W E L C O M E . . . to the blog site of ALL SAINTS ANGLICAN CHURCH of Rochester
We pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified and...
you will be blessed by your time spent with us.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Thought-Provoking Study Challenges Christians' Beliefs About Worship

I just recently ran across this article, and it struck a chord with me. I love All Saints because of its liturgical service and connection to a long church history. Now a liturgical service is emotional in a way, but its aim is not to cause strong emotions, but rather to teach and edify. But I was raised in churches that put a premium on the feelings that the worship service inspired in them as being indicative of how much of an "encounter" they were having with God. Now a scientific study provides some indication of just how much of religious emotional experience is actually brain chemistry. Take a look at this sure-to-be-controversial article here:

"The End of Christianity As We Know It" by Mark Galli

1 comment:

  1. Good post. I found it thought provoking. I've written a few responses that I had toward it.

    From the article you cited:

    "This is not to deny that our faith must be expressed in deeds and empowered by a genuine experience of God. Faith without works, or a genuine encounter with God, is not Christian faith." - Mark Galli

    Exactly. What does it mean to edify and teach? I believe it puts a person in a position to properly encounter God (via the person of the Holy Spirit) and to learn to do good works for which he or she was made for (Eph. 2:10; James 1:22)

    As for "scientific studies", especially concerning the brain, there is no definitive science for determining why brain chemistry works the way it does. Brain chemistry could very well be as a result of a true religious experience - who's to say?

    I'm wary of criticizing other church experiences. I don't believe we have the understanding necessary to judge a person's heart, let alone that of an entire congregation. I believe it also borders on doubting the presence of the Holy Spirit in a congregation.

    Remember the article you cited: "Faith without works, or a genuine encounter with God, is not Christian faith."

    A sobering thought considering that the central point of the liturgy is encountering God, specifically in the Eucharist. It's certainly worth pondering.