Archives For worship

It may seem strange to many people that we gather up on Sundays to sing songs. They may think, “I don’t particularly like to sing.” Or, “I’m not a good singer; I can’t imagine singing in public like that, where other people can hear you.” Actually, we’re not supposed to sing because of a particular fondness for it or because of a talent for it. Here are some of the reasons the church is supposed to sing.

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What is Vain Worship?

Wes  —  February 15, 2017

In Mark 7:7 Jesus quoted Isaiah, saying, “in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” But what did Jesus mean about worshiping in vain? I’ve heard many people explain that “vain worship” is worshiping God in unauthorized ways. One website claims it is “when we worship the way we want” instead of worshiping “the way God has told us in His word” (source). Unfortunately, I think that definition of “vain worship” ignores the context of Jesus’ word and gives the wrong impression about vain worship.

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For many Christians, the worship assembly feels like a “duty,” in the worst sense of the word. Coming to the worship assembly is something they feel they must do, but not something they enjoy doing. This has left many saying, “It shouldn’t be this way; worship should be enjoyable!” I wholeheartedly agree! But I’m afraid the way many are trying to make worship more enjoyable is resulting in making worship shallow, meaningless, and not even worship at all.

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If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any time at all, you know I am a firm believer in congregational singing in the worship assembly. I believe it is biblical and I believe it is beneficial. But I also believe our congregational singing can become wrong if we are not careful. If we think we are right, simply because we are singing each Sunday, then we better re-examine what the New Testament actually says. Here are some times when our congregational singing becomes wrong.

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In this episode of the CrossTalk podcast, Wes, Sam, and James consider our preoccupation with the “aesthetics” of Christian worship. Why do some of us have to have things look and feel a certain way in order to feel like we have worshiped? Why are we so concerned with the look and feel of our religion and our worship?

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If you’ve been a reader of this blog for very long, you know I believe there are right ways to worship God and wrong ways to worship God. I believe Christians must worship in – and only in – ways authorized by Him through Scripture. That being said, we need to guard against the prideful thought that we are saved by worshiping correctly. As if we might respond to the question, “Why are you saved?” with, “Because I worship God as He commands.” This is a dangerous and unbiblical way to think of worship and salvation. Here’s why…

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I’m always surprised by how contentious Christians can be when it comes to the issue of how we dress for worship. This tells me that BOTH sides, those in favor of dressing casually and those insisting on formal dress, have a few things they probably need to consider.

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Have you heard an argument like this, “We should change the way we worship so this extremely talented person has the opportunity to use their God-given talent in worship”? In our culture, this argument sounds like it has merit, but when examined in light of Scripture, it quickly falls apart. Here are some things we need to understand about the “talent argument” and why we need to stop turning worship into a talent show.

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How can we be expected to worship “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24) if we do not even know what it means to worship? There is so much confusion over this word and instead of worship bringing Christians together as one body, as it should, it often becomes the very thing that divides us. Here are a few things I believe we must understand about worship.

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Isn’t it amazing how quickly something can go from being an expedient method of accomplishing God’s will to being seen as the only method by which God’s will can be done? These methods quickly become tradition and – if we’re not careful – these traditions can become indistinguishable from doctrine. Sunday evening service has become one of these traditions that – to many Christians – has become indistinguishable from doctrine.

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