Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Law of the Excluded Middle: Two Ways to Worship

Jim over at has posted his response to an email that he had received from a worship "leader" for the youth group at a fad-driven church. The entire concept of the fad-driven church is bad enough, but what was even more disturbing was the shallow defense and knee-jerk comments left by proponents of that type of thing. The whole thing so perturbed me that I decided to leave a comment. Unfortunately, there was a 1000-character limit on the comment, which I attempted to thwart by breaking my comment up into three segments. For those interested, here is my original comment in its entirety (why should I waste a good rant? :) --

It all boils down to this: there are indeed only two ways to worship, but it's not "our way" and "your way," as most of the proponents of said youth group would like to believe. Rather, there is God's way to worship, and man's way to worship.

If you want to worship man's way, then go ahead and do your own thing. Do whatever feels comfortable. Do whatever it takes to pull in a crowd. Go ahead and please man.

If, instead, you want to worship God's way, then spend some time reading God's Word to find out what God has to say about how He desires to be worshiped. It's not as if He has left us to flounder on our own and do whatever is right in our own eyes. He has given us very specific direction regarding worship that is pleasing to Him, and if He hasn't said "this is how I want to be worshiped; this is how you will worship Me," then, frankly, we have no business calling any alternative ideas "worship." (In case you're interested, this is known as the "regulative principle of worship" - google it and learn something new.) But before you reject this as some stodgy old idea that is irrelevant to "today's" generation, consider very carefully the following: in the Old Testament, the sons of Aaron the priest were struck dead. Why? Because they offered "strange fire" to the Lord - in other words, they decided to worship God in their own way rather than the way that God said they should worship Him.

Spare me the canard about not being able to judge properly because i am not sufficiently familiar with your church. You don't have to stick your nose in a skunk's belly to know that he stinks - you can smell it a mile away.

And spare me the tired old line "but we're getting 'results'" - first of all, God rewards faithfulness, not "results;" secondly, any results that are eternal come from God to begin with, so you have no right to boast in "results;" and, finally, you cannot judge the efficacy of "results" over the course of a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years. How many of these "results" will be around in the near future, let alone after years? Go read the parable of the sower (Mark 4) - just because something springs up quickly doesn't mean that it will last.

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