Leading Bible Scholar Warns Churches About the ‘Danger with E-Worship’ By Tré Goins-Phillips for Faith Wire
GNN Note – Personally, Skype and / or Zoom are the worst false crutch ever created for worship. What a sense of distance and isolation this type of software brings to the table. Hearing people talk about how great it is to have this as an alternative to exercising our God given right to free assembly and worship in the house of worship of our choosing is disgusting and should be of grave concern to all parishioners, especially if this type of “happy talk” is coming from their church leaders.
Abortion is essential – cancer treatments, physical therapy and the like along with worship is non-essential / hardware stores are essential – worship is non-essential / liquor stores-marijuana stores-drug stores: essential – worship is non-essential. The list goes on and on and on. Every one of these situations have been supported by some of you while accepting your house of worship be shutdown.
True leadership means standing up for what’s right. If people are uncomfortable or believe their health is at risk, the church should offer an online service for those people. Everyone else, which is the vast majority, should be able to go the house of worship of their choosing at their regular, designated time of worship.
If Jesus Christ is the Truth, the Way and Life isn’t that slightly more “essential” than hardware? Asking for a friend.
While concerns about religious liberty violations are filling up the headlines, theologian N.T. Wright is concerned about the “danger with e-worship,” as it pertains to the importance of the church having a public presence in society.
In his forthcoming book, “God and the Pandemic,” Wright addresses the societal shift toward believing religion — Christianity — is a “private” movement that “should have no place in public life.”
“Thus I can still go shopping in the crowded little [liquor store] on the corner; but I cannot go and sit in the ancient, prayer-soaked chapel across the street,” he writes. “Worship becomes invisible. Shutting churches will appear to collude with this. By saying that we will temporarily abolish corporate worship and join with others only on live-streamed services from the vicar’s living room, we may seem to be agreeing that really we are just a group of like-minded individuals pursuing our rather arcane private hobby.”
Churches eager to worship together are not simply motivated by religious liberty concerns. There are theological ways of understanding what the church is, and what the church is for that ground our longing for public worship. Here’s @profntwright on that in his forthcoming ebook: pic.twitter.com/3FhDqNglEq
— Rev. Dr. Glenn Packiam (@gpackiam) May 15, 2020
Over time, Wright explains, there is “danger” in virtual church gatherings, because it gives the false impression that church is a private club only for the like-minded and cordons it off from the rest of society.