Faith on Fire
I often read or hear a servant of Christ insist that Worship is “more than singing,” and “Chappy, Idon’t like to sing!”.
We are frequently told that making a meal for your family or cleaning your caror helping your neighbor are all acts of Worship. When these acts are the outgrowth of our love for
God and are done to demonstrate that love, I would agree that they are “Worshipful,” buttechnically they are not Worship. I’m not seeking to parse meaning with undue rigor, but we need
to be precise in our definitions if we want to accurately embrace the very purpose for our existence.
Worship is the actual act of ascribing worth directly to God.
Worshipful actions may do thisindirectly, but when the Bible commands and commends Worship as our highest expression, it isnot talking about anything other than a direct, intentional, vertical outpouring of adoration. Whilethat does not have to be put to music, it does have to be direct and not indirect to rise above the
“Worshipful” and actually ascribe worth to God. First Chronicles 16, Psalm 29, and Psalm 96 defineWorship with surgical precision: “Ascribe to the Lord glory and stre
ngth. Ascribe to the Lord the
glory due his name” (Psalm 29:1–
2). Worship is heart, soul, mind, and strength engaged in whole-person ascription of worth (Mark 12:30).
Nothing brings glory down in church as quickly and as powerfully as when God’s people
ashamedly adore God’s great Son, Jesus Christ. Not just a few enthusiasts in the front row when
the service starts but a room packed to the walls with fired-up Christians. Not testimony to personalbenefit resulting from gospel belief, but ascription of worth to the God of the gospel. When that
happens, an unbeliever coming in will “Worship God and declare that God is really among you” (1
Corinthians 14:25). A whole body of believers Worshipping with their whole beings can expect toget the only thing we ha
ve to offer this world: “Is it not in *God’s+ going with us … that we aredistinct … from every other people on the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:16). All church activities
that dilute, diminish, or detract from Worship destroy growth upward in Faith, inward in Hope, andoutward in Love, deny the priority of doxology, and forfeit what the Church is to be all about
glory. His glory! (1 Corinthians 10:31)Some complain that dedicated Worship events like this diminish Worship to a concert performanceand dis
place the priority of God’s preached Word to a faith grounded in “emotional manipulationthrough song”. Moreover, how often have we sat in church and heard the platform misnomer thata song will be sung to “prepare our hearts for the message”? Both these b
eliefs are grounded in amisalignment of the priorities, mission or purposes of the church.