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Worship! May 3, 2005

Posted by roopster in Bible, Christianity, faith, God, Jesus, Religion, spirituality, Theology, worship.
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Worship is big business today. Worship CDs are in great demand. Many modern Christian bands adapt the style of worship music made popular by bands like Third Day and Delirious because it sells CDs. The Charismatic style worship services have moved to mainline denominations, and many of these churches now have ‘contemporary’ services. People now select a church based on the quality of the worship band. And in the midst of it all, I believe we’ve lost what worship is really all about.

If my kids come up to me and tell me they love me and in the next breath ask for something, the sincerity of their “I love you” is questionable. It’s not that they don’t love me, but their statement was made with a hidden agenda. However, the occasional “I love you” without any expectations is extremely pleasing.

What most Christians now call worship is nothing more than an attempt to experience a good feeling since they approach a “worship service” with that expectation. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with entertainment or having a great experience, however, call it what it is. Many in charismatic circles have even been conditioned to call this feeling “the anointing.”

True worship has nothing to do with singing repetitive songs to some good music. Walking outside on a crisp autumn day and seeing the beauty of the falling leaves and acknowledging our creator is an act of worship. Watching your child laugh and play and being grateful for the gift of life is an act of worship.

I believe that if we wish to honor our creator, the occasional act of gratitude and honoring creation itself is true worship. Treating others well is an act of worship to our creator. Respecting our environment, is an act of worship to its creator.

So next time you attend a church service and experience a good feeling because of the music and the songs, remember it’s just an emotional response to stimulation not necessarily an act of worship. True worship has nothing to do with a building, a band, or a singer with a great voice. In fact, if you never attend another church service, you can still actively participate in honoring your creator (I’m currently testing this theory).

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Comments»

1. Monk-in-Training - April 26, 2005

Paul,
I think you are on to something, in fact James seems to say something about action in his statement that “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27)
I have joined a contemplative prayer group at a local Monastery, and the quietness before God is an amazing way of truely worshipping the Creator.

2. Roopster - April 26, 2005

MIT,

Great verse. One of my favorites is Micah 6:8

“No, O people, the LORD has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

Paul

3. Stellar - April 26, 2005

Nice blog. I agree totally. My favorite form of worship is being out in nature and just marveling at nature. I get more out of a simple walk than I do from any church service. This is pure and unadulterated worship because it is done spontaneous and sincere. This type of worship expects nothing in return and has no audience judging its sincerity other than nature itself.

4. MMM - April 26, 2005

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it.”–Alice Walker, The Color PurplePurple is my favorite color, by the way. 😉

5. Anonymous - November 22, 2006

Its very interesting to know that Adam and Eve enjoyed GOD’S presence without the aid of songs, dance etc…This is what our Cretaor wants…He wants us to enjoy HIs presence like they did in the Garden of Eden

6. Epiphanist - May 4, 2007

Two years has gone by and Paul is still right –

“17
Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.
18
And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
19
addressing one another (in) psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts,
20
giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.”

Get real. Ephesians 5.

7. Roz - May 4, 2007

Well said.

8. julieH - July 17, 2007

There is alot to worship God for in creation, and you have some great ways listed to honor your creator. Worship is about a lot more than singing, no argument there.

But worship, biblically, does include singing. The Psalms, included in the OT, is a whole book made up of song texts, there are 32 other references to singing in the OT, and in the NT, there are 9.

Picking a church based on style alone, yes, that’s bad. It’s a factor, but it shouldn’t be the only one, or even the most important one.

As far as songs, you are right, mindless repetition for it’s own sake will get you nowhere. If we are singing, we should be focused on what we are singing, and who we are singing to. Worship should not be about us, or achieving certain feelings. “So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.” 1 Cor 14:15

Repetition, if you treat it like meditating on a thought, if you focus on the lyrics, is not necessarily a bad thing. What are we saying to God when we sing that worship song?

I like charismatic services – not for an emotional high – but precisely because the music leaves some room for me to sing to God in my own words. It takes getting over a fear of looking stupid before the people around me, offering to God what I want to say to him, knowing it may not come out right.

Contemporary, classical, blended, whatever… any style is bad if you are being mindless about it. How many classical/liturgical churches just go through the motions?

Thanks for the post! 🙂


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