going to a building
to listen to music
and preaching" -Grear line from a post called A Mennonite Megachurch? By Chris Lenshyn
Etiquette Teacher "There are two words you should never use. One of them is 'swell,' and one of them is 'lousy'.
Lucy: "Well, what are the words?"
Fred: "Tell us the lousy one first!".I think in many ways the "lousiest" word comes first below; strangely (and unobviously to some), it may well have done the most damning damage!
A strange shift began not that manyyears ago,
Ask most evangelical or charismatic Christians in USAmerica about the place of "worship"in a gathering. For some strange reason, the word has come to be synonymous with "the songs sung early in the meeting."
"Good morning! After the worship, the children will be dismissed, and Pastor Steve will share from God's word"
We even call the person leading the singing the "worship leader."Whazzup with that?
Of course, this definition is foreign to Scripture, and to the church in all history and places..until our lifetime in the West.
Google "worship is not music" for some clues as to how this hijacking happened.
Why do we also thing a "worship" gathering (after the music, or "worship set")is for teaching?:
-Robert Webber, Continued here, ht; Len
In the early church the public worship of the church was a prayer of praise and thanksgiving directed not to the people but to God. Seeing worship as prayer is a paradigm shift from the current presentational notion of worship. Today worship is frequently seen as a presentation made to the people to get them to believe in the first place, to enrich and edify their faith, and to bring healing into their lives. But the ancient church did not design (a contemporary word) worship to reach people, to educate people, or to heal people. Yet in their worship, which was a prayer of praise and thanksgiving offered to God, people were indeed nourished by offering God’s mighty acts of salvation as a prayer to God for the life of the world. The point is, of course, that worship as prayer shapes who we are. But how so?...LINK
5Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. 6They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, 7preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called "Doctor' and "Reverend.'
8"Don't let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. 9Don't set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of "Father'; you have only one Father, and he's in heaven. 10And don't let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them--Christ.
11"Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. 12If you puff yourself up, you'll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you're content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.
"there is not a single passage in Scripture which commands or even provides an example of the current popular pattern of gathering in a building on a certain day of the week to listen to one person stand up and talk about the Bible for thirty or forty minutes.
It is just not there." -Jeremy Myers, full article, do read it
.. in conclusion,Jesus was interested in establishing his Kingdom on earth, a new order. To do this he wanted to see Local Council Assemblies of believers be his representatives through out the earth. He always intended to remain the King in charge of all of these assemblies, never to have an intermediate person in charge. These Local Assemblies are of course places of worship, but if they never consider how to transform the world around them, then they are not fulfilling their purpose. Therefore the Council part of the definition needs to be worked out in practical Christian love.
I have argued strongly against the word church before. Again, I am not even suggesting a replacement. It is equally possible for us to behave as the representatives of King Jesus in local gatherings without having to put a label on anything. Often when we start to use labels, we begin to shape them into our own human religion and depart from Jesus' original intention. Let's be about doing Jesus' Kingdom.
This past summer, author Malcolm Gladwell went to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to connect my wife’s aunt, Wilma Derksen whose daughter was murdered 20+ years ago. He was exploring the story of the Derksen’s and there particular pursuit of forgiveness. But in the bigger picture, he was and is wondering ‘where the culture of forgiveness in the Mennonite world comes from.”
Interestingly, Gladwell makes the link between the history of persecution Mennonites have faced and the ability to forgive.
In brief, it is quite true that Mennonites have a propensity for social justice, and within that is a seemingly inherent capacity to forgive. But deeper still, it must not be forgotten that this ‘capacity to forgive’ is facilitated by the Anabaptist Mennonite spirituality which persistently and consistently pursues the presence of and peace of Christ.
Start watching at the 3:50 mark.
Where did the Mennonite capacity for forgiveness come from? Can being entrenched within the devastating experience of persecution have the potential, in the long term, to build something beautiful? -link
|photo from "Stuff Christian Culture Likes"|