Monday, December 05, 2005

Any evangelicals out there?

Although I know that this is a very broad classification, I didn't know if anyone more knowledgeable than I on this topic (which would be just about anyone out there, probably) could help me make sense of this. Please understand that I mean no offense with this question, not trying in the least to be snarky .... I'm really wanting to figure it out.

So, on the way to school this morning, I heard on the radio that the big megachurch in Lexington, along with various other megachurches throughout the country, will be cancelling their church services on Christmas Day (because it falls on a Sunday) so that the staff can spend the day with their families.

Now, I like the idea of making sure they have family time, but I wasn't sure about how they were making family time. For us, we've got our twice-a-year Catholics, who only show up to church on Easter and Christmas, so the idea of not having Christmas services is kinda mind-boggling to me. Is there a different level of emphasis for whichever evangelical groups sponsor the megachurches (see, I don't even have the right vocabulary to use!), or does the idea of "going to church" have a different spin than it does for us Catholics?

Thanks for enlightening me!

10 Comments:

Blogger Michelle said...

Hmm...well, I think for Evangelicals (I grew up as one so I guess there's still a little bit of it in me) going to church is a lot like a glorified Bible Study. The main point of it is the sermon, as opposed to the Eucharist for us.

There's usually not a liturgical calandar beyond a vague sort of acknowlegement of Advent, so there's not the yearly activity of preparing for and then celebrating the birth of Christ using the same rituals year in and year out.

The whole thing is about coming to hear and sing some good music and then hear a good sermon. Since you can do that any day, and since it puts all the emphasis on the pastor(s) working for the congregants (who pay his/their salary/ies), I can see why they would decide to maybe do something Christmas Eve and then not really bother Christmas morning since everyone wants to open presents and such.

12/06/2005 4:28 AM  
Blogger Lorem ipsum said...

I think it might fall under 'keeping the Sabbath holy,' which means not necessarily going to church but doing good things.

Maybe they sneak in an extra service the night before?

(What do I know, I only get stuck in traffic outside the megachurch by me.)

12/06/2005 8:27 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

This came up on Open Book yesterday and there is a lot of information in the comments section.

12/06/2005 10:12 AM  
Anonymous A said...

Well, I was going to respond, but then I no longer claim evangelicalism. And the kind of thinking that would lead to a just plain wrong decision such as these chaurches ahve made is an example of why I have departed....

See these posts if you care to. They say it well I think:

http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2005/12/churches-closed-on-christmas.html
http://petermatthews.blogspot.com/2005/12/close-church-with-bows-of-holly-fa-la.html

12/06/2005 11:54 AM  
Anonymous A said...

Let's see if this works:

Churches Closed on Christmas?

close the church with bows of holly"

12/06/2005 1:31 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I went over to Open Book and thought the discussion was pretty interesting.

As an atheist it's not something I think about but having grown up a Catholic in a devout Irish Catholic extended family, no Christmas Mass would evoke the names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph with the instructions to 'put the sign of the cross on your face' and the woorah woorah that the apocolypse was close at hand.

12/06/2005 1:34 PM  
Blogger Greg Hazelrig said...

I think it's an awful testimony to how we are conforming to this world.

12/06/2005 10:51 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

It seems absolutely extraordinary to me, as a fairly Catholic Anglican....We are rejoicing that Christmas is on a Sunday...last year when it was on the Saturday, that meant that we had a whole day of extra services, and that between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day lunchtime there were a total of 10 services, all but 3 of them Eucharists.

12/07/2005 11:37 AM  
Blogger see-through faith said...

I am appalled

the church is the body of Christ
we should WANT to worship God on the Lord's day
We should especially wnat to do that on Christmas day

I don't give two hoots if we choose to celebrate the Eucharist or not - but church yes, as a family yes, as a get away from all the presents,fuss and commericalism yes

I don't care how many services you have on 24th - there should be enough services on Christmas day (all day if needs be) for the members of your church

mega churchs have mega staff if there is a need for multiple services then they do one or two of them not all

I don't care that people might wante to open their presents instead - it really makes me question what kind of faith they are installing if the church is closed on Christmas day

sorry but this has hit a BIG and DEEP nerve!

12/07/2005 12:02 PM  
Blogger Carson said...

Different spin. Church isn't required for drawing close to God. The pastor doesn't operate in the same role as the priest (as the mediator, confessor, etc.) So the personal time studying & reflecting on God, Jesus & the Word made Flesh can be done at home. They don't celebrate Lord's Supper (non-Catholic term for Eucharist) weekly, at least not across the board.

12/07/2005 4:45 PM  

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