"Flexible without Breaking"
November 20, 2012
But all things should be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40
Not so many years ago I ran into a disgruntled Christian.
With some reluctance he told me he had left the church where he had held membership for his entire life. When I asked him why, his reply was simple: "I like going to church, but I don't like going to the circus."
Years ago, I disagreed with him. Today ... well, I just don't know. There's a lot of weirdness out there. For example, the Church of England, in hopes of getting more people to attend worship, are changing the way they do weddings.
Just some of those changes include
* encouraging pastors to officiate at underwater weddings, where the bride and groom wear formal clothes over their diving suits;
* allowing the bride to ride to church on her favorite horse ... and allow the horse to stand inside the building throughout the entire ceremony;
* allowing a trained owl to fly down the aisle to deliver the rings;
* using music like "Here Come the Girls" by the Sugababes or "Cosmic Love" by Florence and the Machine;
* doing pre-marital interviews in the informal church kitchen, rather than the intimidating pastor's office.
Understand none of these things are, in and of themselves, wrong. But it seems many of these changes are being implemented because people have come to believe that Jesus is boring and uninteresting.
The truth is Jesus was crucified because He was too dangerous to let live. At least to His contemporaries Jesus wasn't boring. And today, for those who see His commitment, His power, His sacrifice, His agony-He will never be boring.
Please understand, I'm not suggesting the church should never change anything.
Changes can and do happen. Sometimes an implemented change may actually be beneficial. But setting the church on a path where what it does overshadows what Christ has done is a questionable decision that ought to be jettisoned.
Making sure the Savior is the centerpiece of all we do -- that is what happens when we do things decently and in order.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, saving sinful humankind was the cause that brought You into this world. I am sorry if I have made Your sacrifice seem less important than it is. Grant that the church may always preach Christ crucified and risen to a sick, sinful and jaded world. This I ask in Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries