Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Guest Rant - Man and Church

Twenty-five years ago Jack Lemmon starred as Father Tim Farley, beloved priest and pastor of St. Francis parish, in the movie Mass Appeal. He was assigned a deacon, Mark Dolson, who questions the system, demands explanations, and sincerely wants the people of the parish to grow. The conflict is that Father Farley wants nothing more than to be liked by the people. He will go to great lengths to appease his congregation, heeding the words of one parishioner: "I don't want to be preached to."

Interaction between the beloved Father Farley and the hot-tempered Deacon Dolson is brought to a head when Mark confronts Father Farley saying, "Do we go to church to be told what we want to hear or are we there to hear God's Truth?" That was 25 years ago. Has anything changed?

It is my opinion we must strike a balance between the positions of Father Farley and Deacon Dolson. I believe we must stand firm on the Scripture as the unerring, eternal Word of God. There is only one God in three persons. We cannot save ourselves from hell, but Christ paid our price and we have the free gift of eternal life in heaven. Nothing we can say or do will save us. Our creeds and confessions drawn from Scripture must never be compromised. And the list goes on.

However, the way we proclaim these eternal truths, the methods we use, and the settings we are in should reflect the best way to reach today's society. I believe we can still preserve the sacred while using PowerPoint. We can recite the Apostles' Creed while we worship outdoors. We can praise God with a pipe organ or bagpipes, a dulcimer or a drum, a Psalm or a praise song. We can design a service that will be sensitive to male needs and limitations.

Men, it is time for us to take charge of the Church. Instead of complaining the Church is too feminine, we need to fill the pews, meeting halls, and parking lots, and demand a change. Instead of sleeping in, we need to be stepping out -- to church. Instead of sitting and letting women run the thing, we need to step up and reassume the leadership role we've abdicated. If we want the Church to be interested in us, we must be interested in Church. Who knows, perhaps if we strengthen the Church, we just might impact our community, our neighborhood, our world, and our families.

1 comment :

John McDermott said...

Power Point? Not for the sacred: if you are not careful, Power Point will suck 30 IQ points out of your brain as soon as you turn it on.

Otherwise, I agree. A good post.

Also, this site needs better CAPTCHA's ... I am pretty sure that a 'bot can beat the one I had to solve.