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Abolish Sunday services? – EV churches debate in vain

Taylor Swift


Should Sunday services be abolished or retained with more diversity? The Protestant Church in Germany is currently asking itself this question. However, in the debates surrounding the traditional ritual, the crucial core question is not asked at all.

Debate within the church

A discussion has currently broken out within the Protestant churches in Germany as to whether Sunday services are still relevant or contemporary. After all, there are alternative options. The Roman Catholic Church has long since listened and warned people to stick to the traditional church service every Sunday. It is obvious that the Church of Rome has no alternative to celebrating traditional rituals on Sunday. Nevertheless, the question currently remains open in the Protestant Church as to whether the Sunday service ritual should be abolished.

Pros and cons

The Protestant Church in Bavaria has a “worship institute” based in Nuremberg. As a matter of course, this institute offers support for congregations, worship teams, volunteers and full-time employees in the preparation and implementation of church services and devotions.

Empty church
Orphaned church services plague EV churches

The head of the institute, Pastor Stefan Gehrig, is now taking a stand in the current back and forth within the church and describes canceling the Sunday service as not an alternative. This also takes away a “crucial piece of the soul” from the church, said Gehrig in his guest article in the Protestant magazine “Sonntagsblatt”. (Source).

The Hildesheim pastor Hanna Jacobs, on the other hand, is calling for the abolition of Sunday services. In their opinion, it is no longer worth investing time and energy in a church service on Sunday. Given the empty churches on Sunday mornings, the church service is often no longer a showpiece, but rather just a special event and a discontinued model. Many communities are likely to be affected by this.

Not taking place – but celebrating

However, Pastor Gehrig sees a crucial mistake in calling for the abolition of Sunday services. “Services don’t take place, they are celebrated.” In the current debate, Hannah Jacobs speaks of a “taking place” of the service instead of a “celebration”. People “participate” in them and one can “promote” church services, “stick to them” and even “be satisfied”. It is clear, says Gehrig, that the service is apparently not perceived as a celebration. This applies to language as well as to emotions.

Therefore, there is no “one correct form” of worship. Because people celebrated very differently. While some people decorate their celebrations festively in a dignified ambience, others love dancing and music until midnight in a bar. Some prefer a large crowd, others prefer to celebrate in a somewhat smaller circle. But what they have in common is enjoying the celebration.

For this reason, people perceive celebrating church services differently. For various reasons, the service is not experienced as a celebration, says Gehrig. The number of “participants” is dwindling and the question is repeatedly asked whether such a service celebration is still worth it.

church service
More diversity in a ‘celebration’

Nevertheless, it is important that such a discussion is initiated, said the institute director. It must be questioned whether the abolition of Sunday services is the right reaction. However, it will not be possible to simply pay more attention to the current “classic church service”. This does not make this ritual any more attractive for the community members. However, there is no alternative to deletion.

The Bible speaks about “celebrating church services” with regularity. This is the case for church services, celebrations and also memorial days. It wasn’t necessarily a time of exuberant happiness, but rather a time.

Dare to be more diverse

When organizing church services, congregations must show a willingness to experiment and be prepared to abandon them if they are not well received. The emphasis must be on “more” and “celebrate”. Greater diversity, just as people celebrate differently, be it festive or exuberant, in large or small groups. Gehrig suggests more diversity in worship celebrations. Combining organ, band, community lawn, church, classical liturgy and free moderation. To this end, the different communities and their respective experiences could exchange ideas with one another.

The emphasis on the celebration is important. This is also an expression of the “inner attitude”. It’s about “time in community and time with God,” says Gehrig. In the end, “perhaps it’s a variety of different forms of worship that means God doesn’t know where to go first – and neither do we.”

The core question is not asked

In view of these debates, the warning gesture from the Roman Catholic Church was only a rhetorical act. The “mother of all churches” does not really have to worry about whether the recently returned daughters could actually deviate from the traditional ritual of Sunday celebration (Info). A usual battle between two errors, where the winner also comes out as a permanent error.

Sabbath commandment
Sabbath commandment is not up for debate

The discussions within the church clearly show that the Protestant Church itself lacks any reference to the Gospel when it comes to Sunday celebrations or feasts. Even in the form of God’s 10 Commandments, which the churches have idiosyncratically modified, the Third Commandment still says, “You shall sanctify the feastday.” (the true 10 commandments – here). Keeping God’s law is not on the list at all in the debates.

For this reason, neither the advocates nor the opponents of abolishing Sunday services even begin to think of wanting to observe God’s commandment. This is not up for discussion at all, apparently for reasons of complete lack of interest. The focus is simply on the manner, style and variety of the service on a Sunday or “alternative” day.

What the Bible says

The commandment on the “feastday” that can actually be found in the Bible is specifically:
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11)

That’s why even the head of the “worship institute” speaks so carelessly about a “ritual” carried out on Sunday. A tradition introduced by the Roman Catholic Church due to its self-empowerment (Info).

This debate within the Protestant Church ultimately only serves to consolidate the Sunday tradition. Once questioned, people position themselves in defense of the traditional Sunday celebration. “How dare you?”, and the demands for maintaining the actually purely Roman Catholic institution are becoming significantly louder. God’s will falls from the edge of the table directly under the carpet. The main thing is that it is more colorful, diverse, varied, entertaining, appealing and emotional.

Example Taylor Swift Worship

Taylor Swift
Gospel of a Millennial

As a matter of fact. An interaction between purely institutionally organized Protestant churches, including their pastors who walk in complete disbelief, and the little sheep who have become demanding. The “Taylor Swift Worship” recently held in Heidelberg under the sign of the rainbow flag, with a church filled to capacity, is a shining example of the state of the Protestant houses that still rely on Martin Luther. Please note the name of this event. It was not a “Worship with Taylor Swift music”, but rather a worship in her name, significantly in the “Heiliggeistkirche” (“Holy Spirit Church”).

The priest in charge, Vincenzo Petrarca, explained to the Catholic magazine “Tagespost” (Source) that after such a “service” people went home touched in their hearts. Their souls are supposed to take a little “angel dust” with them, something “magical, something heavenly”.

The people want – the churches deliver

The Protestant churches are completely finished. But the majority of people like this very much. Just tell people what people want to hear and you will be successful. They want to hear about an easy, comfortable salvation where you can sit back and wait for someone to put the grapes in your mouth. The heads, as well as the pastors of this institution, with a few exceptions, no longer even come up with the idea of ​​proclaiming the Gospel to people as it is written. They speak of the “Lord”, of “Jesus”, of “God”, but only for cosmetic reasons. The proclamation of the pure, unadulterated Word of God would be the only true recipe to fill the churches even without pop, rock and “mega stars”. 2 Timothy 3:5:
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
2 Timothy 4:3-4

Bible verses from King James Version

Abolish Sunday services? – EV churches debate in vain
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