Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Coral Ridge Ending Age-Segmented Worship

So proclaims Out of Ur, citing an unlinked article in The Christian Post.

What are they actually doing? They are actually ending their practice of having a traditional and a contemporary service, something that dates back to the days of D. James Kennedy. Now, Kennedy’s successor Tullian Tchividjian says it’s time to do away with that.

Here’s a quote of interest:

The megachurch pastor also said he doesn't view separate worship services by style or age as any different from racial segregation, except that it's more subtle.

Allowing for the fact that Tchividjian may not have actually said this (there is no link and it’s not a direct quote), this is an interesting ploy that, to me, smacks of silliness.

It seems these days, that whenever someone wants to make a really strong statement on something, they often connected it to race because almost everyone cares about race and virtually no one wants to come down on the wrong side of that.

But how, in the name of anything rational, is having multiple services of different styles similar to racial segregation?

Simple answer: It’s not.

People choose which church they want to attend, and which service they want to attend. They are welcome to sit where they like (unless they get there late and the back seats are already filled). No one looks at their appearance and then funnels them into certain places. I was at Coral Ridge one Sunday, as a relatively young man, and went to the traditional service. No one tried to get me to go somewhere else. It was completely voluntary.

Racial segregation was not. It was enforced, both legally and culturally.

In other words, this argument by Tchividjian is, quite frankly, just a dumb argument. It sounds pious, but it makes no sense. It does injustice to real racial problems, and it doesn’t solve anything.

I am all for having one type of service, and one service rather than multiple services. I think young people should be in at least part of the service with older people because “One generation shall praise your works to another,” which is hard to do when the generations are separate (Psalm 145:4).

But whatever a church does with its services, let’s see through cheap ploys to appeal to people’s sensibilities by playing the race card.

We have enough race problems and worship problems in our churches without confusing the two.

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