Friday, August 20, 2010

Trivial Pursuits

A few years ago a young seminary grad went interviewing for jobs at several churches. In one particular church (that shall go unnamed) the pastor seemed less interested in anything to do with the candidate or the job he was there to interview for, and instead was keen to share a breakthrough he had come across in scripture. It went something like this:

“You know these worship wars going on these days?” he shared. “We don’t have any problems here anymore. I did a study of scripture and discovered that when it says that they lifted their hands, it really means that they raised their palms! So we don’t let anyone lift their hands over their shoulders here. If they feel led to do anything like that, we just explain to them that they need to put their hands out in front of them and turn the palms upward. It has taken care of all of our worship problems.”

That grad didn’t know quite what to think that day. Perhaps it was all a practical joke, but if so he was never let it on it. Luckily, he did not have to face the choice of whether to work there or not.

The fact that this and other true stories like it are occurring in churches across the evangelical landscape in America is a sad thing. Sad that so many churches and pastors are caught up in questions and arguments over trivialities. Sad that they are not nearly as concerned with being about the task they were called out to do.


  1. I didn't even know that "worship wars" were being fought over to raise or not to raise! I have always thought that it was over music style. Shows how much I've been paying attention. It is sad though. However I don't think that wanting to worship God according to a Scriptural mandate is trivial. I don't think you do either. Making sure that we worship God according to the manner in which he has revealed to us is just as important as making disciples and baptizing them according to the way he has revealed. The issue is not trivial but the manner in which this pastor treats the issue is as well as his overstress upon the outward modes of worship.

  2. I think it is about all of the above: styles, songs, postures...

    Of course, the sad thing is that Biblical Worship is about so much more than music. When we think about an eternity in Heaven in worship, I for one am glad that worship is more about life and less about singing. I would get a sore throat if all we did was sing! :)

  3. Psalm 100:1 says to "make a joyful noise" The Hebrew word there is ruwa or literally

    1) To shout, raise a sound, cry out, to give a blast

    So in that circumstance if I was to burp for joy and gratitude for a great meal I had enjoyed to the Lord would it be worship? It could be a "blast" right?

    Sorry I know I am being facetious I just think that sometimes we get caught up in the how instead of the Who's and the Why's


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