Monday, 16 June 2014

Martin Luther tweets a selfie...

Here's a fun thought experiment: 
Imagine Martin Luther defending his 95 Theses before the church courts and in the middle of his famous, "I can not and will not recant" speech, he pauses for a quick selfie, scarlet clad cardinals in the background.  He quickly tweets it.
Imagine John Calvin defending the sacredness of the sacraments and the seriousness of church discipline and fencing the Lord's Table from men who have threatened to take communion by force, no matter what their debauched weekly lifestyles entail.  Just at the point of conflict, as his opponents approach and he physically bars the table with his outstretched arms, he snaps a quick selfie with the i-phone in his hand.
Imagine Jonathan Edwards preaching his famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.  People are cut to the heart, callused consciences are pricked and repentance spreads through the congregation like a grass fire on a windy day.  Afterward, Edwards invites the people to stand up and he turns his back to them in the pulpit, holds up his Blackberry and snaps a selfie with the whole congregation in the back ground. 
Seems pretty ridiculous to even imagine any of the actors in the above historical scenarios thinking of themselves at the climax of such God-centered, Christ-exalting, gospel-defined and truth-focused moments.  Yet, how often do we approach worship with ourselves as our chief concern?  We often prioritize our own preferences and experiences in worship even though worship is the quintessential Godward-oriented aspect of the Christian life.

Our culture is not only self-centered and self-oriented, we seem to be on an ever increasing trajectory in that direction.  This is true of much of today's church as well.  Stephen Miller over at the Desiring God blog has some good thoughts about the orientation of our worship.  In the midst of the "selfie culture", Miller reminds us that worship is not about us.  You can read his thoughts here

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