Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The ritual is not the goal

Alan Knox wrote a great post on rituals in the church, When Ritual Loses Meaning. There are lots of rituals and traditions in the church. Most of them started out having a reason but similarly many of them have lost that meaning. Only the ritual remains. The reason for the ritual is gone and what is left is the ritual for the sake of the ritual, the ritual becomes an end in and of itself. Good stuff!

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Edwin said...

"The ritual is not the goal." Agree. Worship is the chief goal. But then, I don't know anyone who says ritual is the goal.

Arthur Sido said...


I would agree that no one would say that the ritual was the goal but I think that the practical reality is that many people show up on Sunday morning precisley because the ritual is their goal.

Edwin said...

Oh I know no one will say that the ritual is their goal. I was just poking fun a bit at the title.

In fact, we all (and I stress all) suffer from this tendency. We all tend toward idolatry and dry ritualism. So in that regard, it is always a good reminder that Jesus said we are to worship him in Spirit and in truth.

Tim A said...

Jesus used the words "vain repetition" to describe ritualized behaviors claimed by mankind to be appealing to God. The work of the Holy Spirit, is so much the opposite as stated in John 3. His work is like the wind, unpredictable. You don't know where it's coming from or going to...so is everyone who is born of the Spirit. Ritualized gatherings of believers are Satan's lure to sucker believers out of doing what God asked for - highly relational and heart expressive dynamic.