MORNINGS SET IN CONCRETE
"Custom without truth is error grown old."
—TERTULLIAN, THIRD-CENTURY THEOLOGIAN
"Son of man, describe to the people of Israel the Temple I have shown you, so they will be ashamed." —EZEKIEL 43:10, nlt
IF YOU ARE A CHURCHGOING CHRISTIAN, it is likely that you observe the same perfunctory order of worship every time you go to church. It does not matter what stripe of Protestantism you belong to—be it Baptist, Methodist, Reformed, Presbyterian, Evangelical Free, Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, CMA, Pentecostal, Charismatic, or nondenomi-national—your Sunday morning service is virtually identical to that of all other Protestant churches.' Even among the so-called cutting-edge denominations (like the Vineyard and Calvary Chapel), the variations are minor.
Granted, some churches use contemporary choruses while others use hymns. In some churches, congregants raise their hands. In others, their hands never get above their hips. Some churches observe the Lord's Supper weekly. Others observe it quarterly. In some churches, the liturgy (order of worship) is written out in a bul-letin.2 In others, the liturgy is unwritten, yet it is just as mechanical and predictable as if it were set to print. Despite these slight variations, the order of worship is essentially the same in virtually all Protestant churches.
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