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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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WORSHIP IN THE WRONG DIRECTION

‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ (Matthew 15:8-9 ESV)

Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,  Therefore behold … the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.” (Isaiah 29:13-14 NASB)

Narcissus

Narcissus

I believe that when Christians and unbelievers attend church they should hear the Bible preached and sing songs that reinforce the biblical message. This is worship that glorifies God. However, the modern church has altered worship to the current tastes of the unchurched. The advent of the “Church Growth Movement” (CGM) in evangelical circles has generated changes in corporate worship to attract the unchurched. Churches who adopt CGM are driven to find the answer to the question, “What do people want?”

CGM meshes well with our culture because it is driven by the unhealthy preoccupation of individuals in our society with themselves and their “felt needs.” CGM creates a very casual attitude toward and a very eclectic perception of Christ’s message. Often, Gospel truth is minimized in order to appeal to an inclusive audience. The church takes on the persona of a public service organization that caters to the “felt needs” of the unsaved. Such a practice is a bottomless pit concentrating on individual self-esteem rather than on the glory of God.

It is time to remember that Christian worship is much deeper than shallow choruses and sermons that promote a specious sense of satisfaction, no substance and a bit of emotionalism:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:16-17 ESV)

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