Hillsong’s songs are sung all around the world, reaching from Australia to the ends of the earth – together with my previous congregation in Dundee. I now reside in Australia and have sometimes tuned into one in all their providers throughout these unusual Covid instances. I used to be intrigued throughout their Christmas service to see the strapline on the backside “Broadcast according to authorities well being orders,” which set off a complete practice of thought.
A lot of Scottish church leaders lately took the Scottish authorities to courtroom over the problem of them banning church providers. In a shocking judgment, the church leaders gained. The Scottish authorities had astonishingly argued that banning public worship was not a religious matter. The choose, Lord Braid, disagreed.
Within the UK, and certainly all through the Western world, our forefathers fought (typically actually) for the suitable to worship in keeping with the dictates of their very own consciences, not the dictates of the State. I’m wondering if we’re nearing a second the place governments, having tasted the forbidden fruit of having the ability to inform church buildings worship, will suppose that that is one thing they’ll proceed; that ‘well being and security’ might be expanded right into a many headed monster, which can be utilized to justify many issues.
After all, there’s a function for the State to use requirements and rules in some areas. For instance, they’ll set constructing requirements, make noise abatement orders and even, in a time of emergency, shut all public gatherings to forestall plague. However does the State have the suitable to inform us how or who to worship? Completely not! God forbid – (certainly He does!)
However then the query arises, does anybody have the suitable to inform us worship? Does it matter how we worship – so long as we get pleasure from it, and it fits us? Absolutely God is simply involved that we worship him, not how we worship him? If individuals wish to use guitars, organs, clowns, dancers, bells, smells, statues, movies, dance routines, hymns, nation and Western, liturgy, rock music, puppets, and many others – what does it matter? God is aware of our hearts and he would not care what we do.
The issue with this perspective is that the God we worship appears very involved with how we worship him. He does know our hearts and that’s the reason he cares about what we do – as a result of we’re far too simply enticed to worship different gods – even within the title of the one true God.
On Mount Sinai, after giving the Israelites the primary commandment, telling them that they had been to worship him solely, God then informed them how they had been to worship – not making any pictures and bowing all the way down to them (Exodus 20:1-6). It did not take lengthy earlier than the individuals broke each commandments – making a golden calf after they grew uninterested in ready for Moses to come back down from the mountain.
For a God who doesn’t care how he’s worshipped, he does appear to provide us loads of details about what he expects! The books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, for instance, include quite a lot of particular instruction concerning how he’s to be worshipped! Two of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, had been killed as a result of they supplied ‘unauthorised hearth’ (Numbers 3:4) and there are a lot of different examples. Certainly, the Previous Testomony spends way more time on how we’re to worship God than it does on arguing for his existence.
Ah, however that was the Previous Testomony. Now within the New we are able to worship him any means we would like absolutely? We’ve been let loose from the previous means of the Regulation and we worship within the new means of the Spirit? There may be some fact in that, however it isn’t the entire fact. Jesus stated we’re to worship him in Spirit and in reality. The New Testomony tips for worship could also be far less complicated than the Previous, however they’re nonetheless there.
We not have a temple, or the ceremonial regulation or the Levitical priesthood. However we nonetheless worship the identical God and we’re nonetheless to worship him in the way in which that he requires. It’s in spite of everything about him, not about us. We do not wish to be those that worship the Lord in useless – as Jesus identified when he cited Isaiah, “these individuals worship me with their lips, however their hearts are removed from me” (Matthew 15:8-9).
The essential parts of New Testomony worship are clear – prayer, preaching, studying of Scripture, giving to the poor, communion, baptism, singing psalms, hymns and religious songs, greeting each other, the confession of sin and giving thanks. There shall be other ways of doing these items, some influenced by custom and tradition. There shall be further issues that we might have as conveniences to assist us – which the Bible says nothing about. For instance, church buildings, sound methods, electrical energy and even musical devices are usually not talked about in New Testomony worship – which doesn’t imply that we should always not use them. But it surely does imply that we must be cautious to not add on to God’s instructions on worship, nor to remove from them.
Here’s a radical thought. As a substitute of asking “what do I would like?” or “what would attraction to that exact group of individuals we try to draw?”, why do not we ask: “what does God need?”
Think about Jesus strolling by means of your church service and asking: “who requested you to do that in my title? Was it me? Why are you doing this? Who’s it for?”.
The Father seeks those that worship him – not themselves, nor their tradition. How great it could be, if we may put on the backside of the display on our broadcast providers: “Broadcast according to God’s religious well being orders!”