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  • Re: Sabbath and worship
    • Scripture (no login)
      Posted Jul 24, 2017 10:36 AM

      In response to William, it is all too typical for announcements to be made, after which the announcer says "Now let us begin worship."

      Then we have a series of worship songs, usually call "praise songs." These songs are generally all directed to(ward) God with little self-improvement and self-edification, and normally the complete absence of conversion songs. The praise team kicks in, and the audience (trapped worshipers) are asked to stand on their feet for three or four songs.

      Normally the songs are those derived from about 1980 or later, with the traditional hymns only a small minority of the songs. The traditional hymns found in the humnals do contain a fairly even distribution of conversion, reflection, duty, and other themes than just praise songs. But these themes are considered irrelevant to today's commercial processing of those who come to worship.

      I suspect that William worships in such an environment, as do most readers of this thread.

      In some churches, when the "worship" is over, there used to be a final song [to end the worship] and then no telling what is going to take place--items that are not classified as worship, but which are either entertaining and secular or whatever.

      I would say that Williams thinks the "Now let us begin worship" should not be stated.

      Many churches which fit this pattern are in the process of "transitioning," but are not clear about what this means. One church is in the process of lowering its pulpits and installing a flat 5 inch high stage to accommodate what is not quite clear. These changes look like the Jimmy Swaggert stage. Often the Lord's Table is considered a distraction, and it may be placed in the back of the auditorium, so this "sacrament" no longer is the focal point, but the stage antics become the attraction. In some churches the baptistry is placed in the foyer.

      Rather than extend the invitation at the end of the sermon, the audience is instructed "if there is any way we can help you, let us know. The shepherds are in the foyer to give counsel." The "sacrament" of baptism is not mentioned.

      The Lord's Supper (called Communion by the transition teams) and baptism seem to be an artifacts rather than working agents.

      At the same time, the preacher often says that all the accomplishments of the church members have not been achieved by them, but by the "Holy Spirit" who opens doors and gives growth. The congregation is also informed that the Lord's Supper is not to be a solemn feast of introspection, but an opportunity to TALK to the person next to you all about the preceding week and about the Lord's and Holy Spirit operation. In some churches, members are asked to take a stone at the start of the worship period, and during the Lord's Supper to bring it forward and place it near the Lord's Table. This is to indicate that the "stone" (hindrance) in the worshiper's life is to be removed during this Supper. These comments may be given by a preacher in his 20s who says he knows more about 1 Corinthians 11 and 12 than all the people who have studied these passages for half a century.

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    There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

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