RELIGION

Let’s Return To “High Church”

New every morning is the love

our wakening and uprising prove;

through sleep and darkness safely brought,

restored to life and power and thought.

New mercies, each returning day,

hover around us while we pray;

new perils past, new sins forgiven,

new thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.

– John Keble – New Every Morning Is the Love

The good old days!

Everybody is talking about the good old days, but what do people mean by the good old days?

For many, it is a time in the past that is considered to be much better than today.

Still, for others, there are no good old days, and the millennials, for the most part, get annoyed at older folks using the “good old days” mantra unceasingly like a drunken sailor.

Now, fast forward to the church, today, some people argue that the church has gone too low, and by doing so, the central message of holiness is not proclaimed any more.

The fact is the brimstone, fire, and hell message once heard in churches has now been replaced with a prosperity materialistic based salvation plan and the enjoyment of milk and honey in the here and now – the tale of two extremes.

The truth is for the most part what obtains in many churches today is no different from a meeting at a social club or community association meeting.

The music reminds one of being at a dancehall or a rock concert, and the message seems to be taken straight from Dale Carnegie’s playbook rather than the Bible.

Moreover, there seems to be no distinguishing mark in appearance or mode of behavior between that of some Christians and those of revelers at a nightclub – the dress, dance movement, and singing style are all the same.

There is no sense of renewal of mindset as everything conjured during the service reminds one of the secular than anything concerning the sacred.

Although one can understand the invitation of  “come as you are,” it boggles the mind to see the “stay as you are” mindset and attitude.

This position is even more baffling when weighed against the scriptural command, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

So, in general, it appears as if there is no distinction between the secular and the sacred. No challenge that dares one to be different and everyone is being ushered into heaven regardless of a lifestyle of sinfulness without repentance.

The fact of the matter, the church seems to have lost its authority in speaking truth to power for fear of persecution or prosecution.

Moreover, based on the scholarship offer and lifestyle of the church leadership, for the most part, today the church is not taken seriously.

Now, given all the modernization that is taking place, perhaps it may be time for the church to go back to the good old days of “high church,” where the beliefs and practices of ecclesiology, liturgy, and theology were central to the church.

If, in the past, the Holy Spirit drew people in large numbers to the early church, why should it be any different now? Why the window dressing and the watering down of the gospel to attract numbers?

Carol Maye, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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