Discovering Liturgy and Traditional Christianity.

Megachurches Discovering Liturgy & Traditional Christianity?








The Church Growth Movement led to a surge of megachurches–congregations of 2,000 and more–built on the principle of updating Christian worship and church practices to make them more attractive to people today.* But now a number of megachurches–including some of the most trend-setting–are offering liturgical services and are bringing back elements of traditional Christianity, such as creeds, the church year, and other historic practices.
So reports Anna Keating in her article for America, a Jesuit publication, entitled Why Evangelical megachurches are embracing (some) Catholic traditions.
She doesn’t quite grasp all of the issues she writes about.  Roman Catholics do not have a monopoly on liturgical worship, creeds, the church year, or historic Christianity–as Lutherans and Anglicans (two of the largest Protestant movements), among others, would demonstrate–so what she describes as “Catholic” applies only in the “universal” sense of the Apostles’ Creed.  Interestingly, she seems rather taken with the casual “seeker-friendly” style of megachurches and is sympathetic with the charismatic movement.
But what she reports is fascinating and important for Christians on all sides of the church growth controversies–including veterans of the “worship wars” that tore many conservative denominations–to understand.
The pioneering New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with over 10,000 members, now incorporates “more traditional liturgies,” uses the Nicene Creed as its confession of faith, offers Communion every Sunday, and follows the historical church year.
Willow Creek in suburban Chicago, perhaps the most influential megachurch with over 24,000 members, now offers a “traditional liturgical-style” worship service.
The Village Church in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex with 14,000 members, is a Southern Baptist congregation that follows the liturgical calendar, recites the Apostles’ Creed, and fasts during Lent.
Epiphany Church in Lower Greenville, Texas, employs incense in its worship services, uses the historical lectionary, and historical prayers.
Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, Michigan, not only uses the Nicene Creed, the church year, and weekly communion, but it has also scrapped the multi-media screens and concert-hall design that characterize most megachurches in favor of an altar and a cross.
[Readers, if you know of similar examples, or attend such a church, please tell us about it in the comments.]
Why this reversion away from “new ways of doing church” to historical Christianity?
“For some megachurch pastors,” says Keating, “the move toward liturgy and tradition is about a desire to go deeper in forming their congregations in faith.”  She interviewed the pastor of New Life Church, who has become a serious student of historic Christianity and who implemented the changes after the previous celebrity-pastor was brought down in a sex scandal.  In its trauma, the congregation recognized its need for a deeper, richer faith.  I suspect something similar happened at Willow Creek, which has also struggled with a sex scandal.
Another reason cited in the article is that much of the public has become burned out with contemporary evangelicalism, which has lost much of its former allure.  Traditional Christianity and traditional churches, ironically, are “different” and have become an attractive alternative.
Another reason Keating says is simply an extension of the Church Growth Movement’s emphasis on marketing.  “Megachurches are big businesses with lots of people on payroll, and part of the change is about marketing, rebranding, consumer choice and retention,” she says. “You want a contemporary service? We offer that. You want traditional? We have that too.”
While we traditional Christians should applaud these developments–especially those of us in traditional churches that, in some cases, threw out their historic liturgy and practices in hopes of becoming a megachurch–we can also see the limits of some of these changes.  The Church Growth Movement has always taught that style is separate from substance, that the style doesn’t really matter, so that orthodox teaching can be communicated in any style that “works” in connecting with people.  The problem, as artists and media experts know, is that “the medium is the message,” that style shapes and even determines what substance is being conveyed.  Style and substance has to work together; more to the point, to convey a particular message, the substance has to determine the style.
If the liturgy, creeds, and other traditional practices are nothing more than trappings, apart from or even in contrast to the church’s theology and teachings, the style/substance problem will not have changed.  On the other hand, just as a contemporary style works against orthodox substance, a more orthodox style will work to communicate a more orthodox substance, whether that is the intent or not.  And often, to give credit where credit is due, this is the intent.
At any rate, traditional, orthodox churches can take heart from these developments that liturgy, creeds, and historical practices are not necessarily “obstacles” to growth, as they have been told.  Indeed, they can be profoundly compelling for casualties of contemporary Christianity.
*Note:  There is no reason why very large congregations, including those with more than 2000 members, cannot be orthodox and liturgical.  I have attended many of those both as a visitor and as a member.  By “megachurch,” I do not mean such large congregations.  Just those that have become large by following church growth innovations.  That some of those are returning to traditional practices is a commentary on those innovations.
 Photo:  New Life Church, Colorado Springs, aerial photo by Adammeliski [CC BY-SA 4.0
The Convergence Movement started something related to this in the late 80's. The three  different streams blending and coming together: Sacramental, Evangelical and Charismatic / Pentecostal.  

Need to be cautious of not be carried to extremes, but a well balance blending will be more enhancing, invigorating and promising with a great result. 

Recommendation : For those who would journey to blend the sacraments and the sacramental, get hold of  Cd's or copy of Rev. Malcolm Smith teaching on " The Holy Spirit in the liturgy". this will help you understand  the basics about Liturgy.

Satanic Temple

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Are we giving out of Love or out of necessity?

I was in conversation with a Christian and came to the subject of giving. Giving is part of Christian walk and life. You can't be called a true practicing believer, unless giving become part of your life. There are many ways to give, attention is one, caring. services, help, time, money, wealth, love, justice and mercy. The most common saying is, you can give without loving, but you can't love without giving. The core of all of this is when we walk the talk about giving, that it has to be motivated by love. This was the reason why God restored us, by giving His only begotten Son to redeem us and gave us Eternal life. It was His love to give that motivates God to sacrificed His Only begotten and beloved Son to die on our behalf.

And  this was the very reason why in returned, we gave back to Him by loving and thanking Him for what He has done for us, this act is being grateful to God! It is also because of His love and giving that bridge us now to enjoy His kindness and His manifested presence among  us and in us. God is not interested much of our material things, wealth physically as well spiritually. Psalms 24: 1 "The earth is the Lord and All the power that are and in it". He owns everything that are on earth and in the heavens. I never heard that God loan and sold and gave the earth and all his creation to anyone. The devil is owning it illicitly, deceptively, illegally using and abusively using God's property (God's creations). Satan's expiration date is about to come, it's just a matter of time!. Yes, Satan is the God of this WORLD SYSTEM, but NOT the rightful, legal and SOLE OWNER of the EARTH! Nakakatawa naman yung nag kle claim na sa kanya daw yung Lupa na nilikha ng Diyos, baka sumunod pati narin ang Langit!


So what does He really wants from us? It's our hearts that gives back to Him alone all the Praises, Thanksgiving, Worship and Honor and in that He is well pleased. You know that God will not worship, honor thank himself. If he will do that, then He will be full of pride, selfishness, self  conceited and will be against His attributes and character that will make Him like the Devil!

The person told me that he will give to God when he is as wealthy as Bill Gates and other wealthy people on earth.  Giving starts from a heart of love. It's also a measuring act in assessing and diagnosing  the present the condition of a heart. Why money, wealth, sex and power, because of it's luring, tempting and has a pleasurable effect, with it our mind can play games, imagine and fantasize. When these are offered, and mostly are trap and snared by their own lustful and evil desire.

In Genesis 3, a very common dialogue where the Devil is very, well polished and crafty enough in making the woman to buy and believed the idea of becoming like God. The three most common suggestions that most are trap by it, is the lust of the eyes, lust of flesh and the pride of life! These exposes and can determine the intention  and condition of the heart. By these also, are where men can be easily trap and  baited by their own greediness, covetousness and lust. Example of these are Adam and Eve, those who died in the flood during Noah's time, King Saul, Samson, Sodom and Gomorrah  and others.. People can easily succumbed to covetousness, greed and lust,  rich or poor, whatever color or nationality we represent, temptations are common to ALL men, if Christ is not present in their hearts, then one can easily succumbed to it. Temptations will always come in different ways, forms and degree and not choosy of time.

Now going back to giving, the giving that hurts gets the attention to God. The widow that gave all she had, that out from her poverty she poured out all and not spare for herself, While others are giving out from their surplus. It's not the amount that counts, it's the degree of sacrifices and the intention of the hearts that matters. Abel gave his BEST of all offerings without reservation, it became a sweet aroma before God, Abraham gave His son Isaac as an offering without holding back and he receive a reward of favor from God. God also was able to give His only Son. St. Francis of Assisi  known as Saint to the poor, gave all of his wealth and became poor and live with simplicity in serving God. Lastly is JESUS, He gave up everything in Heaven in exchange for our freedom and deliverance from sin, death, hell and the grave. He striped Himself of His royal majesty on high and became poor, that through His poverty we might become rich with God! Godly giving starts with a right attitude from a heart of love and progressively grows from there. A Chinese proverb says, that a single step will bring you to more and even hundred steps. If you can't give out of love, your tithes and give to God what is really His, you will Never give anything to Him, but instead ROB God of everything!. Malachi 3:10.

ACPT

Bless me Father with the blessing of God!

Whoever stands under the protection of the highest, walks in the shadow of Almighty,
Whoever looks at the father's hand, entrusted to his care,
He says to the Lord with confidence: " O my hope and my light,
My hear my dear Lord and God, whom I will trust in need."

He knows that the hand of God holds him wherever he puts him;
No evil that sneaks in the dark, no night gray reaches him.
For his angels God ordered his angels to guard all his ways,
That his foot doesn't hit a stone and hurt.

For This God has promised us, " whoever believes in me, be wrong,
Because everyone knows my protection, and whoever calls me will be answered.
I will show myself as his God; I am close to him in every need;
Of life abundance is his part, and look he will once my hail."
Psalm 91; GL 423

More and more we need God's protection in every area of our lives and to entrust our lives in His divine protection.

Seldom we see this kind of actions these days. We see more modern approach in doing the ministry. This kind of  evangelizing and reaching the world in most, see as obsolete and far gone and ineffective, not realizing that with this kind of preaching the good news is one of an effective and powerful ways in reaching out to the lost .
We always based our judgment and concluded in what we think best and in doing in what we think is right in doing the ministry as far as our knowledge is concern. Even in the Catholic churches we seldom see priest now walking around with their habits on, in the public places ministering and reaching, Please, NOT all priest are corrupt, arrogant and Fake.

We see most them with vestment every service, but after that and after changing their vestments into their casual clothes they are gone.  The church became so backward in terms of pure and classical spirituality and more has adapted to modernity and became complaisant. We have adjusted our selves in how the world looks, acts and in how they handle themselves. The church has vended their laws and morals to please the world.

Now the world is inside the church instead of vice versa, the Church is in the world, but not  to conform to the ways of the world and thinking like the world. (Romans 12: 2). Jesus reminded His disciples that they are in the World, 
BUT NOT OF THE WORLD!  But be of good cheer, He has overcame the world.  I challenge you to visit churches speak to Christians, by their words you'll know them. It's time for us to exert a join hands effort in bringing the Gospel to the world and doing it correctly, not hurriedly, perversely and deceitfully!

Diminishing ministry of Christ today, Healing!



To the gospel according to St. Luke, Chapter 7, verse 11-17

"... when the Lord saw the woman, he had mercy on her and said to her: don't cry!..."

In Christ beloved...

In several places, the gospel reports that Jesus "was put into the depths of his heart", when he met with people and groups of the same.
Our modern use of the word "compassion" does not fully mediated the deeper meaning of the original Hebrew word, which expresses warm sympathy and personal identification with the suffering and physical constitution of the suffering person.

Jesus was so moved when he met a widow and a crowded funeral on his way to the cemetery and regretted not only the premature death of a young man, but also showed the depth of his concern for the woman who not only her husband, but also her Only child lost.

The only safe way to be in biblical times was the family, so this woman lost not only her relatives, but also her future safety and livelihood.
The Holy Scripture makes it clear that God has no joy in the death of a human being.

Christ wishes life, not death and he did not only have compassion with the heart for the widow who lost her only son, He (Jesus) also had extraordinary supernatural power - the ability to restore life and make a person healthy again.

However, Jesus did something here that had to shocked the feelings of the widow and her friends.
He went to the grave to get in physical contact with the dead.
Jesus's physical touch and personal identification with the loss of her only son by the widow showed not only the depth of his love and concern for her, but also showed his desire to free everyone from the power of sin and moral corruption and even death.

Jesus's simple contains: "young man, standing up" - not only brought him back to physical life, but brought freedom and holistic to his soul and body.
By his word of power, he brought back life for a boy, who was already marked for death.

Jesus is the Lord not only the living, but also the dead.
When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, he also died over death, when he returned on the third day, as he promised his disciples.
And He promises to anyone who believes in him, that them.

That also we will forever have a grace rich life with and in him.
Let us trust our Lord Christ Jesus, who gives love and eternal hope to us in the face of the many tests, the bad luck and the desperate moments of our eternal life...

AMEN

Most Christians are seen in social media today posting their lates selfie, the grandeur of what they did in the church, clergy with their majestic, expensive and attractive vestment and church adornments as their great accomplishment which more centered to SELF that seeks Glory to myself, rather than saying the Glory belongs to God alone! This is just one of diminishing effect and decaying morals in our time. More and more we are consume and condition with modernity and consumerism that bring us away from the will and heart of God, and forget the most important things that God requires from man, to love justice, mercy and to humble not "hambog" ourselves before God. 

The salt is loosing it's savor and now being contaminated with artificial savoring that make it  feels goooood, but steals it's true flavor and effect by diminishing it's substance to nullify it's very purpose. 

We see more dying with cancer, complications result of diabetes, heart problems aids and other incurable dioceses, accidents, crimes, some are converting and accepting Satanism and witchcraft, an easy way to accept and escape anxiety and the cruelty of life, these are escalating to uncontrolled degree.  I call these as a plague of death that eats and fast spreading, sapping and suffocating our God given life. The escalating effect of sin, the absence of the truth (God's words and sound teachings) resulting to a high mortality rate in our time, in spite of modern medicine and sophisticated technology, the spiritual as well as physical condition of man, never change but even became worse. Yes, we are living in the fast lane, fast food with everything that is fast and easy, that this generation is presently living, this fast movement is transporting people in an extinguishing pattern of lifestyle that leads more to an early grave. What this present world is doing is conditioning the mind of our young people today, to become super humans, who looks like machines, others have the image of animals, who are without the Spirit and image of God.

If the Church is walking with the power of Christ today, more and more we will SEE like what Jesus did to the son of this widow. Healing and restoration to health! We will more and more hear and see miracles, testimonies of deliverance and victory over sickness, sin and the grave. 

It's time to act and wake up as a church, go back to the basics and the simplicity of life in God and start cultivating real faith that give substance to healing, miracles and prayers, all these must start in the household of faith in God, Repentance, acknowledging that we made ourselves as god in exchange of the true God. Healing and cleansing of our hearts, humbling ourselves before God must start within us, if we want to see this things happening in our time.

But the sad truth,is no one would want to do an extra mile to see and do this things to happen,it's a sacrifice, hard and it will cost me a lot, what I will get in return from doing that?, these are only few of the many excuses that we hear from the mouth of Christians itself, that leads to denial, rejection and doubt. Sacrifice and faith was replaced with compromise and convenience, truth with lies, by these deadens the effect of the power presence of God in us. It's man destroying himself and continue to destroy himself by extinguishing every image of God presence given him to live. This we call this, self destruction and it's obvious that it's happening today. The purpose of the church is to create an atmosphere and ambiance for God, for Him to dwell as His temple and manifest Himself. "He dwells in the praises of His people". Truly Christ was sacrificed for us and has manifested Himself in the flesh. 

If you have ears let them hear!



Ansel Beluso
September 16 at 8:40 AM
I mentioned in my Senate hearing testimony that I have 12 reasons why the entire Filipino nation should totally and unequivocally reject the SOGIE Bill. Here they are:
1. IT IS AGAINST DIVINE LAW. God created only man and woman.
2. IT IS AGAINST NATURAL LAW. Science says, there are only two sexes/genders determined by chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, internal and external genitalia.
3. IT IS AGAINST MORAL LAW. It promotes and propagates the gay lifestyle and homosexual acts which are a moral abomination. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls them “an intrinsic disorder.”
4. IT IS AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION. It violates provisions that protect religious freedom, the welfare of the family, equal application of the law, among others.
5. IT IS UNNECESSARY. Truth is, Filipinos love gays. The Philippines is one of the gay friendliest countries in the world.
6. IT IS REDUNDANT. We already have sufficient laws to protect the rights of all individuals against any and all kinds of discrimination, harassment, abuse, bullying, shaming, slander, etc.
7. IT IS AGAINST FILIPINO CULTURE. Filipinos do not have a word for and much less understand the meaning of transgender, intersex, cisgender, polyamory, 2-spirit, and all these alien gender identities and expressions. Most critically, this bill assaults and will weaken two values that are most sacred to us - faith and family. Besides,
8. IT HARMS LGBTQI+ PEOPLE. It applauds transgenderism, which is gender dysphoria, a mental disorder. People with a mental disorder need treatment, not applause. Any disorder, if left untreated or without proper management, worsens. Also, it makes treading the path to change and renewal even more difficult for gays who desire to step out of homosexuality.
9. IT DISCRIMINATES AGAINST THE MAJORITY. It will allow the feeling, whim and caprice of the minority to lord it over the inalienable rights of the majority.
10. IT PAVES THE WAY FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. We are a Christian nation. We believe that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman.
11. IT WILL RECONFIGURE PHILIPPINE SOCIETY. Filipinos should fight for who and what we really are - our faith, values and morals will be desecrated, the welfare of our family especially our children will be destroyed, our cultural beliefs and traditions will be demeaned, our very soul as a nation will be sacrificed at the altar of gender ideology.
12. IT GOES AGAINST PLAIN COMMON SENSE. In other words, it is stupid!
And, of course, as I explained in the Senate hearing, the SOGIE Bill, if enacted into law, will engender and perpetuate a culture of lies, deceit, deception and duplicity into the life of our country and people.

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