion every Sunday, clerical robes, acolytes, organ music, kneeling - they have ended up with very little to remind them of those whose faith we stand upon. These rituals, these things we have held in common with generations who have worshiped before us, create a sense of community and strength. If we remove them, we stand alone in our faith. It is similar to the individual who estranges himself from the rest of the family and relatives because he doesn't agree with them on an issue. Eventually, he finds that he has created his own loneliness and has no support when he goes through trials and sufferings. I believe the evangelical community is in a dangerous position right now. They face a multitude of issues in he workplace, our country and in the world, and they are not even connected to each other for strength. Evangelicalism is individualism gone bad. We long for a sense of community in our churches but end up engaging in futile "worship wars", thinking that the type of music or service will bring about this elusive connectedness. How our bickering must grieve the Holy Spirit! We have lost our compass and need to regain the link with our brothers and sisters over the centuries - the "great cloud of witnesses" that stand in the presence of God. O, how much we could learn from them!

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