Wolfmueller: On Online Worship

 Pastor Wolfmueller was kind enough to respond to my voice message on What Not: The Podcast. I will try not to let his complement of "very well stated" go to my head, dear reader.

 Distilling his response: 

 There are different energies to the Word and Sacrament. The Word scatters, the Sacrament gathers. The Word (written and spoken) travels through space and time just fine. The Sacrament gathers, you have to come to the table, take the elements and eat them. You can't do them apart from one another. Both are good, both are necessary. 

 The goal of online catechesis - podcasts, etc. - is to end up at your local church's altar. It is only supplemental to participation in the local congregation. The church is both synagogue (gathered together) and ecclesia (called out).

 Worship is something fuller than catechesis - a shadow of the heavenly throne room - where the Liturgy takes its shape. Conversation between the Father, Son and Spirit (the Word, preached), a courtroom case, determining us to be innocent (sacrament of the altar and absolution), receiving our prayers and praise. We are on the receiving end of God's giving. 

 Personal devotions, study, family devotion cannot replace the gathering of the body of Christ and that cannot happen virtually. That's a gnostic dream. Gnosticism is the root to these heresies - the physical bad, spirit good - it's an un-reality, it's not true. If the thing itself is not true, then how can it contain the truth of the Lord's word and how can we worship in there in spirit and truth?