Does reverence have any place in your worship?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Luke2427, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Luke2427

    Luke2427
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    It seems the worship fad today is built around rejoicing alone.

    This is a contemporary "problem" in both contemporary style churches and "old time" style churches. By "old time" I mean folks who use songs with more of a country Gospel style than contemporary, or a starchy style with songs older than 30 years but not much older than 150 years, etc...

    Whether it's at an "old time" camp meeting or a contemporary praise service- where is the fear of God?

    And I don't just mean in preaching- I know that hell gets mentioned in these places around Halloween every year, and maybe some of you can testify that it gets attention a little more often- but I am talking about a holy AWE of God- one accompanied by an appropriate speechlessness, a deafening silence in worship- where is that today?

    Where is trembling of both saints and sinners in our services- like Isaiah and Felix experienced?

    I understand that we are told to rejoice evermore. I understand that Psalms teaches us to rejoice in worship often- but neither of these demand exclusive rejoicing- rejoicing alone.

    Is it possible that we have become so man centered that we fashion our services after rejoicing because people prefer that over trembling?
     
    #1 Luke2427, Jun 9, 2011
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  2. Allan

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    I agree with the above and have preached and taught regarding this very thing often. However I don't think it often has anything to do with being 'man-centered' as much as it is centered or overly focused upon one aspect of God. If we focus on one aspect we can and often will become lopsided in our view of God
     
  3. Old Union Brother

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    Luke is this what you are trying to say?

    Maybe the harsh reality of it is that what you describe is what is seen in the popular media. Grassroots worship just might not be what you describe.
     
  4. Luke2427

    Luke2427
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    I think man-centeredness is the issue.

    People enjoy light things, bubbly things, feel good things.

    They do not naturally enjoy weighty things, heavy thoughts; they do not naturally enjoy fear (not thrill fear where one is in no real danger- I mean fear of destruction or overwhelming fear); they do not like seeing God high and holy and feeling like worms before him.

    So the less God-centered we are the more man-centered we become and the more we do in church those things that suit men.
     
    #4 Luke2427, Jun 9, 2011
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  5. preacher4truth

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    Some of this has to do with ones understanding of the Gospel and their condition, and the events leading up to ones salvation experience, as to why they came to Christ &c.

    Most people want to know what "they're getting" when they get "saved." God is presented in some fashion as One who will give them things, the entire presentation of the Gospel and offer of salvation by some never touches upon the lost state of the person, the Wrath of God laid upon Christ for their sin and sake, and thus many times the person prays a "sinners prayer" based upon "would you like to know that when you die you wil go to heaven?" I mean, where is this even in Scripture as the point, and how many times have we seen or witnessed this as someone "leading another to Christ?" It's ridiculous, and stems from the huge wave of the one-sided "God is love movement" that began a few decades ago and continues today with its repercussions.

    Just try talking to them about the God of Scripture, His wrath, His many attributes other than His love, and His Sovereignty, to the extent of His justice on those He refused to bestow mercy upon, and it will fall on deaf ears - and another point? This God will be contrary and completely different than the God they worship because they are two differing Gods.

    This is one reason there is no awe in worship.

    Another factor in all of this is this idea that we've merited Gods favor, veiled in this heresy that we are so valuable. Uh? OK. Not even close. If that's the case, then we did merit it. This false teaching is very popular today. I stand against it. I know many on here find it "edifying" but it's false edification, and edification, Biblically, has nothing to do with feeling good about onesself. "Blessed (rather) are those who are poor in spirit." Look at Paul. Where was Pauls value? He cast it all away. He stood in awe of God. God saved him, and when he saved him he saw himself as the chief of sinners, as vile, and as filth, and as nothing of value. And then accepted only in the beloved.

    But people today don't see themselves as such. They see a partnership with God. They see that they were valuable, and stood upon this, and had some ability to accept God, knowing He did so because they are valuable people. "Yes God, I sure am valuble, thank you." The self-esteem Gospel is what this is. It is a psychological-heresy. Persons believe it must be true because it makes them feel so good.

    Again, this loss of awe (if ever it were there) stems from a poor misrepresentation of truth, and the Gospel. Look at Acts, and the initial preaching in it of the Gospel, and see where it placed man in the eyes of God. They all stood in awe of God who were saved. Why? The Gospel was presented, they were found unworthy, and in reverence wondered what they, who were unworthy, "could do", and Sovereign God who worked in them and gave them faith brought them to repentance and salvation. This is why they had awe and reverence for God. They knew where they stood without Him; Lost. Condemned. And they knew this to be justly so. They also knew without His mercy they were through eternally.

    Today? Not so much. God is presented as One who will give you things. Word-Faith for instance. It's about what you get. It's about things.

    Joel Osteen is another prime example. Man on the same plane as God.

    Oprah Winfrey gospel. We are already "little christs" and need to practice it. It places God at mans feet. It's another false Gospel.

    Some churches preach (and I know this for fact) to the man about how his role as man in the home will be exalted, and the submission of the woman is emphasized, and all this is in the forefront as what they are receiving. So they do it. I know some who have gone this route.

    A black church I lived next to talked of entering "the promised land" (when blacks will rule over all colors, yes, literally) and were politically active, and this was presented as their Gospel and many many flocked there. This is not rare either. It's just another Gospel. That's all. And there is only one Gospel, and theirs is not it.

    The Death, Burial and reusrrection of Christ, and that He was seen alive &c is the Gospel. It brings awe and reverence with it to Gods elect, and they see themselves as unworthy and undeserving, and lost.

    A lot of this problem stems from the initial "presentation of God" to persons, and under what reasoning they were "saved" and from what. Listen to the attitude of some if you ask from what were they were saved. Many get a little angry when they almost feel they have to include the "saved from my sins" part. No sorrow for it, almost anger that others have even asked. It's very unfortunate.
     
    #5 preacher4truth, Jun 9, 2011
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  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Hear, hear :applause::thumbs:
     
  7. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Makes me happy Im old school:thumbs:
     
  8. DiamondLady

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    I agree with this and also believe much of the problem is in the lack of discipleship in churches today. They're so focused on entertainment instead of growing Christians. Here's a great example....Back in the 1980's I participated in MasterLife. Intensive study of 26 weeks of Bible Study, prayer, scripture memorization and discipling. We considered doing a MasterLife class in our church this past winter, several of us took the class back in the 80's and 90's and remembered what a growth experience it was. I purchased the set of now four books in the study and was astonished at how it has been watered down and changed. What made the study great has been stripped from it.

    I don't believe new Christians today understand what it is to awe and reverence God. The music is centered around praise, we've lost the true understanding of worship.
     
  9. Allan

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    To this I give a double AMEN!.. It is shocking at how watered down the vast majority of study material is today.. My mom has the old Master Life study materials (but not all of it) and when comparing what hers has in it and what is in it today you have to wonder if they wish to make disciples or a basic check list of differing areas in christian life you touched on.
     
  10. J.D.

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    Rejoicing should be part of worship as well as awe, but worship today definitely leans hard in the direction of rejoicing - very little awe. And I think your analysis nailed it on the head - man-centeredness is at the core of it all. Plus, folks today don't know the difference between entertainment and worship.
     

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