Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Not As Funny As It Seems

Jon Acuff always tries to be cute, but sometimes he fails:
I don’t sing at church with my hands raised. [...] So, here’s 3 things you can do when arms go up and yours stay down:

1. The James Dean I probably need to update this reference and call it the “Ryan Gosling” or something, but I’m just not ready. Regardless, the James Dean is a pretty simple move. When you stand up to worship, put your hands in your front pockets. That’s it. Slide them in and now you don’t have your limbs all akimbo like Elaine dancing on that episode of Seinfeld. You look a little moody and introspective like, “Hey, my hands are in my pockets ’cause I’m thinking like James Dean or Ryan Gosling about the meaning of life.” Or it looks like you have tender hands that are cold in the service and need the warmth of a dungaree cave. Either way, problem solved. (Don’t overdo it though or this move mutates into the “Fonzi.”)
You get the idea - I won't quote the rest of it becasue it is not that funny. And I don't think people get why.

I have been in far too many worship services where that call to raise hands in worship was just short of physically coercive. All those people that have pushed this particular worship style because the old liturgical style was "oppressive," or some other such nonsense just cannot figure out that they are guilty of the same thing just in a different style

Why should we be reduced to trying to be cute because we don't choose to worship in the same style as you? This is not really a joking matter - oppression is oppression is oppression. But I think this is more subtle. The liturgical style of worship indeed requires strict conformity, but it is to a set of intellectual constructs that can be taught and learned. The hand waving style of worship is an emotional experience that serves to alter one's legitimate emotional state is a coercive manner.

Maybe today I am worshipping God out of discipline, not feeling. Should that not be honored?
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