Friday, July 10, 2009

How The Liturgy Killed Pentecostalism in One Assemblies of God Minister




This quotation is from The Lutheran Witness:

"How I Come to Be a Lutheran: The liturgy had a lot to do with it," by Robert Shreckhise. ”Christ–centered, Gospel- centered, Word–cen-tered worship. These phrases sound familiar to people who've grown up in The Lutheran Church … But I didn't grow up Lutheran.

From my childhood, until only a few years ago, the only kind of worship services I had ever attended regularly were the fundamentalist and pentecostal kinds (emphasis added).

I had been a minister in the Assemblies of God for 16 years when my family and I came to St. Louis three years ago, so that I could pursue further studies in the Concordia Seminary graduate school. Our plan was to locate a congregation of our own denomination after we had settled into our new home.

As things turned out, though, our apartment was only half a block from a Lutheran congregation, Concordia, in Maplewood, Mo. So on our first Sunday in St. Louis, mainly for the sake of convenience, we attended services there. What a surprising, captivating and revolutionary experience it was for us!

My initial impressions of the Lutheran liturgy were that God's Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ were honored and given primacy within the servics. The promise of the forgiveness of sins for Christ's sake came in many different forms.

Kneeling in confession, I heard the words, "Almighty God in his mercy has given his Son do die for you and for his sake forgives you all your sins.

We sang in the Kyrie, "Lord, have mercy," and in the Gloria, " O Lord God, Lamb of God, ¼ who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us."

The sermon spoke of my sins and Christ's forgiveness. In the Apostle's Creed we confessed together our faith in the Triune God, who gives us salvation. Even though I was not yet confirmed, the Words of Institution [of the Holy Communion] and the words of distribution that I heard promised forgiveness "— shed for you for the remission of sins."

In the Agnus Dei, we sang again, "O Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." The several hymns during the liturgy, the Pax and Benediction added to the overall impact of the liturgy, reaffirming that all who believe are forgiven for Christ's sake and have peace with God!

The forms of the liturgy of the Word and of the liturgy of the Lord's Supper, which are as old as the church itself, are alive and full of meaning! What our [Lutheran] forefathers held to be true may be considered by some to be unimportant today. However, as one who has recently come to appreciate the Lutheran liturgy with its richness of history, meaning and comforting hope, I am convinced that the Lutheran church is in possession of a great treasure.

God, in His mercy and grace, has brought my family and me to this richness. After … adult [catechetical instruction], we now call The Lutheran Church … our home." The Lutheran Witness, Dec. 1998.


Question from Pastor Jackson – Then why did President Al Barry and His assistant Paul McCain allow the LCMS to have 500 or more Pentecostal LCMS pastors? View the Renewal in Missouri website: Renewal in Missouri.


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