Because Protestantism offers either a neutered liturgy or none at all it has spiritually harmed countless people by making them slaves to their senses and emotions.
As we approach the five hundred year anniversary of the Protestant reformulation on October 31, 2017, I have been looking back and examining the new things that Protestantism brought. In the previous installment of this series (The Cycle of Insanity) I took a look at the cyclical and symptomatic evolution of ‘The Praxis Conference’ and its goal to reclaim the historical church’s priority on liturgy, art, and sacred space into the modern-day evangelical context. The issues that The Praxis Conference is attempting to resolve have been instigated by the perpetual question posed to Protestantism; that is, ‘What is missing from our space?’ Yet, the more profound question, at least for the purpose of this installment, is, ‘What has pretended to replace what has been missing from their space?’
The Purpose of Sacred Liturgy
The liturgy was established and ordained by God so that man could communally and publicly offer Him worthy thanksgiving and sacrifice for their atonement. Look no further than the religious duties assigned to priests and Levites in the book of Leviticus to discover the particular beauty and necessity that God and man found in the rites and rituals of Jewish liturgy. We know that the necessity of liturgy did not pass away in the new covenant, because YHWH decreed in Exodus 11:14 that the liturgy of the Passover meal would be perpetual (i.e. neverending), and in Matthew 5:17 Christ Jesus affirmed that He came not to abolish, but to fulfill the law and the prophets.
In the New Covenant, it is through the sacred liturgy that Christ uniquely encounters and ministers to His people; most uniquely through the Sacraments of the Church, but also through the recitation of the breviary. For their part, the people meet the Christ who has come to them through the vehicle of the liturgy to offer Him due worship and thanksgiving, and to obtain blessings, sanctification, and graces. Liturgy is an activity of love for the mind, body, and soul. It is far removed beyond what can be experienced or perceived by just one part of the self. The liturgy not only duly requires the fullness of man to participate, but it necessitates that he encounters the divine while in the community of gathered who are being made holy.
In the Absence of Sacred Liturgy
With the early novelties in the Protestant reformation, such as the Lutherans, Anglicans/Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Methodism there was and there remains to be a priority on liturgy; more or less. Yet, the reason why this priority could be sustained throughout the movement is because Protestantism, by its very nature, is indifferent to objective truth.