Monday, January 19, 2009

Examining Worship: part III - Who is the focus?

This post is a follow up to Lecherous Worship

I think Louie Giglio put it well. "You know your church is healthy when people are going to lunch going 'God, how'd you feel about it. Did you like it? Did you get a lot out of it? 'cause we came for you.'"

In my last post in this series, I left out one category that could really have fit in either entry, the issue of over-emotionalism. I decided to address the problem of over-emotionalism under the heading of focus because it has a different effect than the other two. Songs and worship 'experiences' built primarily on emotions remove God and His works as the central foundation of our faith, and instead places our faith in how we feel. When our faith becomes captive to our emotions, our picture of Christ can become morphed and twisted to suit our desires. This is when we start hearing songs that talk about Jesus as though he is our boyfriend.

A close cousin to over-emotionalism is what I would call self-righteousness. It is singing to God of all the things we have done and will do on His behalf. This does not celebrate the Gospel of Grace. It is work righteousness.

Jesus Christ did all the work on the cross for us, while we were dead in our sins. Worship begins with a grateful recognition of who God is and what He has done. Yes, we can have emotions, and yes we can declare what we will do in response to God's work in our life, but it begins with God.

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