Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What do you believe about worship?

Worship is a powerful word in the Christian community.  People look forward to it, we fight over it, we seek God in it.  But what is it?  Or at least, how would you define it?

Take a moment to answer that question first.  How would you define worship?

Now thinking of worship, what are the necessary activities that must take place for an act to be considered the worship of God?

And finally he's a trickier question... how much of your view of Christian Worship is shaped by and informed by scripture?

Worship seems to be a central act of the Christian Church, with teaching the Bible as the other central act.  Yet how much of our worship activity is informed by the Bible?  From a scriptural standpoint where do Evangelical Christians base and justify their worship acts?

7 comments:

  1. Have I scared everyone off...? Lets have an honest discussion, I'll play nice. Promise.

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  2. That's a lot of questions to think about. Jon and I had a discussion over lunch and there are lots of different views of worship and what people consider worship. But what I just realized is when you mentioned to be "informed by the Bible?". Worshipping is praising God in any way that you want: music, reflective time, listening to sermons, playing the harp. This is a difficult one to answer.....

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    1. I have a feeling this isn't just difficult for you. I think there's a real absence of understanding what we actually believe about worship. When I say "what we actually believe" I don't mean "what we should believe" or "what the Bible says", I really what we actually believe.

      There are some things in life we don't think about why or even how we do them, we just do them. For Evangelical Christians, worship is one of those things. So I'm trying to get a handle on what Evangelical Christians actually realistically believe about worship. I threw in the part about from "the Bible" because Evangelicals are known for taking the Bible seriously (and often literally). So I'm curious to see if our concepts of worship are related to our concepts of scripture.

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  3. We looked up Evangelicalism in Wikipedia and it stated that:

    It is a religious movement that de-emphasizes ritual and emphasizes the pietism of the individual, requiring him or her to meet certain active commitments, including:
    The need for personal conversion (or being "born again");
    A high regard for biblical authority;
    An emphasis on teachings that proclaim the saving death and resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ;[1]
    Actively expressing and sharing the gospel.

    Couldn't that be us? Or are we trying to bring rituals back into church because so many people have gone away from them trying to "conform?"

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  4. The definition of worship is contained in obeying God.

    How do I obey God being a sinner? Loving my neighbor and obeying his word. That is the answer.

    Many think that worship is having knowledge to sing. Some believe that singing songs of worship just because its called “songs of worship” you are worshiping the Lord. To some extent they are right, but it is not the singing that counts, it is the love and obedience you pour out of your heart for God.

    God is pleased with humble hearts.

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  5. This conversation is also happening on another blog:
    http://www.doxologyandtheology.com/2012/05/05/toward-a-definition-of-worship-by-matt-boswell/
    My own 2 cents: Look for a Christocentric definition, and not an anthropocentric one. Worship that is about what we offer to God is fully in line with Roman Catholic theology. I believe that worship is receiving the gifts of God (forgiveness, life, and salvation) with thanksgiving. It's all about what He has done, in Christ, for us. There is no greater act of worship than to believe. There is no obedience apart from faith.

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  6. Romans 12:1 is a good place to start on this subject: "...in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship."

    Worship entails the GIVING of something, which in turn is rooted in the orientation of our hearts. This is why worship can be directed toward God or anything else for that matter. Note I said "can be" NOT "should be." Worship SHOULD BE directed toward God but sadly, as we all know, often is not.

    Our motivation to worship God (and quality of)is directy tied to our view of Him and particularly how we view Him IN RELATION TO OURSELVES. Do we really recognize and understand just how "merciful" He has been toward us?? IF we truely have a right understanding of ourselves, God, and the relationship between us in and outside of Christ, true worship will naturaly result. Singing (or the offering up of our praises and voices) is only a small part of what worship entails. As we begin to truely see as He sees and allow ourselves to be transformed in the way we think and view ourselves and the world around us (Romans 12:2) we will then begin to enter into a kind of worship that pleases Him - one in which the lifting up of our voices will not be enough but only the turning over of our very lives will satisfy - both for Him as well as ourselves. That, I believe, is the heart of worship.

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