What is the purpose of most Sunday morning “worship” services? It seems to me that ever more frequently, the main purpose of Sunday mornings in American evangelical Christian churches is to make people “comfortable”. Comfortable in their seats, comfortable in their “flesh”, comfortable with one another, and comfortable in the presence of the Lord. I certainly have no problem with being comfortable in my seat,and with my fellow church goers, but I do have a problem with catering to the “fleshly” part of any of us by altering the style of “worship” music and presentation to accommodate the taste of any group, or individual so they will come to church because they like the music. In my understanding we are to change the world not bend over backwards to adapt to it’s tastes.
The music should only be a vehicle in which the true worshipper can communicate love, adoration, gratitude and deep commitment to the Lord, extolling His many incredible attributes. In my estimation, worship should be a spiritually “romantic” connection between Jesus and His bride. This does not eliminate well performed tasteful music, but is a precursor to it. Also, there are many well constructed songs being used in worship services every Sunday that do not convey worship. They either are focused on the needs of the worshiper or are songs of repentance, or pleas for forgiveness and proclamations of contrition. All of these songs are good sources of communication to the Lord about the person singing, they are not great songs that communicate the things about the Lord which we need to be communicating to Him in the context of worship. To truly magnify the Lord, requires one to humble himself, and out of a heart of deep gratitude, to sing and or speak love, gratitude, adoration, etc. to the only one in the universe that is worthy of such. It’s not about us.
Why should anyone expect to be comfortable in the presence of the Lord. I cannot think of one instance in the Bible where being in the presence of the Living God made the recipient of that visitation “comfortable”. “See My Face and die” is what I read in my Bible, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” I also read. The Lord, in His grace, through the blood of His Son, has given us access to His presence, but He has not abdicated His awesomeness, (a word that has diluted meaning in the world today, but throughout history has caused knees to bend and faces to hit the ground), “our God is an awesome God”ƒ.. let’s treat Him that way.
Abba Father, “Daddy God” to the redeemed, is truly who He is. I don’t know about your upbringing, but as much as my earthly father loved me, and loved to “hang” with me, transgressions were sternly dealt with and caused me to have great respect for his fatherly position of authority in my life. On those few occasions where I was “flippant” or disrespectful there were consequences. I don’t believe that the Lord gets uptight because of our “over casualness” about being in His presence, but I think His concern for our ability to disseminate His kingdom without understanding the awesome magnitude of His Lordship is something being expressed by His Holy Spirit to those who will quietly listen.
Hopefully, we will pursue having true worship services, where the Holy, Living God is richly magnified, and the teaching of the word comes by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, through a humble and yielded teacher, who’s only purpose is to see the Kingdom of God advance in peoples lives, irrespective of how many bottoms are in the chairs.
Buck Herring 8/6/2006