Is Comparing Ourselves to God Really Praising Him?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Joshua2415, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Joshua2415

    Joshua2415
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    It seems a common theme among many contemporary Christian worship songs, and even some of the traditional hymns: we are nothing, God is everything; we are helpless, God is powerful; we are worms, God is great; etc.

    Now, I am all for Biblical truth, because it's true without God we are lost in darkness and spiritually dead. However, the constant denigrating of human nature in some aspects of Christianity is frankly depressing, and off-putting to someone on the outside. There are a lot of positive, good things about humans: we are made in His image, we can love, sympathize, and we are among God's most loved creations. In fact, according to the Bible, the entire Earth (and possibly the entire universe!) were made just for us! Not only that, God loved us so much that he incarnated and gave his Son a horrible death just to save us from ourselves and our sin!

    So should we compare ourselves to God in order to put God on a pedestal? Does he need to know the gap between his infinite power and our creaturely status? Does it really praise God to tell Him that we stink, and that we're worthless? I think God already knows that.

    Yes, we should worship God and praise him and thank him. He is the only one worthy of such adulation. However, I think I'd prefer it if we sang praises to God rather than about us.:godisgood:
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Hey Josh, good to see you on the BB again. Hope the snow is not hampering your getting around.

    I think we can take our cue on how we relate to God from the apostle Paul, for instance. Paul seems to have had a healthy view of who he was. He made no bones about his message's source--the Lord himself. In fact he told one congregation to "imitate me." At the same time, Paul described himself as the chief of sinners.

    Regarding your suggestion that we put God on a pedestal rather than compare ourselves to him, I don't really have a problem with that. I think that the end result is the same. God is God and we're not.

    There is a school of thought that I've seen expressed that we must be of great value to God because he loved us so much. Thus we ought to have a sense of self-worth. I think that's a slippery slope. Paul said we ought not to think of ourselves more highly than we should. The danger I see in thinking that we're worth something to God is that we'll overdo it.

    We know that God loves us who are his children, but we don't know why. Certainly we have nothing in us that merits his love, for otherwise it would exclude grace.
     
  3. Joshua2415

    Joshua2415
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    Well, it's one thing to realize who we are, what our talents are, and what kind of service we can do for the Lord and for society. The slippery slope is very real, as you put it. It's easy to think we are higher than angels due to our status in creation, or something goofy like that.

    It's just phrases in hymns such as "for such a worm as I, at the Cross, at the Cross" etc that seem overdone to me. I'm just wondering if there is a more positive spin we can put on our praise to God without having to resort to continually emphasizing how terrible we are as humans.

    Now, if a song is praising or thanking God for saving us from sin, which is a terrible thing to be saved from, that's one thing. But to just constantly hem and haw about how horrible of a creation we are seems excessive.
     
  4. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I see your point. If we give God his proper place with our praise, and ascribe to him his worth, then who we are will fall into its proper place.

    By the way, the editors of the Baptist Hymnal tend to agree with you. They have replaced "for such a worm as I" with
    "for sinners such as I."
     
  5. Thousand Hills

    Thousand Hills
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    I won't cut and paste them but here are some good passages to read about who we are compared to God.
    Job 40 to 42:1-6
    Isaiah 40


    It amazes me that God still loves us and wants a relationship with us despite this "gap" between us. GRACE :thumbs:

    He does already know, we are the ones that have a problem with it. We cannot fathom how Holy God is, compared to our sinful nature. It brings glory to God when we recognize him for who he is.
     
  6. Joshua2415

    Joshua2415
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    Well, another good set of passages are the closing chapters of Job, where God calls out Job by comparing Himself to Job. Who are you, that questions the Lord? Did you set the boundaries of the seas? Were you there when I set the stars in place?
     
  7. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    Those songs you are referring to shows an attitude of understanding who and what we are in comparrision. They stem from those of old who understood what humility was. I am afraid that far too many today don't like to be reminded as just how evil they are and seek to praise God with a spirit of self worth instead of one of a lowly nature that we really have.
     
  8. MNJacob

    MNJacob
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    Joshua,

    I think we forget what worship truly is. Worship is laying ourselves down in front of a Holy God, and acknowledging what we really bring to the relationship. The fact that God is willing to overlook our condition is "amazing".

    Job 28:28
     
  9. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I have also heard worship and praise defined as our telling God the truth about himself.
     

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