03 May 2005

Modern Worship

Worship is a driving force for me. If you know me at all then you know I love me some worship! I never miss an opportunity for singing and I'm passionate and deliberate about prayer. One part of my enthusiastic drive for more and more worship is my sincere desire to live in worship. I'm just not down with "Let's go to worship". We get the family or friends together and we drive someplace. We leave one place and go somewhere special. There we can engage in what we call worship. That's just not me. At least I hope not. I don't want it to be. I strive vigorously so it won't be.

Consider Jesus speaking to the woman at the well (John 4:23). We must worship in spirit and truth. And He specifically strikes down the notion of worship being tied to geographic locales.

Worship is an attitude and a perspective, or so I believe. A conscious indwelling and introspection. You can go to worship services constantly and still not be worshipful. Alternatively you may never step foot in a church and yet be constantly engaged in worship. When we meet for worship they should in reality be another means of blessing each other. Much more than just performing together an act of worship to God. Acts of worship is much more an Old Testament concept; the idea that God is located in a certain place. This is completely changed by the New Testament in which we learn that God does not live in temples made with hands. With His Spirit He now lives in each believer. This indwelling can then result in a constant act of worship because we truly live in the Spirit.

More than just the theoretical, this view can change our perspective and remove our prior limited view of Holiness. In many ways today's "churches" tend to be more Judais-tic in form than Christian. This creates a dichotomy between structure and theology. Special buildings can give the impression that God can be found only in this special place and we must meet Him via a special means. Consider how often you have heard it referred to as "the house of God".

Formalization isn't always a good thing. Keep in mind this is being said by an engineer who absolutely adores standards. In areas so nebulous and fragilely formative as faith, it seems the more structure that is provided the more it is instictively rejected generations steeped in a mad brew of extremist liberty and rebellious personality choices as expressions of individualism. Bottom line...let 'em worship their own way, if it shows respect and furthers their faith.

Being raised in a church that makes significant distinctions between formal and informal worship (the Reformed Presbyterian Church) this area is one of constant tension for me. My conflicting desires to see worship accorded respect and organization, against my personal choice to worship privately and continuously. Okay, so if you've heard me singing you'll realize I'm not that private. ;-)

I've no choice but to go on witnessing to the freedom in Christ and the spirit of worship which spontaneously flows from all who have an awareness of their union with the Father.

That explains why I'm so keen on Planetshakers, eh?

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