The Look of Acts
Robert Hart What the Church Steadfastly Does Every Sunday
My wife and I recently had dinner with some friends who go to a large and very modern church. While we ate, we listened to them tell of their frustration. They are unhappy because a large cross that was the central focus of what is, in their terminology, the worship space, had been replaced by large video screens. The Sunday services, they complained, were no longer a time of worship, prayer, and preaching, but were more like a rock concert, a show. A verse from the Book of Acts came to my mind, prompting a discussion of what needs to take place in church services, as opposed to performances: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (2:42).
Several years ago, I read about a proposed drive-through "church" for people in a hurry. They could go to a place similar to a drive-through bank, say a few prayers in their car, receive communion somehow, and go on their merry way. Such "worshipers" need not waste their time on any of the things associated with the experience of a full-blown service.
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Robert Hart is rector of St. Benedict's Anglican Catholic Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Anglican Catholic Church Original Province). He also contributes regularly to the blog The Continuum. He is a contributing editor of Touchstone.
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