The Critical Adjustment by S. M. Hutchens

The Critical Adjustment

S. M. Hutchens on Pleasing the Lord in Worship

“Please Me, O Lord” in the May 2004 issue of Touchstone, a criticism of the increasingly sex-charged electrotheatrical liturgy practiced in many churches, has received much attention. The piece was a page from a pathologist’s notebook. The object was to depict something wrong or abnormal, with a brief attempt to trace the genesis and development of the disorder. The challenges from readers have nearly all been questions or statements about what should be considered normal and healthy.

Unlike simple identification of what is wrong, especially of something obviously wrong, that is a very long study, but here I will suggest a first step on the road to recovery of a balanced, sane, and reasonable service of worship. It is in fact a large step backwards to regain something lost. This is no magical formula for spiritual health; I do not here propose that good order alone shall please God and prevent apostasy, or even that diverging from it is necessarily fatal in the short run. What I propose is setting things back in the order where they belong so that gross perversions such as I described in “Please Me, O Lord” will be more difficult to accomplish.

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S. M. Hutchens is a senior editor and longtime writer for Touchstone.

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