The following is a letter that I will submit to my Elder regarding the current changing of worship service to include Power Point presentations and other assundery contemporary tools. I had felt that my first draft was rather pointed, so I removed all offending references, not meaning to hurt anyone, an ended up with this. Comments from the more learned of the Lutheran blogsphere would be greatly appreciated. I have until the first Monday of March to make changes. Thanks and God Bless.
A LETTER TO THE CHURCH COUNCIL
As a new member I am reluctant to voice my thoughts on issues regarding the congregation and as laity I would never assume to hold a more knowledgeable position than the Council or Pastor of a church, but my understanding of LCMS governance, exhorts my involvement to responsibly voice my concerns as a member, new or otherwise.
I will not talk to any single item or practice but will keep my discussion on the general direction of the congregation towards becoming a Seeker Sensitive styled church as opposed to an Evangelical Lutheran church. First I want to say that I gladly support any outreach mission that we wish to take on. But I do not consider the radical changing of worship to be an outreach. I am able to support modified worship services that we as a congregation feel may be helpful in presenting the Gospel and Christ to unbelievers, but cannot support the complete jettisoning of all that we refer to as traditional. My perception of the current attitude toward worship services appears that it is not just neutral to traditions, but hostile. This is the most distressing personally, realizing the rich traditions we have access to but do not use. Instead, substituting it with style that is lightweight, plastic, and fashionable.
The traditional Divine Service liturgy can be trusted to provide the Christ centered, Christ crucified for us message that is the truth of the Gospel. Our father’s traditions are based on the ancient liturgies assembled by early Christians. In them we have instruments that learned and godly men, guided by the Holy Spirit determined as an appropriate way to worship and enter the presence of God. I pray that we will remember that worship is us coming before God, receiving his gifts in the Sacraments, not just a time of fellowship, however nice, or a "me" centered message, however relevant to my situation.
We carry the name Lutheran because we believe these teachings, traditions and doctrine, to be the truest and most accurate interpretation of God’s word. Traditional service offers a clear reflection of this Lutheran truth.
My statements and concerns are not about being Lutheran for name's sake, that would be prideful and of no value to a world of sinners. It is because I believe this confession and interpretation that we refer to as Lutheran, to be the truth of Christ and the Gospel, all other expressions fall short and obscure the Gospel.
To summarize, we know that we are to share our knowledge of truth of the Gospel with our neighbors, out of love and not pride. That modified worship services may help introduce them to our Lord and as such should be considered and prayed upon. I only ask that in considering the need to reach the un-churched, that the Council not turn it’s back on those who wish to explore the deeper teachings and practice of our religion, as practiced and articulated by Christians through history from Walther, to Luther, to Augustine and Peter.
May God guide us in our course and use us to reach others, sharing the rich teachings of the Gospel that are ours.
I edited the above based on some very helpful comments, Thanks.