#EmptyChat - Worship is a Response
Empty Chat - Worship is a Response
Here is a transcript of one of EC's #slackchats. It is a peak into our conversation. Please be mindful this is an excerpt of an ongoing discussion. Join in by commenting below.
ec-josh 9:34 AM
Just read this: "all human attempts to initiate worship can only result in distorting God's glory." Worship is exclusively responsive in nature. Thoughts?
ec-sean 10:16 AM
My Initial response was to reject it but I think that I biblically agree
ec-josh 10:17 AM
I'm wrestling with it too. Biblically I agree, but at no point of practical church experience has this been the meaning of worship.
ec-sarah 10:26 AM
So, if I'm reading this correctly, "initiating worship" would be like the worship leader "leading you into the presence of God"? I kind of agree with that. Worship should be responsive, responding to who God is and what he has done. So, instead of initiating it, should we just allow a time for people to respond on their own or is setting aside time at all "initiating"?
Or am I way off altogether and reading this wrong...
ec-josh 10:30 AM
You're close. Humans cannot be "led" into the presence of God. They have no capacity in and of themselves to make it there. They can however, through the Holy Spirit, that God is revealing himself and thus have the ability to respond to God's revelation.
Presence is a tricky word because an Omni-present God is indeed present everywhere. Worship is in response to how he reveals himself.
ec-kristal 10:34 AM
So the worship team is essentially useless? Instilling false worship among the people? Obviously some people might be responding to God’s presence, but during a service, how many people are actually doing that?
ec-josh 10:38 AM
The worship team is not useless. A good worship team - in my estimation - publicly displays their personal worship and recognition of God's glory as an example for the congregation to see and replicate. They just don't have magical powers to make God show up because they know the secret power chords.
ec-sarah 10:41 AM
So, "initiating" would be the power chords and trying to make people feel like they are worshiping vs actually responding to God (who he is, what he's done, etc) in your own way (singing, prayer, etc) like what we see from the worship team's example (when done properly)
ec-josh 10:44 AM
Think of initiating as "trying to make God show up because we showed up and sung songs"
ec-sarah 10:45 AM
Ah okay that makes more sense
ec-josh 10:45 AM
BTW - I am completely work in progress on these thoughts. I'm reading this really deep book and trying to make sense of it. I am NOT proclaiming these statements as complete and doctrinal...yet :P
ec-sarah 10:47 AM
So the songs that talk about "waiting for God" or "welcoming his presence in this place" are technically invalid because God is already there and it's just "trying to make God show up because we showed up and sung songs"?
ec-kristal 10:47 AM
but isnt that what most churches do every sunday
wait for him to show up
or expect him to show up
are there times when he is not going to show up
ec-sarah 10:49 AM
I never understood that...
"I go to church to meet with God" - but isn't God already there with you wherever you are?
"Invite God into this place of worship" - again, isn't he already there?
ec-josh 10:49 AM
@ec-kristal: it is what most churches do. @ec-sarah: I don't know if invalid is the right word but possibly?
ec-sarah 10:50 AM
@ec-josh: I was referring to the "invalid" from the initial quote. Trying to piece together what they meant
ec-josh 10:53 AM
@ec-kristal: you have voiced the issue where the current worship model gets divorced from good theology. Pagan worship in the Bible was about doing something so the presence of their diety would show up or grant them favors. Christian worship is the vocalization of the God who already did and continues to do. Christian worship SHOULD be different because God is already there and our actions should be recognizing his presence not attempting to invoke it.
@ec-sarah: there is biblical precedence and commands for "waiting on the Lord" so that's why I'm not sure we can use the word "invalid"
ec-kristal 10:55 AM
I don’t really like the word worship I guess. To me, if you are worhsiping something, you are dedicating your whole self. You should be worshiping every day, all day, not just on Sunday morning. Because of this way of thinking I believe we should quit our jobs, leave our family, and devote ourselves to God.
ec-josh 11:00 AM
@ec-kristal: RIGHT! (Except you don't quit your job and stuff) This is what Paul meant in Colossians 3:17 and 1 Corinthians 10:31 - whatever you do, do to the glory of God. Worship is exclusively meant for the glory of God. When "worship" gets narrowed down to a sing-a-long it's impossible to give your whole self. But if you live all of life to the glory of God then your whole life is worship.
ec-josh 11:00 AM
Also, this is why @ec-sean blog on falling face down is massively appropriate. It recognizes that God is present and gives glory to Him despite the personal "feeling".
ec-sarah 11:18 AM
@ec-josh: I was just thinking the same thing