I’m beginning to understand how some Catholics have felt in being demonized and feeling bigotry. While I don’t believe it’s intentional… there are a lot of mistruths and “generalizations” here that are simply untrue.
[quote=cecelia]It really doesn’t have to be a negative threadl; rather it could be used to bring forth and discuss some generalities regarding the Protestant mode of worship. Yes, the service is pastor-centered, especially in the black churches, and the congregation will definitely let the pastor know if he “delivered.” On the other hand, if he does not, then many in the congregation will simply find someone who does. Moreover, a well dresses pastor attracts many well-to-do members who view the pastor as a reflection of themselves. The pastor has to dress sharp and perform well, and I use that word “perform” in the broad sense. But he does have to satisfy the congregation.
I can only speak from a United Methodist/Anglican perspective… but worship is not pastor-centered; it is Word and Table centered. Liturgy is the “work of the people.” In my work as a pastor, I’m not expected to deliver; I’m expected to be pastor, priest, and prophet, and simply one of many who does the work of ministry, but set apart for Word, Sacrament, and Order. If I “performed”, my bishop would probably put me on leave of absence. Since I vest, no one during worship has any idea what I’m wearing; it’s not about me, it’s about Christ.
[quote=cecelia]It should not ever be about the pastor, but because there is no sacrifice, because there is no priest confecting the Eucharist, you have a manmade substitute, which, to no one’s surprise, focuses on man, and the man happens to be the pastor. He becomes the focal point,and he becomes the performer, and his performance has to fit the whims of his particular congregation, so the whole dynamic becomes very circular. The focus on the pastor can cause one to become prideful in contrast to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which transcends any particular priest.
You may not recognize my ordination as valid… that is the right of your communion. But the communion into which I was ordained DOES, and moreover, fully expects the focus of ministry and worship to be on Christ and NOT me. When I celebrate the Eucharist, I am representing Christ, not myself - and the focal point is Christ, not me. It is that same focus that takes place during the sermon/homily - the focus is on Christ the Word, not the preacher. There is certainly some prideful preaching going on… but as someone said above, there are also some prideful Catholic priests in this world (one Catholic priest in a town I once lived was called “Father Hollywood” instead of his given name).
[quote=Cecelia]Pointing this out is not negative, but what it does do it point out the inevitable extensions of a Protestant worldview which focuses on the self as the determinant of what is true and what is not. The Protestant service is devoid of an Incarnational worldwiew, but instead focuses on the coming together of the community under under the preaching of the pastor.
If that’s not a negative and a prejudicial (if not bigoted) statement, I don’t know what is. To say that a Protestant service is devoid of an incarnational worldview is tantamount to spitting on Protestant Christians and their worship.
[quote=Cecelia]If the Mass is conducted the way it should be, then the priest should really be interchangeable. If the Mass were conducted in Latin with the priest facing the altar, leading the congregation in the sacrifice, it theoretically makes no difference which priest it is because his role is superseded by the miracle which takes place on the altar.
I may be mistaken… but I believe the Catholic Church disagrees with you in practice and doctrine on this matter. In short: Christ doesn’t turn His back on His people.
Protestants have no supernatural action which takes place at their service, so the minds of he congretation are focused elsewhere, on the pastor, which can lead to occasions of pride.
In the opinion of you and Catholic Church. However, my communion disagrees. Besides God’s action in baptism (which, I believe the Catholic Church DOES recognize), God is present in the Word and at the Table. God’s Mystery and “supernatural” presence are there… so your claim doesn’t have much merit, except in your own eyes.
Cecelia, I would suggest that you reevaluate your definitions of “negative.”