What they Don't Say Can Hurt Us
The Crave Ablaze Journey Church and Coffeehouse opened across the street from Zion Lutheran, LCMS. Besides a wicked good caramel latte, they also offered fun and upbeat worship featuring some seriously talented local musicians. The Wednesday Evening Pizza Bible Study soon began attracting youth from all over town, including young members of Zion.
"Here's our worship folder from tonight!" snapped Christina as she threw the document on the dinner table. Her father made note of her use of the word "our," while her mother repeated "for the umpteenth time," how hurt she was seeing her daughter abandon the congregation that baptized and confirmed her. Pointing at the worship folder, Christina demanded, "Show me one thing that's wrong here! We sang praises to the Lord. There was a discussion about practical ways we can show our love to each other. We took up a collection for the Food Bank, and we prayed for the end of all war. Point to one sentence in this folder you disagree with! Just one sentence, or else admit there's nothing wrong!"
"Christina," said her father, enunciating each syllable with the fatherly voice he saved for emergencies such as this, "it gives me great joy to know that you take such issues seriously. I will happily tell you 'what's wrong' if I can depend on you to continue acting like a 16-year-old, and not roll your eyes and stomp off to your room like a 13-year-old before I finish my first sentence."
She wilted a bit, but looked at him soberly, "Go ahead..." Her father was not a little surprised that he could still get her attention.
" 'What's wrong' is not what I see here," he said, placing his finger on the folder, "but what I don't see. There is no Confession and Absolution. Without acknowledgment of our utter helplessness against sin and the assurance of God's unspeakable mercy for Christ's sake, you really have no Gospel here. Also, there's no Creed and there's no making the sign of the Cross. St. Paul was determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and this worship folder has no reference to the Crucifixion at all. If you raise my grandchildren in that church, how will they ever hear of God's grace?"
Dear reader: For a thorough, Scriptural and Confessional treatment of the issues and errors surrounding deviations in worship practices, see the ACELC Errors Document 03: The Divine Service and Liturgical Office, which may be found at the ACELC website along with many other documents addressing issues our beloved Synod is either tolerating or promoting.
And don’t forget to register for the upcoming ACELC Free Conference addressing the topic Christ for us: Dispute Resolution, coming up April 26 to 28 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Wishing You Every Blessing in Christ,
ACELC Board of Directors