There has been a buzz lately (maybe only from my limited perspective), about how many people are going to the older Christian traditions, leaving the “in style”, “contemporary”, worship modes. I’ve gotten to the point that the “modern” forms of worship no longer bother me as they used, at least in the same way. On the other hand, there is something to be said about tradition.
Americans have a “melting-pot” mentality, which works in many ways towards the success of the country, but can often fail the individual. We are made for connections. I believe much of the popularity of facebook and myspace, and all the others, is a need for connection. Much of what used to bring us this connection is families (usually in rural or agricultural settings) were not separated by many physical miles. As transportation methods changed, families began to spread out. I think my generation is the last one that, on the whole, will not be too negatively affected by this spreading out.
The current generation, the “myspace/facebook” generation is another story, however. My family, despite the separation, at least had the emotional connection that provided a basic connection. However, as my generation has children, I’m not convinced that the connections strained during our parents generation, will survive my generation, and it is my belief that is why these websites are so popular, they are an attempt to create connections that they cannot build at home (and this has nothing to do with the parent-child relationship).
I believe that the ramification in regards to the traditional liturgical churched, is that people are flocking (bad pun, sorry) to these churches is that they provide a different needed connection, a link to the past. However, as far as the Christian church is concerned, I believe there is something else here.
Looking around (hey, even on my blog), the divisions that are blossoming among the denominations are based on basic beliefs that haven’t been in question until the 20th and 21st centuries. I wouldn’t be surprised, in fact I believe, that this is because the basics are no longer taught.
Also, as I experienced during my time in the ELCA (a Lutheran denomination), I experienced the mentality of “they do it, so we won’t”, not for any theological reason, but because the did it. Sadly, because many of the denominations don’t do something because the Roman Catholics do it, like one that I’ve been thinking about recently, kneeling while praying during communal prayer.
As disjointed as this whole post is, it all revolves around connections, connections with each other, and connections with our past. We need them, we need to deliberately plan them.
List of Relevant Articles (The list of articles will be added to as I find more, or find the original ones that brought it to my attention)
- Rod Dreher: Modernism In Religion posted at sacbee.com
hat tip to:OrthodoxToday.org
- This one address perceptions and actions, and often why tradition is disposed of. Fr. Aris Metrakos: Fun is not a Four Letter Word, posted at OrthodoxyToday.org
The Mission of the Trinity, posted on Christianity Today.