What exactly is “wrong” with evangelical worship?
(Of course I mean no disrespect to any fellow Christian. But it’s nice to vent sometimes…)
It is easy to understand why the world increasingly questions the divinity of Christ when hundreds of millions of Christians worship Him by holding a 40 minute motivational seminar followed by a brief rock concert. If Christians do not treat their God with reverence, how can we expect the world to?
- The altar, a place of sacrifice, has been replaced by a stage, a place of show. The Crucifix has been traded for a JumboTron, and incense discarded for fog machines.
- The intensity of the Holy Spirit’s Presence is measured by emotional feelings that are often dependent on the orating skills of a pastor, the passion of a band or the dramatic program of house lighting.
- Reverence is traded for comfort on most every level. Kneelers are viewed as archaic. Plush theater seating has become almost standard. The “going casual” initiative has made no room for anything sacred.
- The one command given by Jesus on what Christians should do upon gathering for worship was to continue and perpetuate the Last Supper — “Do this as often as you gather…” Often in evangelical circles however, this action is done only once monthly, quarterly or sometimes even yearly, taking a backseat to dramas, skits and extensive sermons.
- Christians did not worship this way at any point in history before the 20th century. Evangelical worship is unbiblical, as it dismisses any semblance of liturgy or sacrifice. “We have an altar”, says Paul (Heb. 13:10), yet there are no altars in Protestant churches (despite the frequent “altar calls”). Any form of Christian worship that differs from what Christ Himself established and the Apostles practiced from the first century is an invention of man.
The alternative to this is the Mass — the original and Biblical worship of historical Christianity dating back to the Apostles, in which Christ becomes truly present on the altar. In doing so, the Sacrifice of Calvary is made perpetually present throughout all of history, so that peoples of all times and places can participate in that same holy Sacrifice, be taken up with it and literally become “one flesh” with Jesus Himself. When discovered by Christians, the Mass makes a Sunday preaching service seem quite silly and disturbingly incomplete.