Just a Thought

Discussion in 'Worship' started by Ryan&Amber2013, Jun 15, 2017.

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  1. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Freshman

    So I was just pondering this thought and want to see what you think.

    If the church by in large is indwelt by the Spirit of God, why are the majority of believers and churches not practicing reverent worship based on the Truth of the Scriptures? If the Spirit is in us, why is there literally just such a small small group of believers who care about worshipping in ultimate truth? Wouldn't the Spirit lead all believers to embrace reverent God-centered worship? Jesus said we would worship in spirit and Truth.
     
  2. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Senior

    The Spirit can be grieved and quenched like the reason the exile took place or portions of darkness we see during the Middle ages.
     
  3. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Freshman

    That is a good point. So believers are suppressing the work of the Spirit?
     
  4. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    Who is 'us'?
     
  5. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Freshman

    Those professing to be the church who hold to the essentials of Christianity.
     
  6. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Consider the state of the church in Christ's day. Consider the church in the Middle Ages as well. The reason is because of sin, and the solution is to be like Christ, our example. And for the sake of humility, we should remember that those who worship exactly as God prescribes are no more saved then those who don't, assuming there is an indwelling of the Spirit.
     
  7. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Freshman

    Well stated. Thank you.
     
  8. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Senior

    This issue could have a component in it of preferences and convictions, so the Lord does allow for some latitude in worship styles, music, songs sung etc...
    Also a lot depends on if the church viewpoint is affirming either doing what is stated is allowed only, or what is not stated as being wrong is still allowed...
     
  9. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Junior

    I am struggling to understand this... It would really be helpful if you could proofread your posts - before you actually post them - from the perspective of one who does not know what it is that you are trying to say.
     
  10. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Senior

    Sorry about that, as was clear to myself...
    Just suggesting that music/styles of worship allowed within each local church is based a lot upon the preferences/convictions of the church, as some would allow for contemporary styles, others hymns, some electrical instruments, and others would just have vocalization...

    My other point was whether a church holds to doing only what the bible permits and states is to be allowed, while others see it as God allows for what was not strict forbidden in the scriptures...
     
  11. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Certainly, the church still has many faults and they are commonplace. That answer has been given.

    But your question carries two assumptions: (1) that the majority of churches professing faith in Christ are led by true believers who actually possess the Spirit, and (2) that the worship practices of most churches are so irreverently bad that they displease the Spirit. I suggest that neither of these assumptions is entirely correct. We should not assume that all who claim Christ have actually taken hold of him. And we should be slow to think our worship practices are so superior to those of others that God is pleased with us and displeased with them.
     
  12. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you for your reply, Jack; I always benefit from reading what you have to say. I agree with your first point, that not all leaders are saved. I think that has a lot to do with what's going on. As for the second point, maybe I have received bad teaching on the regulative principle, obeying God's commands, and the way we approach Him. I have been taught that God is very precise about how He desires to be worshiped. For example, doing non-regulative acts of worship would provoke the Lord as in the OT. Also, breaking God's commands as in not practicing the Sabbath I would have thought would cause the Lord's displeasure upon us. As well, when we approach worship in a non-reverent, self-centered, prideful way, I would imagine would cause God to not be pleased with His people.

    These are just a few examples, and from my experience, these are some of the marks that I have experienced in almost all the churches and Christians I have been in fellowship with over the years. Maybe I am wrong and this is an unfair judgment. I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound like we are superior in any way, I feel humbled that God has worked in us to cause us to care about worshipping Him. I'm just confused as to how the Lord, based on the teaching I received on worship, especially seen in the OT, would be pleased with most of what is going on in our culture, and why He wouldn't do the same work in other Christians as He did in us, to care deeply about worshipping rightly. Sorry, I'm just pretty much thinking out loud, looking for encouragement I suppose. I would like to believe God is pleased with most of the worship we see in the states; it sure would give me much more peace when thinking about the church as a whole. Thanks.
     
  13. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    Having come from an Assemblies of God congregation, to an SBC with Arminian theology, and finally to a Reformed OPC congregation I've often wondered whether all of them are sheep, or if there are goats as well. Will people who worship Sunday morning and go to the mall afterwards, or watch football on the Lord's Day, be heading for the wide gate and on the broad way that leads to destruction ? Many there be which go that way. Or is that broad way only for those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness? Strait is the gate, and narrow the way, that leads to life, and few there be that find it. If we're talking about the same thing.
     
  14. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I suspect you've probably received good teaching about what's proper in a worship service. You and I might find ourselves disagreeing somewhat about what precision God calls for, but I too take an overall Reformed approach to worship and believe it's the biblical approach. In other words, I too think I know better than most evangelicals do.

    The problem is, this is an inherently dangerous way to think. In me, it easily leads to smugness and to the wrongheaded idea that God must think more of my worship than he does of my neighbor's in the church down the street. Especially when we consider the issues of the heart involved in worship, we ought to see that even our best efforts are soiled. We come to our Father as clumsy children, needing the anointing of the Spirit to worship at all with the proper sincerity, and needing the blood of Christ to cover our many faults.

    For this reason, I want to be slow to presume my worship is that much better (if at all!) than the other guy's worship, even though the service may be markedly better at following the dictates of Scripture. Worship should be an inherently humbling act. If indeed I conduct it with greater knowledge, I must take special care to assure I don't get puffed up. Who knows? The other guy, with his poorer understanding of a proper worship service, may in his need get more grace from the Spirit in other areas of life than does a know-it-all like me.
     
  15. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    We shouldn't use our very limited and anecdotal experiences to make broad brush assessments of the Western church as a whole, not only to avoid being unduly judgmental, but to protect our own hearts from despair. For every church that disappointed you, there may be many more that wouldn't have if you had the time to sample them all.
     
  16. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Freshman

    I can agree with most of what you say and the humble spirit you encourage, but at the same time the Scriptures are abundantly clear that God is indeed more pleased with worship that is in accord with his command. Of course orthopraxy avails nothing without a worshipful heart and all of us fall short of the purity to which we are called. This should lead us to fear and humility, but I don't believe that should lead us to account idolatry and will-worship a small thing. I would hope that we wouldn't consider Calvin, Gillespie, Burroughs, Binnie, etc. as smug or wrongheaded and yet they were all zealous in contending against the worship practices that deviated from scripture in their day. Some of our forebears in the faith died for their stand against impure worship. The root of those deviations still affects much of the Christian church today and we should not let evangelical niceness cause us to miss that. Are violations of the 2nd and 4th commandments of less import than violations of the 6th or 7th?

    It would seem that the widespread transgression of the Sabbath and use of idolatry in the worship of the Lord should impact us greatly--not to haughtiness but to mourning and prayer. When we note the widespread use of p0rnography among Christians we don't refrain from calling it grave wickedness even while we recognize our own weakness and dependence on God's grace lest we fall into even worse sins than these. I am thankful and encouraged by your concern for humility. It's a battle that I'm sure we all fight daily. But there is an opposite error of a sort of ecclesiastical antinomianism that we can find ourselves in when we act as if God doesn't really care whether we are scrupulous in following his commands for worship or not. I don't believe that this is your intent, but some of your statements can be read that way in your own zeal for a scriptural posture of the heart.
     
  17. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Freshman

    You are correct, and I'm sorry if it came across as unloving. I don't want to wrongly judge anyone or appear to be conceited. I am in no place to judge, I just wish to have good understanding.
     
  18. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    I was not accusing anyone of being judgmental per se, but simply cautioning against allowing our limited exposure to color our view of the entire visible church. By doing so we run the risk of causing our hearts undue despair as it did for Elijah.
     
  19. richardnz

    richardnz Puritan Board Freshman

    Many years ago I was standing in front of my church noticeboard and I noted that it advertised “Worship Services”. I found this terminology puzzling. At this church I had attended Christian lectures on the Bible for many Sundays and sung some uplifting hymns, but I had not noticed any “worship” going on or any “serving”. I was baffled as to what it meant by “worship services”. I had been a Christian for about five years but no one had given me instruction on worship. I think the minister knew, but he must have assumed that people like me would learn by osmosis or something. A few years later I joined a Reformed church and for the first time I received instruction on worship and so I now know the basics of what worship is about. My point is that there may be many people like me who are simply ignorant but would respond with enthusiasm to biblical teaching on true worship.

    The indwelling of the Spirit creates the disposition, but the word of God must be taught for the fruit of true worship to come about. For this reason I try to be as patient with my less-informed Christian acquaintances as the Lord was with me.
     
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