Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Hope is built on nothing less than....fundamentalism

Last night while running, I was singing in my head the great hymn: "My Hope is built on nothing less." The most powerful moment is right at the beginning; what do we hope in? Jesus blood and Righteousness!

Reflecting on ministry, I often wonder if that is our only hope? As a matter of fact, where is our hope?

I think 99% desire to have our hope only in Christ, but we love to be fundamentalists, even to things that are not necessarily mandated by Christ. It can be the Kyrie for a liturgical nut like myself. Does it specifically point us to Christ? No. Do I tend to treat it like it is Christ more than I should. You also see it in contemporary music crowds also. Where they will use certain songs that do not specifically point us to Christ, but they will not give them up even if people want more Jesus (Wait upon the Lord?). We do it so often it is ridiculous: singing from the hymnal or not, screens or no screens, potlucks or catering, heating/cooling, times of worship, and the number of voter's meetings a year. How many times have you seen a congregational member stand up and complain about Jesus not being mentioned enough? I fear that the number of voter's meetings have gotten more complaints throughout the 21st century :-(.

It also shows up on how we see Scripture. Due to our fears from the 1970's Seminex days, we love to cling to each Word of Scripture, which isn't all bad, but at the expense sometimes of forgetting Christ. A great example is if someone claimed that we should get rid of 2 Peter (which many respected theologians agree with), people would be up in arms in our churches. But if our preachers never preach Christ but quote many Scripture passages, they tend not to be upset. What was Scripture given to us to know? Each word as the foundation? Or Christ? (reminder: I am a firm believer in the inerrancy of Scripture before someone claims that I want to get rid of the Bible).

If you sing this hymn "My Hope is built on nothing less..." What would be your next words? Jesus and His righteousness? Or Kyrie or no Kyrie, Shine Jesus Shine or Mighty Fortress, hymnals or printed off bulletins, screens, 8:00 worship, or voter's meetings? Lord have mercy. Wretched man that I am.

May it be upon Christ and Him crucified.


Potts Family said...

Very well said... being in the midst of the seminary crowd right now we can relate with the liturgical vs. non-liturgical. Too often the style of worship is placed above the purpose of worship.

robert said...

Thanks for your musings on Edward Mote's great hymn, "The Solid Rock" on this the 135th anniversary of his death. Interesting that it would come to mind while you were running, since it was written while he was walking to work. We can sense that steady pace in it.

As to Christ and His Calvary work being our only hope, I completely agree. God has "begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the death" (I Pet. 1:3). In fact, He Himself is "the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope" (I Tim. 1:1).

If you enjoy reading about the background of our hymns, I invite you to check out my daily blog on the subject, Wordwise Hymns.