Thursday, February 24, 2011

Well Said...A letter to the Editor from the Wall Street Journal

The Old Denominations Delivered

Regarding Russell D. Moore's "Where Have All the Presbyterians Gone?" (Houses of Worship, Feb. 4): When denominations stray from their roots, rituals and purpose to counter the growth of the nondenominational churches, they lose their own identity and do their members a disservice. The church that focuses on building buildings, adding cushy services like coffee bars for members, and substituting rock band "religitainment" for the liturgy and music of the church is no more than a country club with Jesus as the logo.


I believe that discipline, respect and dedication—values that many find missing in schools, the workplace and society today—were once fostered in mainline churches. I grew up in a mainline church and dressed in my best to show respect. I entered in silence and said a prayer, seated quietly in the pew. I listened with reverent attention to messages, Scriptures and music. I resisted the urge to wiggle and talk and endured the stern glance of family members when I was unsuccessful. I took dimes from my piggybank to put into an envelope each Sunday to support the church, the children's home (orphanage) and world-wide mission work.

Today hundreds of children who go to church will no longer appreciate the beauty and majesty of a pipe organ, the glorious harmony and messages of liturgical music or the legacy of beautiful ritual. They will get pop psychology instead of sermons that focus on the Bible and Christian teachings. As Christian churches join in the "What can you do for me?" church movement to increase their numbers, they acknowledge that they are followers of society rather than followers of Jesus.
Marilyn S. Joiner


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3 comments:

  1. "Today hundreds of children who go to church will no longer appreciate the beauty and majesty of a pipe organ"

    I think that is humorous given that she is writing in regards to Presbyterianism. One of the first things Cromwell and the english puritans did after establishing the commonwealth in 1649 was destroy the organs in the churches, because they believed it violated the regulative principle or worship - the central idea of presbyterian worship. She sounds more like a high church anglican or catholic more than an old school presbyterian.

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  2. haha, I agree. She seemed contradictory in where she was coming from, but had a few good things to say. Someone from the outside looking in who can still see some of the shifts that have been and are still taking place

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  3. "Today hundreds of children who go to church will no longer appreciate the beauty and majesty of a pipe organ"

    I think that is humorous given that she is writing in regards to Presbyterianism. One of the first things Cromwell and the english puritans did after establishing the commonwealth in 1649 was destroy the organs in the churches, because they believed it violated the regulative principle or worship - the central idea of presbyterian worship. She sounds more like a high church anglican or catholic more than an old school presbyterian.

    ReplyDelete