A Growing Hunger for Honesty and Authenticity – byFaith Online

I found this article to be interesting in its own right, but especially following Ron’s sermon on Sunday (which by the way, I found to be very compelling). I know that Ron wasn’t focusing on the same issues as this article, but the theme of order vs. authenticity is very present in both. What Mr. DeGroat labels as authenticity in his article, seems to some degree to be what Ron was calling order – a longing for a return to a more structured, liturgical church with historical roots and away from the pop-culture reflections of church that has proliferated over the past 25 years or so. This is something that I have been seeing for at least the last 10 years as several of my college friends (including me) looked very closely at Anglicanism, Catholocism, and Orthodoxy as a way to counteract what we perceived as a watered down Christianity that seemed to focus on exerience.

If anyone else has read this, I’d love to hear thoughts on it.


  1. Pip said,

    February 16, 2005 @ 1:14 pm

    I read that piece, too, Ron; thanks for posting it. I think it does ring true. I’ll have to wait for the online version of Ron’s sermon, since I missed it. Speaking of “experiential,” worship, Megan and I attended my in-laws’ UMC church Sunday — we both remarked how experience-oriented not only the worship services are in that denomination, but the understanding of life in the faith, also. Could they be related?

  2. keener said,

    February 18, 2005 @ 1:36 pm

    I read the article and the discussion forum that followed. It’s interesting that if you read the comments that follow, many of them draw up the tired lines of “why I prefer traditional” or “why contemporary is better” both of which miss the point: that the “emergent church” thinks about why it does what it does. That kind of (albeit mild) rhetoric led me to post a comment on the discussion board about “Forms vs. Foundation.”

    One of the things I appreciate about Old Orchard is that we take the time to think about why this or that belongs in worship.

  3. J East said,

    February 18, 2005 @ 2:04 pm

    This is a subject that started to come to the forefront during my time at Wheaton (5-6 years ago). At the time one of the more popular churches for students was the Episcopal Church, Church of the Resurrection that met in the school chapel. Many of my friends who still live in the Wheaton area attend an Anglican church, Church of the Great Shepherd, which follows the Anglican liturgy, but has a more charismatic style of worship. For myself, a Christian Thought course my Senior year, had a profound impact on my understanding of the tradition and history inherent in many of the church customs. I realized that a “relevant” service did not need to throw away the tradition to reach our generation. In the process, I came to love the tradition and customs the best. To think that when I recite the creeds I am partaking in a tradition that dates back to the earliest days of the Christian faith is really exciting. As long as it comes out of a genuine passion for the church traditions I think it can be very authentic.
    Great point Joel.

  4. J East said,

    February 18, 2005 @ 2:04 pm

    This post has been removed by the author.

  5. Ron said,

    February 23, 2005 @ 11:41 am

    Joel – I think you got it exactly right when you said it is the thoughtfulness that is applied rather than just the vague preferences of individuals. Have any of you read Neil Postman’s ,Amusing Ourselves to Death? If so how do you think this applies to his idea that you cannot separate the message from the medium?
    It seems to me that that resonates with Matt and Megan’s experience at the UMC church.

  6. keener said,

    February 23, 2005 @ 9:59 pm

    I have read Amusing Ourselves to Death. It’s true that all forms used in worship contribute a message on many levels. Whether that be the use of an overhead projector, or a PowerPoint show. The fact is that while they might carry different words, the medium makes for a different communication. Those who critique contemporary music on the basis of its individualism have a valid point. So do those who can defend a shift to an individual focus for the purpose of a corporate response in worship (like singing a song of individual confession, and having my song join in with the others in the congregation). There are many forms that can have a place in worship (holding to the so called “regulative principle,” of course). To call one “bad” when you simply mean “I don’t like it” or “We’ve never done it that way before” or “ancient mstical forms are better because they’re not contemporary” or “If we’re going to be relevant, we have to sing in a contemporary, upbeat style” or. . .

    You get the point. Doing worship requires the engagement of whole persons: intellect, asthetic sense, body, and so on. When we really engage our minds in designing worship, that’s when the forms really open up their possibilities.

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