Friday, August 01, 2008

Worship or Irreverence?

This video seems to illustrate what I was talking about in my previous post, about the radical man centeredness pervading evangelicalism. I see this as nothing short of taking Christ's name in vain and making light of His person. But then again I will be called a stick in the mud and have buckets of "Don't Quench the Spirit" heaped on me.

My criticism has nothing to do with style of music but rather slapping the name of Jesus into a crummy pop song from the 80's. This has nothing to do with exalting Christ and everything to do with people stomping their feet and having a good FUN (the most popular adjective in evangelicalism today) time.

The video is by a "worship leader" Rick Pino, obviously charismatic and the link can be found here. (since the video probably wont work on this page...sigh)

BTW, hat tip to the guys at the Fide-O blog, they are the ones from whom I came in contact with this video.


Tim said...

Hey Bob,

Sorry, long time. Good to see you blogging again. I'm trying to get back into it, too.

Ok, so I only watched half of the worship or irreverence video, but I'm not sure if I could call it either term. It could have been worship to the people there. Definitely looks like fun, which in and of itself is not a bad thing.

It was definitely getting annoying for sure, but as a musician and believer, I personally don't have any problem with what they were doing.

In a completely unrelated topic, I saw that you had Why Christianity Must Change or Die on your blog awhile back, so I checked it out of the library and read it. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it because I found it profound in a lot of directions (read: agree with some, disagree with some, unsure of some).

If you want to, drop me an email timmcgeary at gmail dot com

Bob said...

Tim, hey good to hear from you, you wrote:

"Ok, so I only watched half of the worship or irreverence video, but I'm not sure if I could call it either term. It could have been worship to the people there. Definitely looks like fun, which in and of itself is not a bad thing."

I agree, I thought that as I looked at the title a seond time...false dichotomy, but no one complained so I just left it at that. At the same time I wonder if there is an inbetween of the two poles, can something kinda be worship?

Also, I agree it sure did seem like the people were having a good time, but so were the Israelites when they were dancing about the golden calf. The Bible describes them as "rising to play". This seems akin to that in my estimation, no real fear of God at all hear, we just approach him any way we please.

It's almost mocking the fear of God by making a joke out of God's command to Moses to take off his shoes for the place he stood (God's presence) was holy. These goofs take that and seem to make a joke out of it. Smacks of blasphemy and mockery to me.

As for the Shelby Spong book I did a review of it on my other blog "Babyl-Blog", I agreed with next to nothing Spong had to say, I suppose I am less generous than you, I see that man as a flaming heretic (I don't use adjectives like that too often mind you) a blind man claiming to give sight to others. In short Spong is a modernist liberal, which really means intellectually he is an atheist but in the upperstory (the irrational make me feel good world) he believes in some sort of god. Not even close to the God of the bible.

He denies everything that makes Christianity Christianity, the bible, the virgin birth, creation, inspiration of scripture...I am sorry I led you to read this garbage. But he is made out to be some sort of intellectual titan, I found him to be an angry lightweight, who hates the God of the Bible and wages war against Him and His Christ with spurious and unfounded claims and accusations. For a more sophisticated critique please visit my other blog.

Tim said...

Bob, don't apologize. Quite honestly, I'm glad I read it. I appreciate reading challenging material.

Clearly the difference where Spong is spiritually and theologically and what you present here is as great as the size of the Grand Canyons. For me, I'm probably somewhere in the middle. He takes giant leaps that I can't take, yet I appreciate his honesty based on his worldview. Right or wrong or in-between, I appreciate that honesty.

I found the chapter on prayer to be the most fascinating because in many ways I agree, or at least relate, with him, and within that subject I finally grasped his thesis of God being the
"Ground of All Being" in a non-theistic way. I'm not saying that's where I am, but I can relate to it based on my own struggles with prayer, similar to the experiences he wrote about.

I do think that we have placed too high an emphasis on God being a relate-able father figure. I know that for my wife, that emphasis is her biggest struggle because of her struggles with her earthly father. If we would only examine how God is greater than that, specifically in the spiritual realm. Sure it sounds mystical, but that is not a bad thing either. There are plenty of mystical elements in the Bible.

The main thing I got out of Spong's book is how much more I need to read scripture for myself. This is something that my reading of Peter Gomes has been motivating, too, but while reading Spong's book, I realized that our system of Christianity right now encourages laziness, and we are way too dependent on what we hear from the pulpit, and even what we get from traditions of Christendom. We need to examine it all for ourselves.

So for example, one thing that I'm looking to do is read the Bible chronologically so that I can see how the Bible was written, not how it was organized. I think that is a perspective I need to be able to answer questions that Spong raised that I can't answer for myself. I don't want to depend on Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Augustine, etc, etc. I want to know these things for myself. How far I go with that... well, time will tell.

Finally, the one question I kept asking Spong while reading Spong's book was "How do you keep coming back to saying that you want to remain a Christian through all this after you've made this or that accusation or thesis?" I almost stopped reading the book about the same point you stopped your blog critique. But I'm glad I didn't because at the end of the book I understand how he could still stick around. Again, not that I agree with many (whatever %) of his opinions and theses, but I do think he made a clear overall thesis and supported his own desire to follow Jesus through that, and it motivates me to examine the questions for myself and investigate them.

On a personal note, I read in a previous set of comments that your family is growing. Congratuations! We are preparing for another baby ourselves. Fatherhood is wonderful, and in itself a revelation of God's love for us, and my own failures and understanding it! I'm so glad I get daily reminders of grace through it.