This post is about an article I just read that a friend put on Facebook. Before you read any more of what I have written, you might want to read this article.
I wish each of you that just read that article and I were all in a room together so I could hear your responses, and chat about them. The author begs the question, "If a worship service includes no prayer and no Bible reading, can we even recognize it as Christian worship?”
It is Christian’s worshipping, but ‘what is the focus of their worship?’ is the real question here. Emotional comfort, being “seeker friendly” so as not to make a visitor or newbie uncomfortable, keeping the “service” within a certain time frame, downplaying accountability, and being entertained and not edified, encouraged and oh never... exhorted are the elements of the average church Sunday morning gathering. God’s Word, which He exalts above His own name, true praise and worship~ the kind that isn’t just a rock concert goose-bump moment, but the kind that comes from within and generates true change and more intimacy with God, and prayer (quiet earnest talking with God where you give Him time to talk with you), are not the focus anymore. So, worship-... well by definition that means, “adoration”, “to move toward and kiss”, an “act of homage or reverence”, “to make obeisance (expressing deep respect by a courtesy as before a superior~ a bow, curtsy or other similar gesture)”-...at least worshipping God, is not even close here. That “service", gathering, is more about going to church than being the Church. This is not the Church God left us a blueprint for through the writing’s of the New Testament, this a social club with a better agenda than secular gatherings.
We are to worship in spirit and truth. I will offer a waiver here for my next sentence in regard to some pretty amazing charismatic church services I have been to. Sadly however, it is not often you see Holy Spirit movement in most churches, and a few verses of God’s Word laced into a sermon almost NEVER rightly divides the Word of Truth. If you are comfortable with this, I would want to ask you how much time you spend in the Word and with the Lord in private. I have heard it said that church is for the fellowshipping of believers. That is true, but not the total picture. We are the Church and that means more involvement than some guitar chords, driving drums and lyrics put to music?? that can not be sung by the masses, 3 points in a talk, a speedy prayer when we gather together, and then the quick exit out after superficial socializing so we can get to lunch.
True worship, the spirit and truth kind, is very powerful. This kind of corporate worship will feed your spirit, your soul and give you victory therein for your flesh. Anything that powerful the enemy is going to do whatever he can to destroy it, and he often settles for diminishing just enough to steal and destroy a Christian’s joy true worship brings, and therefore his power.
Matthew 15: 9 and Jesus’ statement about “vain worship” has gone through my mind while writing this, but while it to a degree fits here I think that is more about men’s doctrine. This issue probably comes a bit closer to the word “lukewarm".
This Tim Challies, while I have not looked at anything else on his blog making it unwise for me to make a blanket statement about him, or his blog, I will say this article is spot on. I have SO much more on my mind here, but I need to scoot. Tim Challies' article caused me to revisit what I already knew, but to give me a good little boost in the application of how important it really is to share God's Word, and invest my life in people for the the glory of God. I hope his article caused you to think about, or maybe even rethink "church". After-all,
"...whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."