Posted by: reformbama | September 7, 2010

“Reverence In Worship”

A few years ago a friend of mine from high school, who is a pastor, that I have not seen in years got hold of my phone number and asked if I wanted to lead their youth group. As in the job was mine, no need to watch me teach, no need to know if I loved my wife, no need to verify any other qualifications. I thought that was odd and did not realize I had a rep, I didn’t. But I do have a goatee. I guess my first question was “Which church do you pastor?”, hoping it was not one of the Rick Warren infested mega wanna be’s, he answered “___________ Anglican”. I said whoa, OOOkaay. The first thing that came to mind was how liberal the Anglican Church was becoming like the Episcopal Church. You know, all the women and gays being ordained as pastors and so on. But I found out there are quite a few different branches of the Anglican Church and he assured me that his was quite conservative. So I agreed to go visit with the family. It was quite an experience. Of course I studied up a bit on a Anglican liturgical service and was not in as much shock as the rest of family.

There is something I need to throw in here. This comes at a time in my life where I was fed up with, and still am to a certain degree, with the lack of reverence in the typical church service. Everyone comes pouring into the “sanctuary” talking about everything but God. This continues on into the first song. Depending on your order of worship, most churches I have been to sing one or two songs and then stop to do the meet and greet. For me, (at this point after fighting with children to get up, disagreements on what mom wants everyone to wear, and all the typical stuff families go through before getting to church, you know everyone’s little hearts are in the right place to worship) is a worship killer. Why because after I make it to church without killing a family member or two I try to use bible study as a time to get my heart as right as possible. I have already, hopefully, managed to get past all the idle chit chat in the sanctuary before service and we are singing songs of worship to God and we stop our worship, of a Jealous Sovereign God, to go talk some more. Then the worship leader has got to get everyone gathered back into their seats to finish the rest of the songs. Have church leaders never noticed that the meet a greet has already taking place. We have one day a week for corporate worship to the ONE AND ONLY GOD, did I mention He is a JEALOUS God, and we want to turn it into a social event during service. Where is the awe and reverence? Where is the focus? Man or God. Go back and read Isaiah’s account on when he was in the presence of God. It may just be a problem for me and everyone else has a worship mode switch built in.

Back to the Anglican thing. The worship experience was reverent. There was a process to help prepare the heart, a reverence for the Word of God as it was presented. I just could not get past the way they did communion, it’s a hold over from the RCC, and the fancy robes and other unnecessary stuff.  Oh, I did not take the job by the way.

Well I said all of that just so I can point you to an article on worship. Maybe I should have just sent you there anyway. Go read it. I will know if you don’t. Keep in mind this does not mean I endorse the Lutheran Church.

Click Here:  Divine Service and Reverence

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Responses

  1. Ok, had to start this over as I had gone off on a tirade about parenting and watered down Christianity that removes any sense of awe, respect or fear of the Lord. This is something that is a personal pet peeve and I did not want to just fly off on a rant – however justified I think it might be.

    So that being said… Several years ago I was listening to an interview with two “pastors” each on a different side of the ‘should practicing homosexuals be ordained’ debate (like there should be a debate). The pastor who was againt ordination said something that I think reflects an attitude that has permeated and is the reason so many of these ridiculous teachings are allowed to take root and spread. He said that he serves a God of transformation not affirmation. We are taught that we need to accept people where they are, that we are to love them as God loves them. The thing is that is where many churches stop and a lot of bad teaching begins. Nowhere in scripture do I see examples of people who come to Christ being allowed to just continue in the state they were in when called. We place no real expectations on new believers, old believers, or sinners who enter the church we are all the same. While this sounds good how does this make us different than the world? If there are no expectations of change and growth what is there to respect and revere about God? Look back at your life, who are the people you have the most respect for… The ones who always let you have your way and do what you want or the ones who had expectations for you and challenged you to be more than you thought you could be.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that while I do not believe that we need a dress code or anything else to “prove” our piety, but I think we need to examine our attitudes when we are approaching worship. Are we approaching things with the attitude of “Well God loves me no matter what I wear to Church” (acceptance) or “I am here to worship my Creator and Saviour without whom I am nothing and through whom I am a new creation” (transformation). Both attitudes are true but where is the focus – on God or on us. We live in a self-centered world and that attitude is infecting the church and the things you describe in your post and in the article are endemic of that.

    • Well said.


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