Doctrine & Doxology: The Danger in a Disengaged Church

I remember while being chapel while I was in Bible college, and the person speaking said, “Let’s put away all the theology and let’s talk about Jesus!” 

I appreciated the person’s intent to focus on Christ, yet his conclusion was far from the truth of scripture. Jesus in His Name alone is a theological stance. The chapel speaker’s conclusion was misguided and quite frankly was abominable. 

Worship has been cast aside as an unspeakably boring topic, mildly confusing, or at best irrelevant. Worship has been reduced almost universally to what happens when we only sing. Biblical worship is not an event to attend but is a lifestyle we embrace that characterizes one’s life. 

For believers, many are more informed by Facebook rather than their Bible. For churches, preaching is more the, “mind thing” and worship is a, “heart thing” For conferences, there is a much higher value on performance rather than participation. 

Have you sensed at times God’s presence so strong that you wanted to simply kneel down in silence in awe of Him? Have you experienced such great longing you burst in singing of songs of gratefulness, hope and faith as you constantly have melody within your heart? (Eph. 5:19).

God’s Word always directs and enriches our worship of God. True worshippers are humbled by God’s word that turns to praise rather than stone cold prideful arrogant heart. 

High theology produces hot blazing doxology!

Biblically, worship requires and engages the whole of a person. True biblical Worship involves ascribing by cognition (mind = reason), affection (heart = emotion), and volition (will = deeds). 

Worship through His Word informs the mind, ignites the heart, and invites the will. Worship radically transforms character and the ordinary everyday living in extraordinary measure.  

New Testament includes references such as falling down, kneeling, and lifting hands as well (Acts 20:36; 1 Cor. 14:25; 1 Tim. 2:8). Bowing my head, lifting my hands, or kneeling down can remind me of the humility, gratefulness, and awe I should feel that Jesus has redeemed me. 

The worship of God should always be a hot topic. It is never irrelevant. When Christians truly understand the biblical faithful worship, we will realize worship is the ultimate priority of the church and will not be treated so casually. Worship is always a matter of life and death. 

 

Worship in the Garden of Eden

God has revealed himself to His people as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three persons exciting in one God (Trinitarian Monotheism). Through Him, everything was created and all things were subjected to the supreme object. Jeremy Pierre in his book Dynamic Heart in Daily Life says this, 

“In a garden long ago, the two majestic beings God had created use their capacities for purpose other than reflecting the goodness of their Creator. Adam and Eve commandeered their design to worship themselves instead of God.”

The incomprehensible glorious God who is unchanging, unshakeable, ever-present help in time of need is for us and not against us (Mark 9:38-41). As God’s image bearers, the purpose man were designed to worship God. When failed to understand a crystal clear understanding that is driven by the gospel, people will turn to something else and worship subjective material things.  

Michael Horton reminds us, “The vagueness about the object of our praise inevitably leads to making our own praise the object.” 

Our first parents were born worshipping. But when they ate the forbidden fruit, their worship was redirected. D. A. Carson explains in this way,

“God’s image-bears delighted in the perfection of his creation and the pleasure of his presence precisely because they were perfectly oriented toward him. No redemptive provisions had yet been disclosed, for none were needed. There was no need to exhort human beings to worship; their entire existence revolved around the God who had made them.” 

Israel continues to lust after idols rather than find refuge in their husband and Maker (Isa. 54:5). 

You see, since Adam and their children and grandchildren, the story hasn’t changed a bit since the Garden. We have been doing the same ever since.

 

Worship in the Modern Age

For thousand of years since then, God has been seeking true worshippers. 

This is the truth of the reality; We all are worshiping something or someone. For believers, scripture not only encourages to sing, but mandates to, “Sing to the LORD a new song!” (Psa. 96:2). 

So, singing is really not an option for a believer. “Well, I am not a singer!” No one is excused from giving praise as vocal skills are not skill requisite criterion. The question is not, “Do I have a voice?” The question perhaps is, “Do I have a song?” If you don’t have a song, perhaps there is a disconnect with God. 

There is a disconnect of people seeking identity horizontally which only could be found vertically. 

Therefore, worship in the wrong direction is called idolatry. Only when we worship God who rules as the King of our hearts, our wholistic being is made well and we are able to say, “It is well with my soul.” 

Many people are shopping purpose and identity horizontally to fulfill something that will never be found for a depraved wicked soul. Many seek acceptance in the pleasure of satisfaction from a wife, from a job, from achievement, from health, or wealth which the cycle of the garden repeats itself over and over again. 

Therefore, majority of people even within churches are depressed, are anxious, are fearful or afraid as all are seeking eternal satisfaction horizontally rather than finding in the one the everlasting savior vertically. 

God is all that that He is for me by grace alone. True biblical worship free us from the craving of acceptance from others. The God who made you and I is the same God who grants true identity as worshippers of God. 

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