Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Wall... Coming to a church near you.... or not. (pt 1)

OK, so my pastor and I have been tossing this idea around for quite some time, and I thought that it was about time I blogged about it.

The old testament is full of passages where the Israelites (even before they were known as such) would create an altar unto the Lord. In those places we find very clear and distinct characteristics of God. These altars were a point of reference for the people of Israel to look back and remember what God HAD (past tense) done for them. Abraham created an altar at the top of the mountain and named it Jehovah Jiereh "For it is in that place that God did provide". After the children of Israel walked across the red sea (when it opened... you know the story.... Charlton Heston ... MOOOOses MOOOOses). Anyway, point being that when the children of Israel would make an altar, they would worship God at that point, thanking Him for what he had done, then.... they would move on, only returning to that place as a remembrance of what God did.

Fast forward a few thousand years........
keep going........
almost there...........

Here we are, modern day, and what do we have....
I see altars set up all over the place in the church, with people living at the altars...

Let me expound. How many denominations have been set up because of an event where there was a "God Encounter"? How many times have churches split because of the "Style" of worship, How many times have people been kicked out of leadership because "That's not the way it has been done around here the last 200 years"? I think that it is high time we, as a body, build an altar and MOVE ON!!!
Call it what you will, Azuza street, Healing revivals of the 50's, Hymns, Integrity Hosanna Worship Choruses, Toronto Blessing, Brownsville outpouring..... the list goes on and on and on...
We as a body have created many many different altars, the only problem is that we have never moved on from there. How many times a year do I hear another ministry putting on a "Azuza Street Revival 2007" or putting all of their faith in hymns that have been outdated for longer than the church has been alive. Please understand that I have no problem with hymns, but like all of the other examples I have (and will) use they were perfect when they were created because they were fresh, new and spoke to that generation. It is almost as if we are trying to create a ministry of perpetual nostalgia.

Before I finish with my thoughts on this subject, I would LOVE some feedback....
Any takers???

5 comments:

Diva Design Jewelry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diva Design Jewelry said...

So it is more like an alter of "I'm stuck in my junk" than an alter of remembrence. I think as Christians some (not all) things that we do and see as "tradition" or "holy" come from our own insecurities. Being afraid to move on, because when God has us move on He bends and molds us, not always a fun thing. Once we mold to our surroundings we feel comfortable. If I remeber Jesus spoke to the pharasies about doing something just for the sake of tradition. Not quite where you were going, but I'm just sayn....
*passes soap box back to Tim*

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what you are saying. But I do think we can certainly learn from the events and the hymns "of the past." I think we need to be careful not to through out everything if it is a few years old though. Look at the hymns for example. Sure, the musical styles have changed, but the doctrine and the Word of God that these tradition hymns spell out lyrically have not. I'm not saying we need to sing just hymns and not modern worship songs....I love the stuff coming out as long as it is sound and lifts up the Lord. I'm just saying that churches can certainly incorporate sound traditional doctrine in new fresh ways. Sure, we don't want old wineskins - but not all of the wine in the past is bad. Some of the most valuable wine was bottled a very, very long time ago.

Sarah said...

When reading your post, these two verses from Isaiah chapter 43 came to my mind (quoting fron KJV):

"18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert."

While we can learn from what is past, we must not make idols out of our past. While we can look forward to what is to come, we must not lose sight of what is present. If our minds are caught in yesterday we cannot see tomorrow. If our eyes are on tomorrow, we may miss what God is doing today.

Well there's my two cents worth..

Sarah Marie

Kristen said...

People should read this.