St. Stephen's Musings

:: St. Stephen's Musings ::

:: Welcome to St. Stephen's Musings :: Bloghome | contact me by email |
Blog Roll
:: St. Stephen's Musings

:: Thursday, June 12, 2003 ::

The Calvary Chapel Statement of Faith: Part Two


We believe worship of God should be inspirational. Therefore, we give great place to music in our worship.

This begs the question, �Inspirational to whom?� From the Orthodox POV, worship is always God centered-- and not focused on whether it was �inspirational� to the worshiper. Now, of course worship should be inspirational in that it should empower (in the proper sense of that word) us to take Christ and the Gospel into the world. However, being "inspired" should not be the focus or point of worship. In a sense, it does not matter what �we get out of� worship, because worship is primarily about obedience and reverence and self-sacrificial love. When becoming �inspired� is the focus of worship, we tend to become more self-centered. Rather than asking ourselves �Did I give to God my heart and did I faithfully and with humility participate in the sacramental worship of God,� modern Christian worship is more focused on �Were my needs met?� or �Did I get anything out of the service today?� Much more could be said about this but I�ll leave it at that for now.

By the way, there is a great book on this issue by Matthew Gallatin, a former Calvary Chapel pastor (!), entitled, �Thirsting for God in a Land of Shallow Wells.� He goes into great detail about the phenomenon of modern music, emotionalistic worship models, and the dangers they pose to true worship.

We believe worship of God should be intelligent. Therefore, our services are designed with great emphasis upon the teaching of the Word of God that He might instruct us how He should be worshipped.

This first sentence is true as far as it goes. Worship of God should be orderly, rational, and coherent. St. Paul makes that pretty clear to the Corinthians. But again, God has already instructed us how to worship him! One does not need to mine the Bible for spiritual insight into how worship should be conducted because the way in which worship should be done was already decided before the Bible was even put together! The cycle of services, the feasts and fasts, and the sacramental life of prayer (among other things) were well-established elements of the Church before the Council of Carthage (390 AD) which was when the final canon of Scripture was ratified.

These two sentences also present problems because they assume the faulty Augustinian anthropology and Aristotelian epistemology that subjugates faith, worship and the experience of God under the domain of reason and rationality.

Another sticking point is the phrase, �Word of God,� The Church has always understood that the phrase "word of God" refers primarily to Jesus Christ, the Logos of God--not the Bible!

We believe worship of God should be fruitful. Therefore, we look for His love in our lives as the supreme manifestation that we have truly been worshipping Him.

No beef here. This is true. Faith without works is dead (James 2:14, 17)

We believe in all the basic doctrines of historic Christianity.

Oh dear. This is another question beggar: and these basic doctrines are?�.. It is a plain fact that Calvary Chapel does *not* hold to many of the early church teachings on a wide variety of doctrinal issues. Here are just a few: the ever-virginity of Mary (held by even the early Reformers!), the power and reality of the intercessions of the departed saints, iconographic representations of Jesus and the saints, sacramental confession, the centrality of the Eucharist etc.

Of course, a critical doctrine they don't hold to (or at least have re-interpreted) is what the Nicene Creed says about the nature of the Church: that there is �one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church� against which the �gates of hell would not prevail� (Matt. 16:18) and fully united in doctrine, faith, practice and worship for 2000 years.

We believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, that the Bible, Old and New Testaments are the inspired, infallible Word of God.

Much could be said here. In fact whole books could be written! Basically, the �inerrancy� doctrine has many underlying faulty assumptions based on the Reformation doctrine of �Sola Scriptura.� The need to have the Scripture be �inerrant� was not needed in pre-Schism Christianity because the Bible is not the foundation of the faith! The Church is the foundation, not only of the Bible, but of *all* truth! (1 Tim 3:15). The other problem with this is that, other than the Holy Trinity, nothing is infallible! Catholicism says infallibility lies within the structure of the papacy; Protestantism, as the other side of the same coin, says infallibility lies within the Biblical text. However, infallibility lies in neither. The work of the Holy Spirit, especially in the Holy Tradition of the Church, is the only infallible guide the Church has. For more on this issue, see �Common Ground� by Jordan Bajis (esp. his chapter �The Real Authority in the Church.�)

Part Three will wrap this up and is coming soon.....

:: Karl :: 10:52:00 AM [Link] ::

RSS Feed This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?