Tuesday, October 23, 2007


This isn't something new. Worship has been written about for centuries. I am sure each generation, old, new and post testaments, has questioned the traditions of worship. A hundred years ago barroom ditties were converted into hymns. Scandalous!? We sing them today with nary a thought of the tune's origins.

Today's controversy is much the same: "praise songs" vs. "hymns"

What gets my goat (where does that idiom come from?) is the idea that the singing of songs is "worship". If that's all that worship is, then we do very little of it and we do it, well, not very well. But I believe worship is much more than "Oh, the Deep, Deep Love" or "Here I am to Worship".

When we, the body of Christ, come together on a weekly basis, in our separate churches, we are celebrating the new life we have because of what Jesus did for us-His willing sacrifice of coming down in our form, separating himself from the Father, conquering the sin which imprisoned us and restoring our relationship with the Creator. It is the one day a week we say Thank You as a corporate body.

Worship doesn't end with the singing. It is in the readings, the listening, the prayers, the offering, the greetings, and yes even the announcements.

I often wonder how our U.S. churches would change if we didn't have one on every corner. What would our Sunday mornings be like if we had only one, maybe two churches per town? How many followers would boldly enter the building if their presence were to be recorded by a watchful government?

Our town has 27 churches for our 4500 citizens. If someone doesn't like the "worship" style, the pastor, the carpeting, they can walk down a couple blocks and attend somewhere else. The choices are abundant.

We take this for granted and our worship, IMHO, gets watered down. Scripture tells us if we have an issue with a brother or sister , to get it right before sitting together in communion. Instead of reconciliation, it's re-alignment to another church or denomination.

I'm not a prophet but I wonder about the condition of the U.S. church. We are so immersed in "discussions" about emergent, traditional, or contemporary worship. It seems like navel-gazing and distracts us from our purpose - to glorify God. The "discussions" seem to glorify our ingenuity or affections for tradition.

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