Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why I Am A Traditionalist

**I'm putting a disclaimer here so that, if you leave hurtful comments, you'll know why I deleted it. I don't mind opposing viewpoints, but I will not tolerate rude/hateful comments. This post is absolutely my opinion. I am in no way trying to say that I'm right and everyone else in the world is wrong. This is just why I believe what I do.**

My world has always revolved around a more traditional type of church. Both my parents are ordained Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ministers who served two separate congregations for over two decades. We didn't get holidays off. Our summer vacations consisted of visiting family and trying to get back before my parents missed a second Sunday. Unless I had a high temperature and was vomiting profusely, I was in Sunday School, then the worship service after coffee fellowship. Most of the members were over the age of 65, and our youth groups were small, (if existent at all). We had organ music, a choral anthem, communion every 4 months, recited The Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed (Ecummenical version if you please), and my parent would stand up and preach for 15 minutes using examples from life and the scripture readings they just read aloud.

This is the church I grew up in. The one with a liturgy. The one without a top-of-the-line sound system and three projector screens. The one that had handbells and acoustic guitar instead of electric guitars and subwoofers. The one without its own Youtube account or TV channel. This is the church I am in love with.

I know that this is not a popular spot for people in my generation. They want to feel plugged in and connected 24/7. They want to feel comfortable and, in some instances, entertained. They prefer a place where they can have their choice of friends for themselves and their small children. The way church portrays itself is different.

My question is, what's wrong with being traditional? When did traditionalists become so outdated that it's considered wrong? Why do I have to feel like people consider me backwards in a forward-moving world?

I'm big on the idea that worshipping God in the way you feel is the most appropriate is what matters. God rejoices in your worship and acknowledgement that he is worthy of praise. If you like attending a church with all the trimmings, then that's what's most important. If you're like me and enjoy attending a more traditional church, that's good too. God just wants our thanks and praise.

It does make my heart sad to see churches closing their doors because they couldn't keep enough members to stay active. Dying churches are just as upsetting to me. There is a level of progress every church has to succumb to, but that does not mean you have to have an extreme makeover to get new members. Unfortunately, it's a bit like playing the waiting game while generations come home to the church of their choosing.

My only request is to make sure you're not making people feel inadequate for not attending a specific type of church.

4 comments:

  1. I grew up in the same kind of church (sans my parents at the pulpit) and it feels like home to me too. It makes me sad too that this style of church is having a hard time making it with our generation. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that a lot of people like to be "entertained." I think that's exactly right, and it make me sad too. Good post!

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    1. Thank you! I just keep reading all these articles and blogs about how the traditional church has to make all these changes if they want to survive. I agree we need to fine tune a few things to keep up, but not change who we are and what we stand for just to be accepted by the general public.

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  2. Thanks for posting this! I did not grow up in any church and only went to traditional Catholic services when I was with my grandparents. I absolutely DREADED them! When I became a Christian in high school I started attending a more contemporary church with a lively youth group and lead pastor. That was one of the things that helped to keep me interested. But, I soon noticed that having an understanding of my faith also gave me a great appreciation for those same liturgical services I dreaded. I must admit that I love my big contemporary church with a pastor that talks about Jesus checking his iPhone, but there is something so amazingly beautiful and soulful about going back to the basics.

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    1. Thank you for reading it!
      I enjoy visiting contemporary churches because I feel like they do a great job about making Jesus and the bible relevant to our time. Sometimes it's hard to think God understands exactly what we're going through just because Jesus came at a much simpler time in history. Like you said, it's all about the basics. As long as the message isn't lost in translation, I'm glad people in our generation are attending church period!

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