Popcorn and Jesus (Hip Worship vs Mass)

Generally speaking I think extroverts are more comfortable in an evangelical service and introverts in a Catholic Mass. An evangelical worship service usually sounds like halftime at a college football game until the second or third song (coffee not popcorn, Bibles not Bud). The Mass more closely resembles a funeral.

Evangelicals can do a much better job at cultivating a spirit of prayerfulness before worship, and Catholics can improve by being more friendly (especially afterwards in the annex). But there is a larger theological point is at play that helps create these differences. For Catholics, the sanctuary truly is a holy place that requires reverence—Christ’s body is present in the tabernacle. In evangelicalism, no such doctrine exists.

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4 thoughts on “Popcorn and Jesus (Hip Worship vs Mass)

  1. I enjoy your blog. Christ’s body is present in “evangelical” churches during the worship service, too. The body is in the people, the “body of Christ”. While Catholics believe Christ is on a table, Evangelicals believe that Christ is in His people. Who believes what does not matter, though, as much as asking, “What does the Bible say in spite of what we believe?” Have a great day my friend.

    • Thank you Pastor Eric! Nice blog! Both Protestants and Catholics believe in the body of Christ apart from his physical body. As I understand it, Catholics call it the mystical body of Christ, and Protestants call it the invisible church. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_of_Christ#Roman_Catholicism_2

      I appreciate your question, and would have said the same thing myself not too long ago. I’d say the question that must be answered before yours though, is “Why should we believe the Bible is sufficient?” After a year of searching, the Protestant answers and verses (Psalm 19, 119, 2 Tim 3:16-17) wouldn’t suffice. How did I know we had the right 66 books? Why didn’t the Bible ever use the word sufficient? Why does 2 Thes 2:15 indicate it’s not sufficient? Did people believe in the sufficiency of scripture for the first 1500 years? Was that even possible in the early church? The inadequate answers were troubling enough for me to leave behind my dreams of being a Baptist missionary and withdraw from seminary with no future plans.

      • Good response! What it all boils down to then is “who has the authority?”. Is the authority in the 66 books of the Bible? Or is the authority in the Bible + Apocrypha + Pope/Church tradition? I believe that there is an embarrassment of reasons for believing the 66 books of the Bible to be true. That would be a good conversation in its own right. For now, though, I want to point out a few responses to some of your specific points:
        1. Doesn’t 2 Timothy 3:16 embody the very definition of sufficient? It lists 5 truths about the Word and its usage. What else could you ask the Bible to say?
        2. It is self-refuting to use the sufficiency of 2 Thessalonians 2:15 to cast doubt on the sufficiency of other Scriptures.
        3. What authority does the tradition of the Catholic Church claim if it does not in some way appeal to the authority of Scripture first?

        I really appreciate your humble response and your honest questions. I pray that more of us become like you in that we seek to believe what is true rather than what we are told.

      • Hi Pastor Eric!

        Yes, it’s the question of authority. I would make a slight tweak and say is it the Protestant Bible (66 books) or the Catholic Bible (written teaching) +Magisterium (not just Pope, interpretation of teaching) + Tradition (oral teaching). Catholics call it the three-legged stool.

        1. I think you could ask the Bible to say sufficient. I’m not trying to be difficult. As an evangelical it just seemed odd that the ideas that were at the heart of the Reformation, faith alone and sufficiency of scripture, were not spelled out in the Bible or the creeds. The analogy I came up with is if I told you scientists had come up with the best vitamin ever. All you needed to do is take it once a day and you would have all the major vitamins you needed for the next month. Would it be sufficient for survival? Of course not! But I could still extol its health benefits for pages on end! The Bible is awesome, I mean it is everything 2 Tim 3 and Psalm 19 and 119 say. It’s just not sufficient and doesn’t claim to be!

        Also, 2 Tim 3:16-17 is predicated on the leap that Paul is talking, by extension at least, about the New Testament canon. This goes back to the canon issues raised last post.

        2. I’m not sure I follow. To use a similar analogy, imagine you and I went on a 10 mile run and got water afterwards. You told me you thought water was sufficient for survival. When I disagreed you said I was inconsistent for drinking water if I didn’t think it was sufficient! You would be right if Catholics thought the Bible should never be used at all. The Bible is extremely important and should be used all the time! It’s just not sufficient!

        3. It’s just the three-legged stool I mentioned earlier. The written and oral teaching is connected. There’s plenty of verses to suggest oral teaching being passed on, and there were centuries before each church had their own Bible, even if it was incomplete!

        I love the Bible. I just think that as a Protestant I was misusing it. I still got a ton out of it but–here’s an analogy I heard someone use. It’s a bit harsh but it gets the point across. Sola Scriptura is someone running into a church, knocking over the priests in the procession on the way to the altar, grabbing the Bible out of the lectors hands, and running out screaming Sola Scriptura. The Bible is God’s Word that comes as a package as part of the Catholic Church. This is certainly the way it worked in the Old Testament. People didn’t just take the scrolls out and start their own Israel based on their interpretations of Numbers!

        Thanks for your thoughtful response and happy to continue dialogue!

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