Our church had two contrasting services on Sunday just past. The morning service was a 'happy clappy' family service, with a reading and a bit of a preach in the middle, fairly typical evangelical for us. But the thing that really grated with me was at the start when the worship leader said "We may have had a tough week or had an argument with our spouse, but now it's time to put all of that to one side and worship God." One of the praise choruses we sang was Jesus We Celebrate your Victory which has the line "And in His Presence, our problems disappear." A couple of comments to make there before I go on to describe the second service. First, why should we put our troubles to one side when we come to worship? Surely God wants us to come as we are, warts and all, honest before Him so that He can deal with us as we are, instead of us assuming a dishonest facade before Him consisting of moronic grins which smack more of lobotomies than of the Holy Spirit. Secondly, no my problems don't disappear in His presence; on a good day, when I am able to experience His presence, my problems assume more of a proper perspective, but they don't go away. And doesn't the whole thing smell of an unbiblical sacred-secular dualism: we're all happy, happy, clappy on Sunday morning and then whiny-crappy the rest of the week at w*rk? The evening service by contrast was, for me and I think for others, far more 'honest' and meaningful. It was an Advent meditation on the story of the wise men in Matt 2, whereby we proceeded at our own pace from one prayer station to another in the church building, pausing to meditate at each one. One 'station', for example, involving oil as a balm, was for healing for past hurts and betrayals. This service encouraged you to 'come as you are' and, far from setting your problems to one side, to bring them in with you and bring them to Jesus for healing etc I suppose the reason for me posting this is to pose the question: why is so much of what we call 'worship' actually an excercise in emotional and spiritual dishonesty, and what we can do to put it right?