Sunday, May 29, 2011

Widgets

What if God Hates our Worship? (Reprise)

"Get Your Praise On?"  What does this mean exactly?
As we prepare ourselves for worship today, Mrs Jailer dug up one of my older posts, in which I asked the question, "What if our worship works great for us, but God hates it, because when he scratches down below the surface, he recognizes it's all about us?"  She then drew my attention to some comments by a reader identified only as "Ian". She really appreciated some of his comments, which I will highlight below.
One of my greatest concerns for the church today is the way we shout nonsense to a loud and rhythmic tune.
Personally, I'd be elated to come into a church service where we worshipped by being still and knowing that He is God.

Don't get me wrong: I love my church--this is a problem in every church that I have been part of over 20 years. When the Spirit isn't moving, let's turn up the volume!! 
Subsequently he replied to another reader and moved in a more positive direction ...
I have to qualify my statements there Keith, because I was in "blunt mode" when I wrote that. One of the great contributions that the church has given to the world is the gift of music and arts. Few people know that system of musical composure was developed by a Christian monk, as a means of incorporating all of the vocal and instrumental pieces he wanted to create. Without this, written music and orchestration as we know it today could not be possible.

Poetry and music are integral to the Bible, from the earliest writings. But, I think that [Jailer's] point is well taken that God may be bored and offended by the way that we have made music the center piece of worship. Most churches (mine included) have put a band or choir up front, to perform for us in an audience; which is completely wrong. Worship is about us performing for God - an audience of one.

This was made very poignantly for me at a funeral I attended some years ago in a more traditional-liturgical church. At the benediction, we were to sing a hymn and I was completely rocked to my core with worship when the choir--above and unseen behind me--led into the hymn. I felt like heaven itself was joining with me to worship God. Rather than being a distraction, as most singers on the platform can be, it was a boon to my own sense of worship to God--who was my audience.
If every Sunday congregant could learn to consider the quality of his or her worship in such a substantial way, many of our stylistic concerns would fade gently into the background.

P.S. - If you're waiting for the next installment in the "Born Again" series, it's coming. This is just a Sunday interlude. :)

1 comment:

  1. It's always been a form of rebellion to want to worship in a way that's comfortable or meaningful to us. I imagine that Cain sincerely thought that what he was bringing was a right and just offering. It’s hard to come to the conclusion of the regulative principle of worship that we cannot come to God in just whatever way we want without it ultimately being, as Jailer points out, about us.

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