Friday, September 08, 2006

Well, if I fake it then I don't have it.

On the heels of a post that spoke to issues of worship & styles, I thought this might be helpful for further contemplation/reflection. The goal is to recover authentic worship.

The following are links to a three part commentary on worship from Dr. R. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Whole Earth Is Full of His Glory: The Recovery of Authentic Worship
Part 1 ... Part 2 ... Part 3:

It's imperative that we worship as He would like.
"My concern is that the issue of worship will define not only our church services, but also our theology and our beliefs about God. There is no more important issue for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ than that we worship as God would have us to worship Him." (Part 1)

Worship is something that should be of great concern to every Christian.
"Scripture makes clear that worship is something that we do, not just something we attend. It is not merely an issue for the pastor and other ministers. It is not just an issue for the musicians and those who will plan the service. It is an issue for the entire congregation, for worship is something we do together. It is our corporate and common responsibility to worship God as He desires." (Part 1)

God is holy and must be regarded as such (cf. Lev 10:1-3).
"What does the holiness of God mean? It means certainly His separateness from his creation. He is what we are not. We are finite; He is infinite. God is transcendent. God's separateness certainly reveals the difference, the infinite contrast between His moral nature and ours. Holiness also certainly refers to His majesty and power." (Part 2)

Have we trivialized God in our pursuit of user-friendly worship?
"My haunting thought concerning much evangelical worship is that the God of the Bible would never be known by watching us worship. Instead what we see in so many churches is "McWorship" of a "McDeity." But what kind of God is that superficial, that weightless, and that insignificant?" (Part 2)

Purpose in worship must transcend styles.
"Will styles change? Yes. But the worship must always be God directed. Will there be a diversity of styles in worship? Yes, but there must be one glorious purpose following this clear biblical pattern: to measure everything by the norm of scripture, in which God has revealed how He wishes to be worshiped." (Part 3)

Worship reminds us that doctrine impacts duty. Right doctrine leads to right duty (e.g., evangelism).
Worship calls for an ongoing response seen in the proclamation of the gospel, in evangelism, and in missions. If our worship is weakened, our missionary witness will be weakened as well. We will forget the God who has sent us. We will neglect the content of the message of redemption with which he has sent us. (Part 3)

Worship will be our eternal occupation and should occupy us now, our hearts & minds.
"We were created to worship God. The whole story of our redemption retells how we were created to worship God but by our sin became disqualified from that true and authentic worship. By God's redemption in Jesus Christ, we were created anew for the purpose of worshiping God. And every glimpse of heaven we have in Scripture indicates that worship will be our eternal occupation. It is for that purpose that we are being prepared even in the present." (Part 3)

Like Mohler, I think it's imperative that we strive for the recovery of authentic worship, the real thing and not the fake stuff that masquerades as worship because if we fake it, then we don't have it.

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At 08 September, 2006 08:44, Blogger Rev. said...

Ever think that some Christians think to themselves, after leaving a Sunday morning service, "It was an interesting morning, fruitful. But it lacked the intensity that you and I generate together, the sparks that we get one-on-one."? In this whole discussion some tend to overlook to an alarming degree how individualistic "worship" can be. "I" like those songs, "I" feel like this when..., "I" needed to be able to...etc, etc. There needs to be a heavy stress on the corporate aspect of worship, and the fact that we are gathering as the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, the People of God, to worship our Head, our Lord, our King, our Savior.

At 08 September, 2006 11:17, Blogger C. T. Lillies said...

Thats probably the best series of articles I've ever read on the subject. Go Al--and they were reposts!


At 08 September, 2006 14:17, Blogger M. Jay Bennett said...

Sometimes I think we fail to communicate the terribleness, the severity, the awful majesty of God in worship. We tend away from those things, because we're a culture drunk on our own affluence and independence, and we're so saturated by the frivolity of our primary source of entertainment (the TV).

But if we don't communicate the greatness of God, his goodness will continue to go unappreciated, and we will continiue to stumble around lusting after our next drink of the world. Let's worship at the throne of grace not the barstool of grace!

Practically speaking, I think the greatness of God could be communicated in our worship by our quiet demeanor during worship. Rather than talking across aisle's and shaking hands like we're at a ballgame. Maybe we should be encouraged to lower our voices, not speak much, and not move around much. Maybe we could even begin our worship service with corporate confession (like most PCA churches today). I'm not saying worship should be depressing. I'm just saying that there's nothing like the recognition of our own sinfulness to humble the heart, exalt the holiness of God, and make the soul fruitfuil for both receiving and reflecting the love of God joyfully.

At 08 September, 2006 18:20, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gunny, I just have to say that I am so thankful that you decided to blog. It is such a blessing, really refreshing for a parched soul. The preaching of God's Word is like water poured out on the hot dessert sand.

~Kathy S.

At 09 September, 2006 19:57, Blogger AgapeTheologian said...

Nice post in reguards to Worship. I just finished reading R.C. Sproul's book titled, "A Taste of Heaven. Worship in Light of Eternity."

I suggest picking it up. It was very well written, it talked about Old Testament worship and New Testament worship. Pointed out what they had in common.

In Prayers,


At 09 September, 2006 20:01, Blogger GUNNY said...

Thanks for the book tip. I'm always up for some Sproul, always one of my favorites.

I'm not familiar with that one, so I look forward to getting a chance to scope it out.

At 11 September, 2006 22:34, Blogger GUNNY said...


Thanks for your kind words of encouragement.

If by God's grace I can assist God's people by way of edification, encouragement, or even entertainment I'm humbled and happy to do so.

Continue to draw near to Him (James 4:8).


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