…Having a Form of Worship

            The Apostle Paul writes about the “last days” how worldly people will have “form of Godliness- or worship” {2 Timothy 3}.  Does God have a form of worship he likes better than others? In the Old Testament there is no question that He had a plan that He wanted and laid it out meticulous details to follow. In spite of the many details He also indicated He wanted believers to express from the heart in following Him. In the New Testament we see precious few instructions on conducting worship service. Not to single out Catholics for criticism, I share this as I have better knowledge by growing up in that faith. I was an altar boy in the 1950s and even learned the “mass” in Latin. I knew the precise moment to ring the bells and how many times. It was important to know when to switch the large missal from one end of the altar to the other and have it set diagonally on one side and straight on the other- and so it went. Men had carefully constructed the whole format over the centuries in an attempt to please God in a “worship” service. And it should be noted that God is indeed very particular in accepting the worship of men. If it does not come from a sincere, well-meaning, pure heart it is a waste of time.

In all my years of church attendance, not just Catholic but many different faiths, I could always tell the people that were just there to “put in the time”. Some even drug their selves in to do their duty even if it was just once a year to somehow validate their Christian Faith and secure their ticket to eternal bliss by gracing God by their presence on day per year.

 

I think people are getting smarter and looking at their form of worship as God might. Does He really get into all those prayers said over and over or responses written on a book for people to follow? The old guard of gothic cathedrals and slow organ music and ancient hymns are loosing much of their numbers to a more contemporary service. I remember in the 60s there was much uproar over what they termed “guitar masses”. First it was changing of the antiquated Latin words {that some felt that God must really like- even though no one knew any of} now it was perceived that instruments used in pop music {which God also must hate} were making their way into sacred assemblies.

 

What is worship anyway? It’s showing God that He is our God- above all other things. We do that by meaningful song from an uncircumcised heart; hearing the Word preached, and hopefully changing into His image; and showing love for other believers. Smart churches are refining their services to the needs of the people. Contemporary services are offering Starbucks coffee and donuts to enhance fellowship between brethren and Praise music to attract those that get little feeling out of tired old hymns of the 18 century that feature more peppy music and words that appeal to heartfelt worship; and dropping “dress codes” so symbolic of the call to “come as you are to your Savior”.

 

The rest of the verse used at the beginning of this article – “... but denying the power thereof.” The form of worship you choose must have the power to transform you into a different person than you were. You must be someone seeking God’s will rather than your own and putting others before yourself. If your worship is not doing that you are just making a lot of noise.  

 

11/06

Written by Wayne Schatzle, director, Freedom Info Center, Box 1806, West Chester OH 45071