Let's Go Back to the Bible

Have We Forgotten How Good New Testament Worship Is?

How easy is it for us to forget what we have…and forget how good we have it?  Children sometimes do this—thinking that other kids have it better than they do.  Husbands and wives sometimes do this—thinking that someone other than their spouse might be able to satisfy them better.  Christians sometimes do this—thinking that people in the world have it better than they do.

Therefore, sometimes we go looking for something “fresh” and “new” and “exciting,” because what we’ve had for “so long” is no longer “fulfilling.”  May I ask, “Why is it no longer fulfilling?”  The reality is that in many cases, we have just convinced ourselves that “new” and “different” is “better,” when, in fact, it is not.  We are seeing this in the church today.  What the church has taught for so long (i.e., pure New Testament truth) is “no longer fulfilling,” and the search is made for something “fresh” and “new” and “exciting.”  What gets left behind is the realization that everything we do must be done by the authority of Christ (Col. 3:17).

One major area this is impacting in the church is our worship.  We must recognize, in these discussions, the difference between the “tradition of men” (Matt. 15:3-9), which is “not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8), and the “tradition” of God (2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6), which is divinely authorized and unalterable.  In the matter of worship, many today have lost sight of the true audience of worship (i.e., God, John 4:23-24) and the immutable authority for acceptable worship (Col. 3:16-17), and they have made the worship focused more on pleasing the worshiper and fulfilling his perceived (at that moment) desires.

For example, consider this.  A national youth gathering promotes what they call “Passionate Worship” as part of their event.  In their own words they explain:  “…We intentionally work to obtain an atmosphere of worship in which students can express themselves according to the way God is working in their hearts and minds.”  Notice, the focus is not on what God wants in worship but on what we want to offer God.  They continue:  “From the volume of the Worship Team to the lighting in the auditorium, everything is delicately thought through to help our students experience an uninhibited and powerful worship experience.”  Notice, the focus is not on what the Bible says about worship but upon the aesthetics.

How easy is it for us to forget what we have…and forget how good we have it?  Worshiping the Lord “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24), as He has clearly specified in the New Testament, ought to bring such overwhelming joy to our hearts that we would never look for any other way to do it than the way He wants.  That’s what love for Him will do!