Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Turning Up the Heat

Lord have mercy! I go to Texas for a little vacation and look what I bring with me:

The Texas District LCMS Youth Gathering is featuring a "Lead Worshipper" who is the female worship pastor of Gateway Church in Southlake Texas.

Yes, a pastor of a non-denominational church is leading worship at an LCMS youth gathering.

Yes, she is female.

And yes, we still do not ordain women in our denomination. Call us backward if you will, but we do not believe Scripture supports it.

And yes, we still do not believe in worshiping with those who do not agree with us in doctrine....

Father Hollywood has an excellent post about this. Here is a key section of his post:

This kind of thing will expand, and will continue to send a message to our young people that women's ordination is okay, as are unionistic worship, and worship that not only sets aside our Lutheran confession of sacraments as well as the traditional western liturgy. What will be deemed as an acceptable replacement is emotional, exciting, entertainment based religion of a general non-denominational sort.

Then we wonder why people leave - why those who actually strive for the sacramental and liturgical Presence of our Lord Jesus (as confessed in the Lutheran confessions) seek that Presence outside of Lutheranism. On the other hand, we also see the exodus of young people who have been taught there is no difference between Lutheranism and non-denominationalism, and so they likewise leave Lutheran churches in seek of even bigger and better entertainment.

It is no wonder why so many of our young people are confused and leaving the LCMS. It is also no wonder why so many of our seminarians, vicars, and pastors are appalled at the dissonance between what we confess on paper and how we worship in the real world, and leave the LCMS for Anglicanism, Eastern Orthodoxy, or Roman Catholicism. In many cases, the doctrine and practice of those churches is closer to the Lutheran confessions than our own churches! I'm not in favor of either group's departure from the LCMS, but it takes a great deal of self-delusion to overlook why this is happening. Maybe our dwindling membership is a judgment against the LCMS for its infidelity. And if this is the case, no amount of corporate marketing gimmicks can replace repentance.
More on this to come.

HT: Father Hollywood


  1. Orianna Laun said...

    I'm still feeling like the frog in the pot.
    There's more good commentary (and some interesting comments)on this issue at Brothers of John The Steadfast. http://steadfastlutherans.org/blog/?p=207

  2. Dixie said...

    Pastor Hall, I am so sorry to see this...although it is not far removed at all from my past experience. Did I ever tell you about the "vacationary" trips my sons' LCMS youth group took with non-denoms, complete with altar calls? Seriously, if I hadn't taken the lay ministry instruction I had, as a person in the pew it never would have occurred to me that something might be wrong with this. Unfortuately the lessons came after the fact and the damage was done.

    This past weekend I went to a woman's retreat. At the retreat was a young, 23 year old, Sister of Mercy from Belorus who spoke about her faith and work. This young woman has dedicated her life to obedience and to service--she works with physically and mentally challenged children and adults. I wish my boys had been exposed to this kind of love for Christ rather than the arms swaying in the air hoopla they were fed...which I fear has ultimately bred in them a skepticism of religion in general. But I pray and have hope that their past experience with the junk they were exposed to will help them recognize Truth when they see Him.

    Now I do want to draw your attention to something...you went to Texas and this came from Texas...are you certain you are not responsible? ;)

  3. Christopher D. Hall said...

    I will gladly take the blame for it.

    Thanks for commenting!