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A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Friday, February 15, 2013

What Does Excitement Have to Do with Worship?

I want to worship. I don’t need to get excited. Children need to get excited.

The “exciting” movements come and they go, and I am a bit bored with them. It seems that every few
years there is a new and “exciting” movement of “renewal” in the church. Well, let me tell you a
renewal that would please me. First of all I will tell you what I would look for if I went for the first
time to a new church. Then I will tell you what I would NOT want to see if I visited a new church.  

Maybe later I will write what I would hope to see if I visited that church five years later. But not now.

I would look for five things in my “new” church.
1. Is there Scripture reading and not just passing references?
2. Is there preaching and exposition of Scripture that reproves sin, calls to repentance and faith in
Christ?
3. Is there prayer: at the beginning, somewhere in the order of worship, and at the end.  Is it a prayer
matching the dignity of God who is in Heaven, and not in our universe, but Who has created and
Who sustains all things. I do not expect to voice my prayers in church, but I want to be able to say
amen in my heart to what the man who leads worship prays. It’s not all about me, anyway.
4. Is there an opportunity to worship God by the giving of tithes and offerings.
5.  Is there singing of hymns that match the dignity of God…..etc [see No. 3] The singing doesn’t
have to be at the top of the voice, or augmented by bells, drums, amplifiers, or other stuff.  

There are other things such as a confession of faith, the sacraments, constitutions and bylaws that
would interest me if I decided to continue to worship at my “new” church, but these five things would
constitute the “face” of the church, and I would probably not return if any of them is missing.

If I want excitement, I will go to a Air Force game. If I want a crowd, I will go to a rally for world
peace. If I want myths and pretense, I will rally against global warming. If I want childishness, I will
watch cartoons on Saturday morning. If I want loud music I will go to Red Rocks in Denver. What
does excitement have to do with taking up my cross and following Jesus?

There are several things I would NOT look for and would reject if I encountered them. I do not want
people to come up to me a gush about how they love Jesus. I have been on a long journey and know
these people. If your works reveal your good heart, you should shut up about it. I don’t want the
leader to look at me and tell me to raise my hands when they do what they call “worship.” Joy and
excitement are not the same thing. The joy of a Christian is “unspeakable” so we should generally
shut up about it or we will cheapen it, reducing it to the level of cotton candy and cheap perfume. If
you “heart” Jesus with the same “heart” that you “heart” your dog, some might be induced to think
that they are of the same value to you. I am not certain that Christian theology lends itself to bumper
stickers, which are better for political slogans, for promoting guns and guts.

You may have joy, joy, joy, down in your heart, but if you talk too much you will be like the man of
Pr 27:14 “He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted
a curse to him.” Jesus did his devotions in a solitary place, not to be seen of men. [Mark 1:35]

 I want to understand every word that is spoken, so I will walk out if people are so rude as to speak or
pray aloud while others are doing so. [1Cor. 14:31] The Holy Spirit brings order, not chaos [Gen. 1],
in both the old and the new creation. Gibberish in prayer or conversation is for madmen [1Cor 14:23]
or for those God has abandoned. [1Cor 14:21-22] When Israel refused to hear their prophets in their
own tongues, God sent Babylon to talk to them. Israel didn’t like it, and you shouldn’t either.

I don’t want to find people chattering on and on about nothing, promoting themselves, their books,
their cd’s or anything else for sale. Children should be sitting with their parents, learning to be still,
behave, and taking part in the servicc—not shuttled off to “Junior Church.” Even children small can
sing the praises of Jehovah. {Psalm 148:12) Your children are cute, but not when they are running
amok.

Some will say about now, but don’t you want a “user friendly church”? “Don’t you care about the
lost?”

My reply, “I don’t go to church to worship the ungodly. I do not care what the ungodly think about
my church, for if they do not know the Lord they will know nothing about worship. I try to spread the
gospel; I try to witness as I have opportunity, but the church is the ‘house of God, the pillar and the
ground of the truth.’ [1tim. 3:15] 

I will choose [and have done so] to worship with ten people, if I can offer prayers and praise to God
Almighty who dwells in clouds and darkness [Ps. 97:2; 1Kings 8:12], but who sends out His light and
truth to lead us to His holy hill [Ps. 43:3] where we worship Him with reverence and Godly fear
[Hebrews 12:28,29], than in the modern entertainment center where thousands gather to enjoy their
latte and popcorn to watch the religious show..

Because the ungodly worship gods that cannot speak, the people must chatter away all the time so
that people do not find out that their gods are phonies. I have heard the voice of the Spirit and He was
not yelling at me.

“What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a
teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? 19 Woe unto him that
saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it [is] laid over with gold
and silver, and [there is] no breath at all in the midst of it. 20 But the LORD [is] in his holy temple:
let all the earth keep silence before him.” (Hab 2:18-20 AV)

In the temple of the Lord, we should be silent. He has something to say through His appointed
ministers. We should listen.  

Ro 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they
believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
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