Announcing the 2015 ACELC Free Conference and Business Meeting, February 10-12, 2015 at Holy Cross Lutheran, Kansas City, Missouri: "Office of the Holy Ministry, Part II" (Unbiblical Removal of Pastors)
Papers From The 2014 Free Conference have now been posted online (at least most of them, the papers from Professors Masaki and Ziegler will be coming soon). To download the papers, click HERE.
Can There Be Koinonia in Worship?
"Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth!" ... Psalm 96:9
If you want to start a lively discussion in the LCMS today, or perhaps even a fight, bring up the topic of worship. A quick perusal of worship options will likely leave your head spinning: traditional worship, blended worship, contemporary worship, liturgical worship, multi-sensory worship, emergent worship, seeker worship, and the list goes on. There was a time, not all that long ago, when you could walk into an LCMS congregation anywhere from coast to coast and know pretty much what to expect with regard to worship. Those days are long gone.
I know of very few who are calling for exact uniformity in worship forms with every congregation worshiping the exact same way each and every time they gather. Nor do I know of very few Lutherans who are actually advocating an “anything goes” attitude with regard to worship – as if worship forms are a completely indifferent thing. However, the simple truth is that the way one worships reflects and shapes what they believe (lex orandi; lex credendi). One who holds a Roman Catholic confession will surely want to worship in a way that reflects their faith. The same is true for Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals and the Orthodox. For a Baptist to pray the Rosary would be unthinkable; for a Roman Catholic to replace the Lord’s Supper with Foot Washing would be a denial of the faith.
For some reason, however, Lutherans have at times failed to see this obvious connection between faith and practice, especially in the area of worship. Is there a distinctively Lutheran way to worship? I say it’s high time for us to have the courage to stand up and say, “Yes!” Truly Lutheran worship reflects and extols what Lutherans distinctively believe, teach, and confess. Truly Lutheran worship embraces the freedom we have in Christ, while at the same time willingly restrains our freedom for the sake of the body of Christ. Truly Lutheran worship is Koinonia and promotes Koinonia.
In April of 2013, the Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Congregations (ACELC) held a conference on the topic of worship, with a goal of Koinonia. We brought together people from all sides of the worship divisions in our midst and let God’s Word and the Lutheran Confessions have their way with us. As a fruit of that conference, the ACELC presents to the church “7 Theses on Worship.”
These Theses are not to be the only word, the last word, or the complete word on the issue of worship. We present them for discussion and study and reflection; we pray that as we wrestle with this often difficult and emotional topic, God will have His way with us and His gift of Koinonia will be the result. Please review the Theses. Please review the other documents on worship that we have on our website and especially the conference papers. We pray that our efforts would be a blessing both for you and for our Synod.
Rev. Clint K. Poppe
While the Board of Directors of the ACELC has reviewed and approved the content of this message, it does not necessarily reflect the position of the ACELC member congregations.
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