An interesting post about how our monetary/fiscal habits affect our worship life.
The areas that resonate with me the most in this passage:
- we don't esteem the craft of the organist very highly, which feeds into:
- cheap imitation instruments (played by enthusiastic (!), but amateurish folks)
- the decline of reverence
Taken as a whole, the article (correctly) describes the modern church as being more of a social club, with inoffensive music, lots of activities ("outreach") and so on. Get volunteers to hack their way through easy music while renovating the coffee bar.
First, I'm glad there are opportunities at church for people to be social. In an increasingly depersonalized world controlled by mobile devices, the Internet, videogames, and television, there is a tremendous gap in our society--a gap between people. Worse, there's a lot of sketpicism aimed at official institutions or religious bodies, which exacerbates the situation.
Second, I'm disappointed that the post-modern church has chosen in many cases to abandon the "marks of the church" (preaching the Word and administering the Sacraments) in favor of the soft and rounded world of providing social/outreach activities.
If we preach Christ Crucified in all things (and relegate the social activities (however meritorious) to the back burner--still on the stove, but on the back nonetheless) I think there's a huge amount of good we can do. It does not need to be an either-or. What a challenge! A church that holds to a reverential Liturgy, first-class Music, yet finds opportunities to provide uplifting social opportunities for those in need.