What is True Worship and Who is it for?

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September 16, 2012 by directorfsm

I received a copy of the following (Thanks Holly) the other day and thought I’d share with ya’ll.

A few years ago I wrote an article in The Apologist entitled, Burger King Theology. It was not a slur against the fast food chain. In it I pointed out the many today approach God and in turn attend church for selfish reasons, they attend for themselves, for what they can get out of it, not for what they give God.

In others words they want Him (God) and it (church) their way. How foolish a concept, how arrogant an attitude. Who are we to make demands of the Triune God, creator of all things, all-knowing and powerful? Our forefathers understood the meaning of worship as proof I offer a copy of Webster’s 1828 dictionary:

Worship, v.t.
1. To adore; to pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration.
Thou shalt worship no other God. Exodus 34.
2. To respect; to honor; to treat with civil reverence.
Nor worship with a waxen epitaph.
3. To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission; as a lover.
With bended knees I daily worship her.

It requires action upon our part with no expectation of what will receive in turn. Anything we receive is a bonus not a requirement.

I hope you enjoy the following and please feel free to comment.

Extract from: An appeal for Word-Based Corporate Worship; by Robert G. Spinney

Many have redefined worshipping so that it is quite different from the worshiping that our spiritual forefathers did. Church historian Nick Needhan explains a growing number of “Christians” (emphasis mine) today regard worship as something to be experienced rather than something to be offered.

Historically, God’s people made God the object of worship: they brought their worship to God and presented it to him. “Come let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our Marker. (Ps 95:6) With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord; and in the midst of many I will praise him. (Ps 109:30) O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. (Ps 34:3)”

Worshipers did the worshiping and God received the worship. Hence the familiar phrase “worship service,” which indicated their understanding that they served God by giving Him worship. They deemed worship successful if the faithfully extolled the Triune God, expressed gratitude, considered God’s excellencies, and rendered Him the glory due His holy name.

Today we are more likely to regard ourselves as the object of worship: we think worship is something that happens to us. We hope to “enter into” a mystical and spiritual environment called worship. Thus we speak not of the worship service but the worship experience. The worshiper is more passive in this paradigm, as the worship leader has the job of creating this “worship environment”. The quality of our own experience determines whether we deem the worship successful or not.

Worship sometimes becomes a commodity: church attenders act as consumers and shop for a church where (according to the oft heard phrases) “the praise and worship time allowed me to worship” and “the worship leader ushered me into God’s presence.” More than a commodity, worship many times becomes entertainment: church attenders act as spectators who silently grade the performance. (Worship that isn’t fun gets and F.) Post worship questions like “Did you get anything out of that?” often reveal that we regard ourselves as the chief benefactors of worship.

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