Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Agitating the Lutherans (Again)

Here's a little inside baseball for my Lutheran readers. I've been pressing the house church conversation on some Facebook forums and thought I'd collect a couple of my posts here as well:

"Along with the anxieties over wandering away from theological orthodoxy, another panic point in the house church conversation among Lutherans is presiding at communion. ("Panic point" is a bit condescending... sorry about that. Couldn't resist the alliteration.) Case in point, Clint Schnekloth posted a comment about the "Babylonian Captivity" of the Eucharist expressed in our extreme avoidance of having non-ordained people preside, and it's elicited over 500 comments in just over 2 days. That's called touching a nerve."
"Our theology staunchly affirms that the validity of the sacrament is NOT dependent on who presides. Yet our practice consistently and powerfully contradicts, and IMO trumps our theology in the minds of laity and many clergy."
"The "good order" standard is a huge leverage point I think we need to lean on as much as possible. It's one of the greatest assets of Lutheranism, because it points us to the importance of pragmatism. When I look at the entirety of our congregational life - everything from these kinds of presiding questions to the huge investment in large group weekly worship - I just keep asking; just how good does anyone think our current "order" is??? Blessed as we are with hugely valuable insights in theology, our key temptation is to evaluate "goodness" solely based on theological concerns. Meanwhile, our practice for shaping lives that enflesh the richness of our theology is manifestly ineffective."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just to lighten things up a bit, I have gotten this image lately of Jesus watching my life as I am in full view beneath his feet ("...the earth is my foot-stool...") Then I look at all the things in my life for which I have erected a steeple! What must Jesus feel, when all those steeples are poking at his feet! So what if Jesus saw this vision in action...an actual and metaphorically "bigger communion tent" by worshiping in lower cost public open spaces, homes,shelters, prisons,or perhaps one of the many many mega public, private, or corporate places that are abandoned from Friday night to Monday. Why not be a WORSHIP flash mob as famed YouTube H-Chorus video portrays? What if the world actually witnessed our communion. Got enough bread? Does it feel soft under Jesus feet? Perhaps it is time to push our boat away from the shore we feel so safe standing on. Agitation from God's propeller is a really good thing! Thanks Tim.
JB from CG

Tim Thompson said...

Pointy steeples vs cushy bread... great imagery!