Friday, March 25, 2016

We will not have a Good Friday service this evening

At the risk of tumbling down the slope into the slough of self-righteousness and rigid judgmentalism.  No.  We did not hold an Ash Wednesday service to mark the beginning of Lent. We are not giving up anything for Lent.  We did not observe Palm Sunday last Lord’s Day.  We did not have a Maundy Thursday service last night and will not have a Good Friday service this evening.

At some point, in broad evangelical churches, I think I have taken part in all of the above (except maybe for smearing ashes on the forehead—but I know a few moderate “liturgical” ancient-future churches who have done and do this too).

What spoiled all this for me?  The regulative principle of worship.  The discovery of the abiding validity of the fourth commandment.  The realization that embracing Reformed theology is not merely a matter of holding to TULIP.  Coming to understand my own sinful tendency to go beyond what is written.  To jazz things up to make it more interesting.  Add some smells and bells.  Some tangible experience, beyond the simplicity of one day in seven for rest and uncluttered worship.

There is something better.  Simpler.  No extra ingredients needed.


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