Is Worship God-centered or Man-centered?

Our Lord Jesus Christ emphasized that, “God is a Spirit:  and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).  Also, when the devil attempted to entice Jesus to fall down and worship him, the Son of God responded by saying, “Get thee hence Satan:  for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10).  These two passages should suffice in scripturally clarifying that our God is the object and center of worship.  However, more and more churches and individuals are placing emphasis upon worship services being man-centered rather than upon God.  They are more interested in what pleases them than in determining from the inspired Word of God how He wants to be worshipped. 

In this age of modern conveniences, people are inclined to seek what has been coined as “creature comforts.”  Many have become self centered; instead of being thoughtful and considerate of others, and especially of our Heavenly Father.  They want the worship service to be modified in order that it will conform to that which pleases them.

The tempo of much of the music heard today in the religious realm is more conducive to an old fashion barn dance than reverence toward God.  Not only is that true within the denominational world, but sadly this is also true among many congregations of the church.  In attempting to appeal to the whims of a permissive society, several congregations of the church select songs that will incite hand clapping, bodily gyrations, foot patting, lifting up hands and moving them back and forth, etc.  The Apostle Paul stressed, “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).  There is certainly nothing decent and orderly in such shenanigans.  Often, instead of singing in such services, there is humming, whistling, repetitive sounds with their voices, and even mimic with their voice mechanical instruments of music.  It seems that some brethren have lost all propriety of conduct in blindly following the latest trends of society at large.  The New Testament specifically instructs us to sing by speaking, Ephesians 5:19 (this excludes humming, whistling, repetitive sounds with the voice, and imitating mechanical instruments of music).  We are also to teach and admonish “…one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).  A person cannot do that by exercising the innovations already mentioned.

Brethren need to get back to pleasing the Lord in their worship rather than their sensual desires.  Again, if we are to please the Heavenly Father, then we “…must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).


--Dub Mowery


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