Postmodern Liturgy for the Truly Emerging Church
Thinking about this article made my head hurt.
Just when being a Christian started to be fun again, somebody had to come along and slap a requirement list on it. But this is no ordinary “to do” list. This is a method of thinking and believing that insists that there’s really no one way of thinking or believing, and don’t you dare and try to argue otherwise.
Remember the “I Found It” bumper stickers? How easy was that? If the postmodern church tried to come up with a bumper sticker, it would look like the small type at the bottom of the used car ads in the newspaper. When you apply it in its purest form, wouldn’t a postmodern church be an oxymoron?
Let’s put this in a high school context.
Anglicans like algebra tests. There’s one truth and one way to get there. Show your work.
Moderns like multiple-choice tests. There may be one truth, and, depending on the teacher, it’s debatable, but there are several choices on how to get there. Usually A, B, or C can be ruled out immediately and the remaining two are pretty similar. Whenever there’s an “all of the above” choice, go with it.
Postmodernism: essay questions. As long as you get there, you can argue the point that your answer was what you were after all along.
Remember the days when churches used to argue over whether or not we were “debtors” or “trespassers”? Now with the advent of postmodernism we can be both. (Or is it neither?)
So, in an effort to bring some unification to the opposing sides of the theological debate, we now present Postmodern Liturgy.
Leader: The Lord be with you.
Persons of all genders, creeds, theologies, ideological backgrounds including but not limited to Christianity in all its denomina- tional forms: And also with you, providing you are not referring to a gender-specific denominational-claiming deity, but, if you are, that’s okay.
Leader: Let us lift up our hearts.
Persons of all genders, creeds, theo…yada yada yada: We, being both the collective body gathered here as well as the collective persons living on the earth, who may or may not want to be included in the pronoun we, do lift them up to the Lord with the understanding that the word upis not the only way to recognize the direction of an all-loving but still judging God, because that God is not just up but all around us.
Leader: Let us give thanks to God..
Same group as before: It is right, though not entirely required, based on the idea that right may be geographically influenced to give him/her/it/father/mother/sister/ brother thanks and praise, which can be expressed in a multitude of ways with the understanding that no one way is the actual way preferred by the aforementioned deity.
Leader: It is a right and good and joyful thing always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Father, Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
People: Yeah, whatever.
Leader: And now as our savior Christ taught, we are bold to say,
People: Our non-gender specific parent, who resides in an unknown place in both our hearts and beyond our universe,
Holy is your name, even if we don’t get to know what it is specifically,
Your kingdom come, though it may already be here and we’re just failing to tap into it,
Your will be done, if you could just send a post-it note to let us know what it is so we stop making charts,
On earth and any other planets where you have seen fit to create or at least start the process of creating life, not limited to single celled organisms with or without the influence of divine evolution,
As it is in the place of eternal happiness that we mentioned before.
And give us this day, or whenever it pleases you (we aren’t complaining or anything), our daily bread made from low-carb flowers that did not endanger any forms of life—plant, animal or vegetable,
And forgive us our debts/trespasses/sins, though we believe you are a loving God who does not keep track anyway so we don’t need to be forgiven except by those who are supposed to be following your lead on this anyway,
And lead us not into a state of mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional desire for things that may or may not be considered wrong by the majority of the geographically-oriented culture we happen to come from—either way it’s our parents’ fault,
But deliver us from those things which we like but are not necessarily condemned for liking or doing,
For thine is the kingdom, which, as you know, is both here and there,
And the power, which we may choose or not choose to recognize,
And the glory, which you deserve but may or may not actually require from us,
Forever, which is figurative anyway.
Amen and Amen.
Dear God, help us all. Amen.
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