Sunday, April 26, 2015

BEFUDDLED IN MACON!

St. Teresa of Avila Church in Grovetown (Augusta) is hosting on Monday night a concert with Matt Maher. He is a Catholic contemporary Christian music composer and singer.

I just found out, too, that Matt Maher is doing the exact same concert tonight here in Macon! But not at a Catholic Church, but one of Macon's largest Southern Baptist Churches, Inglside Baptist Church.

Ingleside Baptist Church is not your father's Southern Baptist Church. It is very contemporary and charismatic in style. But it is not very friendly to the theology and teachings of the Catholic Church and in fact I've heard that in some of the sermons there the Catholic Church is not spoken of in endearing ways.

So I am befuddled that this particular Baptist Church in Macon is hosting a well known Catholic artist and we Catholics weren't invited to it directly. You would have thunk that whoever organized it at Inglside would have invited St. Joseph parishioners or our Catholic high school to go.

Am I missing something?

Here is an article on Matt Maher that makes quite explicit his Catholic Faith and devotion:

Matt Maher

Unity comes through dialog through relationships

Matt Maher is a contemporary worship leader in the Catholic faith. Since most people outside of the Catholic faith find “contemporary worship” and “Catholic” to be two things they would never associate as going together, I asked Matt to describe himself and what he does for me. Here is what he had to say:

 I am a worship leader out of Mesa Arizona. Primarily I work full time at a church. I’ve done some touring and traveling over the years, but I work 20 hours a week as a worship leader and 20 hours a week as young adult minister.…

I lead a college Bible study. It’s a Catholic Church, which kind of surprises a lot of people. The joy that I really feel, as part of my ministry, is that I'’ve been kind of going out more and traveling and working with different people breaking down those stereotypes because people have a lot of Catholic stereotypes. I a’m just letting them know that there is a generation, now rising, of Catholics who recognize the gift of Salvation that’s been given to them and that see the need for a daily relationship with Jesus and pursue it. And pursue Him actively in His Word, and also pursue it in the Sacrament. 

Primarily, I think the way that God has been using me to reach out to people is through worship. I think there’s kind of a format that’s developed. I lead worship every week. I do a Mass every Sunday night at 6 PM at my church, Saint Tims, and on Tuesday nights we do a thing called XLT. Basically what it is is a gathering for high school and college students. It’s consistent with about 40 minutes of worship, 20 to 25 minutes of teaching and about 25 to 30 minutes of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

It’s been really powerful to see that happen and to see these different elements kind of from post-modern culture and Christianity, not clashing, but colliding with something as ancient and ritualistic as the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. And it’s been phenomenal to see the fruit come from that.

I just got off the phone this morning and found out that I was asked this fall to Atlanta to the NCYC, which is the National Catholic Youth Conference. It’s the largest single Catholic youth conference in the world, or maybe it’s just North America. I mean, there’s World Youth Day, but a straight-up conference for high school students, I think this is the largest one in the world.

We’re going to do a XLT worship night in an auditorium that seats 15000 people. It will be sometime in November or December. So I’m already excited. I'’ve done a lot of work throughout the country with a ministry called Life Teen, which is a parish based youth ministry program that’s designed to help provide and develop resources for youth ministers to reach their teens and lead them to Christ.

I’'ve mostly just done music with them. I’'ve also worked with the Franciscan University of Steubenville at the summer youth conferences. I'’ve led worship at a couple of those. So that’s kind of what I do. It’s kind of a big myriad or a smattering of things.

What I'’ve realized too is that the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few. The reality is that because of the denominational barriers that exist, there are so few laborers in the Catholic Church. You know, I think it’s a move that God is doing. It’s not about me, it’s about unity and not just playing at unity by basically saying, “Well, we’ll let Catholics come here and hang out with us.” There’s a guy that I'’ve been developing a friendship with whose name is J. D. Walt. He’'s the Dean of Chapel at Asbury Seminary in Kentucky. He'’s just a phenomenal preacher, a great man, a great husband and loving father. He and I have just been dialoging and he said something really profound. He said that unity comes through dialog through relationships. I was like that. It is really true.
 

14 comments:

JBS said...

He looks like an Anglican bishop.

Julian Barkin said...

Alright if he is clearly Catholic, then why didn't your bishoo give him a parish hall, or use your diocese's strict restrictions combined with church Law about performances, to give him a stage? Or did Maher purposely skirt your bishop for a reason or another and is performing in the Christian church on purpose?

Kneeling Catholic said...

Two words, Father.....LIFE TEEN!

(http://kneelingcatholic.blogspot.com/search?q=lifeteen)

(http://kneelingcatholic.blogspot.com/search?q=matt+maher)

George said...

Perhaps he can have a good effect on our Baptist neighbors over at Ingleside. I wonder about the terminlogy here, What is a worship leader? If someone were to ask me who is the worship leader in our Church, I would tell them it is the priest; though I would then have to explain that he is more than just a "worship leader".
Mr Maher says" I do a Mass every Sunday night at 6 PM at my church." What is this "doing a Mass"? He then days " on Tuesday nights we do a thing called XLT. Basically what it is is a gathering for high school and college students. It’s consistent with about 40 minutes of worship, 20 to 25 minutes of teaching and about 25 to 30 minutes of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament." I'm wondering what 40 minutes of worship consists of?. Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is what I consider to be worship of God. No mention of recitation of the rosary either . Bible study is all well and good but for a Catholic, catechetical teaching is also necessary. If this keeps young people from straying from the faith then it will have accomplished something good. Are they getting a good grounding in the Catholic Faith though? We can only hope and pray they are. At any rate it seems like Mr Maher is countering the Protestants with their own methods to reach the youth..
I do wonder about his "Protestant minister" look in the picture you have posted of him.

Daniel said...

I think Southern Catholics underestimate the amount of animosity among Southern Baptists toward their faith. There's some common ground with conservative Catholics on political issues, but that doesn't mean it's all kumbaya out there. That's especially true in Macon, where you hear some occasional snideness about the magnificence of St. Joe's.

John Nolan said...

We don't have 'worship leaders' in the Catholic Church, or am I missing something?

I've checked out Maher's oeuvre and it's a) derivative and b) devoid of any musical merit.

gobshite said...

This is the kind of activity and the kind of person who is regularly derided....mocked...by most of you Christian Catholics. Now you're pouting because you didn't get invited to the prom?

Maybe you're not as beloved and admired as you think.

John Nolan's remarks make me wish I could see him.

Flavius Hesychius said...

This is the kind of activity and the kind of person who is regularly derided....mocked...by most of you Christian Catholics. Now you're pouting because you didn't get invited to the prom?

I guess I get a pass since I'm not Catholic, but I'm not pouting, either, so I don't know why I'm even responding here. I just can't help it. Feeding the trolls is fun, regardless of what 'they' say.

Of course, I wouldn't go to the 'prom' anyway. I'm quite proud of boldly skipping it both times I was eligible to go.

gobshite said...

Flavius....Why are you "proud of boldly skipping" two proms? Are you male? Most guys who skip proms do it because they can't get a date. Are you female? Most girls who skip proms do it because the don't get asked. Are you gay. Most gay people who skip proms do it because they are often derided...mocked by the other students.

Also curious about why somebody who isn't a Catholic would be hanging around here. Are you thinking of becoming a Catholic?

We trolls are the ones who do the feeding. We cast in the bait. You bite the hook.

DJR said...

Daniel said...
I think Southern Catholics underestimate the amount of animosity among Southern Baptists toward their faith.


I'm "Southern Catholic," and I sure don't underestimate the animosity of (some) Southern Baptists toward the Faith.

However, they, like Catholics are all over the board. Some are hard core "anti's"; others have a great deal of respect for the Church.

In times past, the Southern Baptist Convention was a pro-abortion organization, and Baptists are generally pro-contraception, so it is not surprising that there would be tension with the Catholic Church, even over and above the usual "Whore of Babylon" Jack Chick type stuff.

DJR

Paul said...

Baptist-friendly watered-down Catholicism to convert the youth and unwary to a more "loving" and "dialog creating" Catholic Church? Everyone knows the Catholics are haters.

WSquared said...

Matt Maher's music is all right, as is some of the latest Christian pop (I'd rather listen to Maher or Audrey Assad, and Assad is genuinely thought-provoking, than the likes of Beyonce)...

...just so long as we don't have to hear it at Mass: Mass is the re-presentation of Calvary, and it is a sober, even if joyful, event. Much to most contemporary Christian music doesn't convey that well: see, the Word Made Flesh isn't just about "the lyrics," and that they "come from Scripture," because He was never just words on a page. Moreover, Maher may be better listening than Beyonce or Maroon 5, but with Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony, there is no comparison at all.

Also, I have to say that the "worship leader" thing rubs me the wrong way: I'm part of an a capella choir, and we are not "worship leaders," and our job is not to "lead" anyone anywhere at Mass. What we sing has to be what is not only "part" of the liturgy, but the liturgy, period. We are to enter into the liturgy, into the Sacred Mysteries, without drawing attention to ourselves.

Flavius Hesychius said...

Yes, gobshite, I know the meaning of 'derided'.

Since I find the 'are you queer' proposition the most amusing amongst them all, we'll go with that explanation. If only because it's rib-breakingly hilarious.

(Although, I guess I'm fine admitting I've never experienced a heterosexual feeling in my life, to say nothing of homosexual feelings)

Also curious about why somebody who isn't a Catholic would be hanging around here. Are you thinking of becoming a Catholic?

Well, I was a Catholic. But now I'm not. Rome says I still am, but I'm merely 'excommunicated'.

Despite being Orthodox, I still find this blog interesting, given I still find Western liturgical subjects interesting. Ironically enough, converting to Orthodoxy has given me a much richer appreciation of some of the Latin rite's subtlety, and the more muted beauty thereof.

I wish Fr. M would write more about the Office, since it is the other part of liturgical worship. But alas, what he writes about is his discretion, whereas I am but a reader.

John Nolan said...

gobshite


'John Nolan's remarks make we wish I could see him'. You're not the first person who on remarking my obvious erudition would wish to beat a path to my door. Should you be so anxious to see me I'm sure Fr McDonald can supply you with my contact details.

I do charge a modest fee, however. Education doesn't come cheap.