Looking Forward to Church

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Gary M. Burge's "Are Evangelicals Missing God at Church?" [Oct. 6] starkly identified the frustrations and disappointments that I, a 29-year-old, have felt in traditional evangelical worship services for most of my adult life. Those feelings resulted last year in my joining a local Lutheran congregation that shares my evangelical views. I now look forward every week to a rich liturgical service that grasps the mystery and power of God while taking me directly to his throne. A close friend recently told me I am [now] a "monarchist" in worship style. He's right. Now I feel that I am worshiping God my King at church, not just talking to God my Friend.

Robert A. Abrams
Celina, Ohio

I mused over how evangelicals bored with singing hymns, prayer, the exposition and application of Scripture would react if they sat in on one of Jesus' services in a stone-cold Nazareth synagogue, reading from Isaiah. Then Jesus sits and applies the passage to the people. No icons, no stained-glass windows, no bells or incense. How boring! Looking through Scripture you see the apostles and prophets, the foundation of the church, and Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone of the church, singing, praying, preaching, and applying the Word. Don't they know that people need something to make them feel good?

Rev. Edward Gospodinsky
Pilgrim Congregational Church
Plymouth, Pa.

Burge emphasizes the primacy of the vertical relationship between God and us while de-emphasizing the horizontal relationship between believers. I, however, believe it is the horizontal relationships that give us distinction as Christians. God himself felt the need to establish a horizontal relationship with us and sent the Son to commune with humanity. Paul's ...

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