Some of us at UBC who grew up Baptist are old enough to have experienced the "Worship Wars." If you need explanation, read on.
Group A thought it would be nice to have drums and guitars with their songs. They also thought it would be nice to sing songs that weren't a hundred years old. Singing new songs also prodded them to raise their hands and/or dance. Group A proceeded to create a theology of worship that supported the use of drums and guitars and new songs that say the same thing over and over. When you create a theology around worship you can pretty much say that people who don't conduct the musical portion of their worship like you do are just not quite in touch with God.
Group B thought drums and guitars and new songs had no place in church. They thought the Saints of Old got it right, thank you very much, and any addition to their contributions is a slap in the face to those who went before us. Group B proceeded to create a theology of worship that rejected the use of drums and guitars and new songs and the raising of hands.
Groups A and B separated from each other and formed their own churches. FBC Group A: Drums, Guitars, new songs, raised hands. FBC Group B: Piano, Organ, old songs, hands in pockets.
I've heard reports from places far off that the war is still being fought. Some have not heard that we are weary of fighting and they continued to wage their battles.
We fight no more.
We sit in a church with people from both FBC's (and those who have never experienced the "B,") and we wonder who is sitting by us.
Don't pretend you don't want to look. We all do.
When I was a soldier in the army of FBC Group B I had this tug-of-war going on within me concerning a hypothetical situation. If I raised my hands in worship and, in the process, poked someone in the eye, should I immediately apologize? If I kept singing the new non-hymn worship chorus (for the 8th time) was I less spiritual because I wasn't being nice to the person whose eye was hurting?
On the other hand, if I stopped my singing to apologize, was I less spiritual because I wasn't giving God my full attention?
I'm telling you people, it was a serious Dark Night of the Soul going on within me concerning the hypothetical poking-my-neighbor-in-the-eye during worship situation. I could have lost my faith during that time.
Kyle: One hand in his pocket, one hand raised, but only during the crescendo. The raised hand was his right one. He sat by the aisle, no one was to his right, so the hypothetical poking-of-the-eye was never an issue with him.
I know because I sat by him and Jen, but I also know because I look.
I'm a looker.
Yes, we are alone with God, but we are alone with God together. We are together alone with God. We are alone with each other and with God. We believe our lives are worship. People say that all the time. "Everything in life is worship." Well, I look you in the eye during other life experiences, why not when we sing?
Sunday was magical. Tori stole the words right out of my heart.
We've all laughed so hard we cried. But usually the crying is a result of the humor. Have you ever laughed out of pure joy and cried out of pure sorrow-- simultaneously? I did that Sunday. It only lasted about two seconds. It was quite the experience.
I looked around, saw who and Who I was alone with, and with gratitude thanked God that the war is over. The scars remain, but the war is over.
(Cory, thanks for the inspiration.)