“Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe” Psalm 5.7.
True intimacy with God, security in His unfailing love, does not take away deepest awe and reverence.
I worry a bit, not a lot but a bit, about the assumption that casualness should be the tone of a church gathering which is sure of the Father’s love and an inviting and safe space for seekers.
Old fashioned? I probably am in some ways, but I have never felt I can wander in and out for or with coffee in the presence of unfailing divine love.
Nostalgic? Probably. I have come to the stage where I would prefer a good old fashioned call to worship with words of Scripture, rather than the now familiar waffle full of questionable teaching ending with the not very inspiring required formula, “Why don’t we stand…?”
Formal? Mmm, perhaps a bit. It may surprise you, but because in the charismatic world casualness has passed from being a not thought about incidental, into being a requirement to be put on display, I would almost rather see a preacher in clerical robes, suggesting at least a Holy calling affirmed by the church, rather than someone dressed in the latest trend of what gym buffed orthodontically enhanced stars of stage and screen are meant to look like, though of course heart is more important.
Yes, it is, it really is. Heart is more important. No question. I know that…I really do, but still…
I actually think a day will come when casualness in its deliberate , chiselled and expensive designer form in the church in the West, will lose its appeal. It will not satisfy those who are looking for something radically different from the world who will become disappointed to walk into a church to find Christians still in love with what they have left behind.
Ah well, that is what I think…
The day probably will….
Good food for thought, Kenny. Thank you!
As a “former” Pentecostal who was dragged kicking and screaming into the Anglican Church I completely agree with you. I have come to treasure the reverence and order of Anglican services. The Eucharist, when celebrated with heart, encapsulates our relationship with God whilst maintaining the awe of being in the presence of the omnipotent.
I worry that many churches now are too concerned with entertaining people and using the latest tech to show how cool they are. Nothing wrong with technology but it offers no oasis from the world.
We have been given an amazing, wonderful gift and I fear that truth can be lost in the flashing lights and smoke.
God bless friend.
Whilst agreeing heart is central, I would go so far as to say , almost anything else goes!
Many people are attracted to cults because of the legalism,difference to the norm and power of belonging.
As Christians we need to stand up and be counted, to say it how it really is, with love & genuine respect , but total sincerity. How do we present that in our church congregation, by waiting on the Holy Spirit to set apart
People he wants in leadership not necessarily the most popular, perhaps the humble committed cleaner who is last out of church every week… just a thought ..
Thanks Kenny this really got me thinking !
I agree with most of what you say, Kenny, however, I’m not happy when leaders tell me how I should express my worship. Generally speaking, I get turned off by ritual of any kind. Yes, there is a lot of the world in worship leading today, and the publishing houses demand certain styles of music and set deadlines. There is a gaping hole where awe and reverence ought to be. How would it go if we had no instruments to drive the praise and worship, as it was in the church’s existence for the first six centuries? As as been asked before (e.g. Tozer, I think), if the Holy Spirit was taken away how many churches would notice the difference?
I think Lesley Mackwell makes a good point. There needs to be evidence of the supernatural.and a real sense of God’s presence.