What If Worship Was Like An NBA Game?
HT: Rev. Jack Bauer over at the Counter-Pietism Unit at AC24
At the link above there is information provided to support the new program by making a secure online donation to Lutheran Public Radio. And unlike your grandfather’s synod, there is an additional link for the purpose of Full Financial Transparency. Just try and find out where your congregation's money goes after you send it off to the district or synod and you’ll see the importance of that previously mentioned transparency thingy.
Now is the time to see if people will support a radio program that isn’t sanctioned by our beloved synod. The first thing that comes to mind when I wonder that myself, is the amount of support that Higher Things gets. Clearly there is precedence for such support. I for one, want such a clear witness to the Gospel in a radio and podcast format and will put my money where my mouth is today. To do otherwise would be rather hypocritical of me as the whole reason I started this little blog was to poke fun at Ablaze! by pointing out the lack of the Gospel message and the promotion of Madison Avenue style marketing for growing the church.
My check gets written today and I hope yours does as well.
Well, Prince Caspian, the latest installment of the Chronicles of Narnia opens today. Yeah, yeah whatever. I know the hate mail is sure to start piling up in the ole inbox now.
I’m sorry but I just didn’t think The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was as good everybody else around me thought it was. I remember taking the youth group to see it and wishing I could see what was running during the previews as opposed to what was playing in my little corner of the multiplex. I recall thinking the upside was that the other youth group, a few rows in front of us, were getting more Jesus in CGI than they probably were getting at their church given the state of Americanized Christianity these days.
I know some of my more reformed minded friends loved the fact that Hollywood was making a “religious” movie. And therein lies my problem with the first installment of the series. If I want to hear or watch something about God I’m very fortunate in that I’m able to attend a church where the Word is preached purely and the Sacraments are administered rightly. I don’t need to see Jesus dressed like a computer generated lion when I can see him every Sunday in the place He has promised to be, His Church.
The more I study and teach Scripture, the less I want to play around with fables and metaphors. The more I learn through the eyes of faith about very real incarnate Lord the less I am mesmerized with a lion made up of pixels and polygons. At the end of the day, I’d much rather go to the local art museum and stare for hours on end at renaissance era paintings depicting scenes from Scripture than watch anything out of Hollywood. Those paintings certainly ain’t perfect, but there is almost a purity in them to be sure.
Now this is not to say that the new movie’s release hasn’t gone unnoticed in my house. Already the missus is rolling her eyes with my constant recitation of Saturday Night Live’s “Lazy Sunday” digital short. She might have thought it was funny the first ten or twenty times I did it but now I fear she is only getting annoyed with me.
“Lazy Sunday” is easily in my top five skits list of the last twenty years. The fact it aired during Tina Fey’s watch, and that it’s still funny, makes it that much better. Watch it for yourself and you’ll understand why.
Sometimes I don’t know why I even bother…
I got my chops busted yesterday for owning and wearing an Ablaze! bracelet in what was called A Shocking, Frank, Unrepentant Admission by somebody who’s never seen the Wonder Twins from the Super Friends Saturday morning cartoon from back in the day (and by back in the day I mean back in the seventies when Saturday morning cartoons were cool).
The Wonder Twins, Zan and Jayna, were something like superheroes in training under the Justice League of America. Their powers were activated when they touched each other and said "Wonder Twin powers, activate." Zan always turned into some form of water; like a mist, steam, or some kind of ice cage to trap the villain. Jayna would always transform into some kind of animal whether it be a bird, snake, dinosaur, or some weird alien creature nobody had ever seen before. Ah yes, the Wonder Twins, good times, good times.
So what does Zan and Jayna have to do with the accusatory post by Herr Diekmann? Stick with me here…
Let me address the issue (accusation) head on; yes I do own an Ablaze! bracelet, two in fact, and yes, I really do wear the thing. I wear it to every mission board meeting that I attend. Why do I do this? Because I have found that if I wear the bracelet I’m treated differently that if I don’t. If I wear it I’m treated as if I’m among friends. It’s sorta like Marlin Perkins dressing up as a lion to watch a pride devour a wildebeest on the television program Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. As long as he remained dressed as a lion or stayed behind the blind, he was safe and the lions didn’t eat him. You do remember the show dontcha?
So wearing the bracelet allows me to move freely among those mission minded individuals who are so concerned about the “unchurched” that they would fight any attempt to say that the purpose of the Church is to preach the Word and administer the Sacrament in a mission statement for fear that the “unchurched” might frightened away.
But why do I own two Ablaze! bracelets? For the routine and this brings us back to Zan and Jayna.
When I go into these mission meetings I wear my Ablaze! bracelet on my right wrist. The other one I keep for my pastor which he wears on his left wrist. As soon as we sit down, always next to each other, we do our Wonder Twins routine: we touch the Ablaze! bracelets together and say in unison “Wonder Twin powers activate!” then I’ll say something to the effect of “form of a TV evangelist!” and my pastor will respond with “shape of a Calvinist!”
The funny thing is the blank stares that we get when we do this. So that, my faithful reader, is why the official Ablaze! firefighter owns and wears his Ablaze! bracelet.
Note: the cartoon embedded is not from the Super Friends cartoon, but it’s just as funny, in my ever so humble opinion.