Incense use in worship?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by LarryN, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. LarryN

    LarryN
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    I was talking on the telephone to a longtime friend of mine the other night, and she asked me if I'd heard that one of the local Baptist churches here in the Twin Cities area had recently had a big brouhaha because the pastor had burned incense during one of their services. I knew nothing about it, so she went on to explain that many of the people of the church objected- thinking it wasn't appropriate.

    Not knowing much about the practice of burning incense in worship (and thinking that it sounded way too "Catholic" for my tastes), I pulled out a concordance to see what the Bible has to say about it.

    I found numerous instances in the O.T. in which incense was used, but far fewer references to its use in the N.T. In fact, other than in Luke 1:9-11 and Revelation 8:3-4, it's not mentioned in the N.T. (at least in the KJV). On the other hand, frankincense was one of the gifts which the wise men brought to the baby Jesus, and I looked up & rediscovered that it is an aromatic resin burned for its pleasing aroma.

    So what can anybody tell me? Is the use of incense in worship something that is appropriate today? Or is it something that should be avoided by Christians (perhaps due to some association with mysticism or "new age-ism" today)?
     
  2. webdog

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    Does Febreeze count? :D
     
  3. LarryN

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    I'd have to say no. I'd also have to disqualify the aroma that permeates many Baptist churches I've been in: that of freshly brewed coffee. :cool:
     
  4. webdog

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    Larry, them are fighting words! :mad: [​IMG]
     
  5. LarryN

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  6. Ben W

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    I have not seen that happen in a Baptist Church here, yet I have seen candles lit for prayer in one.
     
  7. HankD

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    Is Decaf OK?

    HankD
     
  8. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Decaf is just about as useless as teets on a boar hog!Give me the HIGH TEST stuff!

    Greg Sr.
     
  9. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    And as far as incense goes...WHY would anyone burn it in church?Nowadays,people burn incense to hide the smell when they are smoking dope.

    Greg Sr.
     
  10. Aaron

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    It isn't forbidden, is it?
     
  11. rjprince

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    It isn't forbidden to bring a long-hair tabby cat into the service and shave her bald on the pulpit. That it is not prohibited does not mean it is OK.

    How about Nadab and Abihu? They offered strange fire which the Lord commanded not. He did not tell them not to do it? What was HIS reaction? He struck them dead! (Lev 10:1-2)
     
  12. rjprince

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    Oh, one more thing.

    If we are going to use incense, let's go all the way!

    Why not get rid of the pews and sit on the carpet in lotus position? That would align the spine in a better position for true meditation on the word. (just could not bring myself to capitalze "word" in that context)

    Strange fire indeed!
     
  13. mioque

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    Frankincense smells rather nice when properly burned and it is rather Biblically appropiate, the sort of incense in cones or sticks one can buy in a New Age shop smells rather kitschy only suitable for faux Buddhist temples with plastic statues.
     
  14. HankD

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    Greg asks:
    Incense is not unknown in Christendom and used to a great extent in the Catholic (Roman, Eastern Rite, Anglo) and Orthodox (Greek, Russian, etc) churches.

    HankD
     
  15. Aaron

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    :D
     
  16. LarryN

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    Can anybody give me a reason (or reasons) why we would want to use incense in worship today? What purpose might its use serve during worship in the church in the 21st century?
     
  17. Johnv

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    Does a lack of adequate answer forbid use of it? I sometimes have incense in my home, because it makes the house smell good and relaxing. If a congregation wants to utilize it in a church setting, they're certainly entitled to. In fact, one of the gifts given to the Christ child was incense.
     
  18. LarryN

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    Does a lack of adequate answer forbid use of it? I sometimes have incense in my home, because it makes the house smell good and relaxing. If a congregation wants to utilize it in a church setting, they're certainly entitled to. In fact, one of the gifts given to the Christ child was incense. </font>[/QUOTE]Don't take my questions the wrong way- I'm in no way opposed to incense use in worship. There's certainly much valid Biblical precedent for it. Also, I was the 1st person in this thread to point out that the baby Jesus received frankincense as a gift.

    I'm just trying to get a better sense of how one might respond to some who are opposed to its use- perhaps by claiming that it's inappropriate today (which is the gist of my OP). Also, I'm trying to understand the sources of such opposition.
     
  19. Johnv

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    That's what I get for reading page 2 before page 1. [​IMG]
     
  20. Alcott

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    If incense is allowed, it seems smoking should be. Incense has irritants and tests have indicated it has carcinogens. This also brings up the question of why incense can be burned in the "Non-smoking" sections of restaurants and places. Finally, as burning incense was practiced in OT times, and used and given and not forbidden in NT times, and God knew it had harmful properties, then is smoking (tobacco) necessarily a forbidden practice?
     

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