Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Think Before You Sing ~ Part III

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Revelation 7:9-10

Remember that question in Part I of Think Before You Sing (read Part I and Part II) I wanted you to mull over…  What is the purpose of worship?
Is it to give us an emotional impact by replicating stadium-style worship concerts?  Is it to bring young people into the church or brand our church?

Try this answer on for size:  We are to worship God how God wants us to worship Him.  Worship should first and foremost be designed to please God.

Worship must not be designed to please the unbeliever for evangelistic purposes or the believer to raise emotional fervor. The nineteenth-century pastor Charles Spurgeon said, “The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.”  Entertainment can stir the emotions, but God uses the means of grace to change our affections. Yes, worship also raises our religious affections.  So who would have guessed that Jonathan Edwards from the 1700’s would write about religious affections?  A stuffy stodgy old Puritan?  I dare you to read more about it: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/evangelical-history/2016/09/21/the-religious-affections-by-jonathan-edwards-a-qa-on-an-evangelical-classic/

Jesus taught the most basic principle for worship—“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Zeal of the heart is not sufficient to make our praise pleasing in God’s sight. One of the most enthusiastic worship services in history was the worship of the golden calf, and that did not end well for the worshipers (Ex. 32). Praise from the heart is not enough to please the Lord if we are not worshiping the true God, and so we must prize truth alongside ardor when we praise our Creator.   We must emphasize both heartfelt praise of our Creator and worship that is structured according to His Word.

Are you a Spectator on Sunday Morning?  I agree with modern hymn writer Keith Getty ~ Worship should also be the congregation singing to each other the goodness of the Lord; singing the Bible (Eph. 5:19Col. 3:16) and joining with the voices of Christians over thousands of years in singing timeless truths.    It’s time to tear down the performance-oriented/concert-style stage, make the Word and the pulpit central again, turn down the volume of the instruments, turn up the houselights and enjoy singing alongside and hearing our Christian brothers and sisters sing of God and His glory accompanied by a variety of instruments.  Can I get an Amen?

PSALM 150

1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! 
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! 
3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! 
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! 
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/author/billpence Tammy Pence's Amazon Author Page

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