Monday, September 22, 2008

OK - Twist My Arm

As long as we're on the subject of goofy worship...

THIS is the "Big Puppet Mass" I believe JTKlopcic was referring to. Personally, I think I prefer "The Way's Lawrence Welk Get Down Boogie Moonwalkers" to the old New Age ballet dancers in this one.

THIS is the "Clown Communion" that someone (actually a lot of people, apparently, by the number of them around the altar) thought was a cool idea. At least they were really clowning around and not just coming off as clowns.

Caveat: It would be unfair to lay any of these weirdnesses at the feet of their respective denominations and presume or even imply that these are sanctioned or approved of by everyone in them. It is however, an indication of the spirit of the age that is woven into the fabric of American western Christianity. "Sacred" is in the eye of the beholder, "edifying" is what appeals to the ego and passions, "relevant" is pandering to agendas and postmodern aesthetics, and "Christian" means nothing except what each person sitting in the pew wants it to mean.

Lord have mercy.

10 comments:

November In My Soul said...

Unbelievable.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

That stuff is hard to watch.

David T said...

Some of the best scolding I received as a child came after I tried to combine Grace Before a Meal with one of my favorite songs. "No harm," I thought, "in combining two good things"; my father's response to my blessing of "God is great and God is good / E-I-E-I-O" was, however, something other than warm approval. Regardless, in some way, I suppose I share a kinship with some of the folks shown in the videos linked to here.

Of course, I was 4 years old at the time of my liturgical innovation.

Mairs said...

Lord have mercy on me a sinner, I must confess that I have actually taken part in clown communions...on more than one occasion, although never in a sacramental setting (ie wonder bread and juice were the "elements" which were never consecrated). Protestants are just plain weird - the further I get from them the more clearly I see....

s-p said...

Hi Mair, it is indeed interesting that the further we get from something the more "perspective" we have. The Church talks about "the medicine of immortality"...I kind of look at it like "spiritual Prozac". When I was in a clinical depression and started medication it was like seeing the world for the first time clearly and in the light. It is virtually the same experience looking at some of the things I used to do in the name of "spirituality".

Anonymous said...

wow, it's not a "Big Tent" revival...it's a "big top" revival

elizabeth said...

I understand the comments about perspective, but as one who is seeking and is not a member of the OC, I do have a hard time with the attitude that comes across to me in saying that "protestants are just plain weird." Where is the humility in that? That isn't calling out for what Truth; that is pure judgment.

s-p said...

Hi Elizabeth, I understand your concern and revulsion at people casting a blanket condemnation on anything Protestant or "non-Orthodox". The caveat at the end of the post is there to explicitly deny that is the intention here. On the other hand, even those within the denominations represented by these worship anamolies think they are an abomination. The issue for me is more a critique of the philosophical foundations that permit or move people to think such things are "relevant to our culture" rather than the specific acts themselves. In my mind this is the product of a synchretism of Christianity and Ketchup and Toyota advertising (from old posts). The same influences that are producing MTV, slasher movies, sexualized pre-teens, manscaping, modern secular Europe, etc. etc. is the same ones producing "relevant worship experiences" and all the issues facing post-modern evangelicalism and the mainline historical protestant denominations. These videos weren't posted to laugh at or make fun of these people. These are serious symptoms, examples of the worst case scenarios of Christianity in bed with the philosophical spirit of Western culture. Perhaps that is not "humble", but I believe it is necessary that we "test the spirits" and understand the consequences of living immersed in a culture driven by individualism and relativism, and not looking at it critically from a Trinitarian Incarnational Christian world view.

Mairs said...

You're absolutely right Elizabeth and I apologize. What I didn't bother to convey along with that statement was my whole journey through some really weird and extremely hurtful stuff. I used a blanket statement to cover up a lot of unnecessary exposition on my life. The humility is there in me admitting that I did some pretty shameless things in my life in the name of piety but unfortunately it's masked by what appeared to be a broad judgement. Forgive me.

By the way, David, your post reminded me of a recent incident with our 2 year old which I blogged here:

http://mairsmomilies.blogspot.com/2008/08/old-mcdonald-gets-holy-in-tone.html

David T said...

Ha! I am indeed not an island. Thanks for that!