An Ecumenical Church

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Godspell, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. I've been thinking, a lot of attempts at uniting the Christian Church seems to focus on compromising on articles of faith, but what about trying to integrate services to have both the high and low church services?

    Most protestants hold essentially the same articles of faith, and I would like to see a more united interfaith dialogue.
  2. Major likes this.
  3. Perhaps these are the definitions --
    High Church: the church has both a boys' choir and a professional soprano as well as a working pipe organ from the early '40s
    Broad Church: the church has a very good tenor and a hidden keyboard
    Low Church: the church has a three-person praise team and a band that includes at least one guitar, a drum set, bongos, and various other instrumentalists who each show up sometimes.

    Well, really, I am not sure how well these terms work today. Are they broadly used? But perhaps the terms are not really what you wish to discuss. Maybe you wish only to discuss dialogue, because in reality, while the articles of faith may look similar, they really are not, and the ways they are practiced differ from church to church. (Within the Baptist churches alone, they vary strongly.) I have learned that how their statements read means nothing, especially when even the words' definitions vary from congregation to congregation and even from congregant to congregant!

    Or perhaps you are crying out, as did Rodney King, "I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along?"

    Actually, if that is your purpose, I think that most of the time, the people on CFS do get along very well. I find most people to be gentle and considerate, and there are some I could name as experts at this.
    Silk and Major say Amen and like this.
  4. I had the same question as did you my dear. High, low ???

    I think that we need to understand that when you throw hundreds of people with different backgrounds and nationality along with totally different backgrounds in faith together, you will always have some confrontational differences and disagreements. It is impossible not to have it happen.

    I had assumed that they were "Contemporary" as opposed to "Traditional" services. That is simply the type of singing and worship done by the congregation and not articles of faith and doctrine. Or maybe I am not understanding the point being made.
    TezriLi likes this.
  5. You know... There was a time where I was really bothered by all the denominations... and even divisions within denominations.... and THEN - where you ran into Churches in the Church parking lot - where there had been a church split - and one faction moved across the street...

    Then... God kinda straightened me out....

    A couple realizations....
    If there is ONE earthly Administration - then it is EASY for that ONE corrupt administration to corrupt the ENTIRE body of Christ.....

    Sometimes, God may let a church continue to trudge on with a leadership full of troublemakers as a way to keep those troublemakers OUT of other churches..... I have experienced this - and it's kinda scary when you see it....

    Many times - people group together where they are comfortable.... That leads to some churches being very traditional... Others being very modern... Some are very liberal... Some very conservative.... This is good when people are Zealous for Christ - and use their common gifts to produce Action and Service to benefit the Body of Christ.... (I wish you were either hot or cold....)

    When we mush everybody together - we have to beat down all the strong, zealous desire for action.. We have to beat down disagreements over this or that.... and what tends to happen is that in the moderation - no one is zealous for anything ... so no action happens..... (But you are Lukewarm - so I will vomit you out of my mouth)

    Where we make serious mistakes is throwing rocks at the other guy for being different... Sure... Understand the difference... That's not the place for YOU... but be able to recognize the Work of God taking place..... There is FAR too much sniping and throwing rocks at EACHOTHER going on.... It's destroying good ministries - and bad ones are profiting because WE refuse to discern between attacks ON Godly men by men who are only out to sow discord, division, envy, condemnation, hate - to elevate their OWN positions and enrich themselves.....

    Anyway... That's where I am currently at in my thinking....
    Silk and TezriLi say Amen and like this.
  6. ^^^ Enjoyed your thoughts, @JohnC .
  7. I've heard it used with respect to high church and low church Anglicanism, although Major is right "contemporary/traditional" is probably a better description.

    Nevertheless, my think was a service that included a traditional one in the morning, communion, and then a more contemporary service. Most people who like the traditional services are old and get up early, so I thought that would be a good set up :X3:

    Mostly I'm thinking of an anti-schimatic denomination to try to heal the wounds that have been inflicted to the faith.
    TezriLi likes this.
  8. The High Church was for the rich, the nobles, the aristocrats (those who thought themselves the elect of God, the reflection of His blessing)....the "low" church was for the poor, downtrodden, the outcasts (you know...all the people Jesus loved who knew they were sinners grateful for His grace)...
    TezriLi and Silk say Amen and like this.
  9. My (perhaps incorrect) understanding has always been that the high (Anglican) church tends more towards Roman Catholicism in its approach to services and that there has been some type of high/low division within the Anglican church for centuries.

    I'd understand "traditional/contemporary" services as something along the lines of TezriLi's high/low church definitions above.

    The group* of Anglican churches I'm trying to get to would (as far as I know) be classed as low church but there are worship events that follow a sort of laid down order of prayer, etc. and, I believe' more informal gatherings and you could either encounter the church organ or an informal group of guitar, etc.

    (*It's the set up with the rural churches round here - small villages and not much congregation - not all churches in this group have a service each Sunday and the one I'd most like to try to support is just restarting and operating on 2 services a month. Sometimes there is a group service where only one of the 7 churches has a Sunday service.)
  10. This may be a silly question, but how can services be both high and low at the same time?
  11. #11 boltardy, Aug 18, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
    I'm not sure that they could be but I'd think mixes of "contemporary" and "traditional" quite possible (added: within "low church")...
  12. And fwiw, here is Wikipedia's opening for "high church"

    "The term "High Church" refers to beliefs and practices of ecclesiology, liturgy and theology, generally with an emphasis on formality and resistance to "modernisation". Although used in connection with various Christian traditions, the term originated in and has been principally associated with the Anglican tradition, where it describes Anglican churches using a number of ritual practices associated in the popular mind with Roman Catholicism. The term's corresponding counterpart is low church. Contemporary media discussing Anglican churches tend to prefer "evangelical" to "low church", and Anglo-Catholic to "high church", though the terms do not exactly correspond."​
  13. Wouldn't mixing the two contradict one another? For instance, the idea of a high service or high mass is that it is intended to offer devout reverence without compromise. If elements of a low mass were included, then it no longer becomes high mass.

    I often prefer high mass for that reason of reverence, but not very many parishes practice it anymore which is unfortunate. Some people are actually against it and think it is disrespectful.
  14. I'm using my understanding of the high/low and of traditional/contempory services and had added "within low church" to the post you are replying to. I'm not sure if you'd read that. To try to clarify:

    I don't see how the high church mass would mix with low church.

    I don't see why low church can not mix contemporary and traditional elements in a service.
  15. Ah, I understand now. And you're right. While the high form of service/mass cannot mix with low, the low can adapt elements of the high.
  16. When I was a little child and went to a Church once (Anglican) there were two areas...upstairs all the well to do's with their high hats and fancy clothes sat (and it all was very Romish)...downstairs where we had to go was more simplistic and rustic, but obviously we were the poor, dressed very simply, who the high fancy dressed people upstairs looked down on socially (a definite British class distinction)...both areas used the book of common prayer and followed what I now know to be the same lexicon....I do not remember seeing a Bible in the whole place (up or down). Perhaps that memory is where I derive my thoughts.

  17. Yes the feature where the "nobility" sit at a higher level (although you make it sound like different floors rather than a raised area?) exists in a number of churches. I don't believe this represents the high/low church differences expressed above though.

    As a side comment and a possible extension to your comments. One theory I have heard regarding the number of fine looking churches in for example Norfolk (UK) where I live was that the nobility also had the desire to have their church the grandest. Not all churches survived though.
  18. It's a shame when either people think the high mass/service is aimed for nobles or when they actually are by crooked church directors in order to separate classes.
  19. Some Orthodox churches have a balcony section upstairs, but that is usually for the choir.
    In the Presbyterian church we went to when I was very young the upstairs was used to store the old and/or damaged pews.
    I guess we didn't have enough wealthy Presbyterians to make clearing the "high seats" out a priority.

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