If you are starting to read this blog now, I encourage you to start on Worship #1, to get the full gist of the development of my thought. Today I wish to consider what I think we are three major reasons for why we are where we are in worship… and why the subject is so controversial.
1) Reactionism: People see an error and assume that the opposite must be truth, so they swing. If the Protestants had done this when they reacted against the heresies in the Roman Catholic Church of the 1500’s we would have abandoned the doctrine of the Trinity. Sometimes people are in a church where there is cold dead orthodox worship, and because they feel no heart there, they assume the opposite must be right, and go to the extreme of pure emotionalism.
On the other hand some people go to a charismatic type church and see people swinging and swaying and dancing and barking like dogs and all manner of things, or perhaps they just hear endless choruses of empty words that sound no different to contemporary love songs, so they assume the opposite must be right, and go over to the cold dead guys.
2) Ignorance of History: Some people enter the whole realm of dealing with worship as if they are the first people in history to get into the debate, they often end up trying to re-invent the wheel so to speak, but never really get anywhere. Imagine every scientist began his/her study, starting off with trying to work out the table of elements! There are confessions of faith and major articles written by godly men in history who have thought deeply on some issues we don’t even know are applicable to the subject. Works like the 1689 Baptist confession of Faith chapter 22, or the Westminster Confession of Faith
3) Ancientariansim: This is the word I assign to those who think that, because we have always done things like this, it must be the right way to do it. Because we have always understood this way of doing worship to be biblical , our older understanding must be right. This is also a major error, praise God that Luther didn’t think like that when he started challenging the Romanists on their ‘old’ errors. Really what often happens in this case is that peoples ‘older style’ (which exists due to limitations of the time) become equal with Scripture or at least the supposed sole application of Scripture.
Let me say that perhaps the major issue relating to worship, which summarizes the three mentioned above, is a lack of going back to the Scriptures, as well as a lack of love and understanding. Till next time, mull these things over