Saturday, September 4, 2010

Crazy Worship

I have been to some crazy worship services.  I think the craziest was at an Eagles Wings conference in New Jersey where a musically talented worship team whipped everyone into an emotional frenzy.  There was singing, clapping, dancing in the aisle, shofars blowing, flags and banners waiving, tambourines shaking, tongues being spoken, and more and there was no rhyme or reason to it, just everyone doing their own thing.  I have been to others that were not quite so flagrant, but still not very well organized.  And the question I want to answer today is whether or not that kind of service is a move of the Spirit or a move of our emotions.  I hope to show you all today that it is the latter. 

First of all, let me premise this by saying that I do not believe that the people participating in these services are intentionally doing anything wrong.  I also do believe that maybe in some sense they are worshiping God, or at least they believe they are.  I also believe that they are sincere, but just deceived into believing that the strength of their emotion and enthusiasm is due to a move of the Holy Spirit. 

Here is what the Bible says about the kind of worshipers God is seeking:
"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." John 4:23-24 NKJV
We discussed this at length in a previous post, but I will recap that discussion here.  Worship must be in both Spirit and Truth.  The Truth is the Word of God and the Spirit is the Holy Spirit who should be directing our worship.  The Holy Spirit, being God, will never act outside His Word. 

God does address the issue of church services in His Word.  In 1 Corinthians chapter 14, Paul discusses at length the proper proceedings in a Church service.  He was using general principles to discuss the proper uses of tongues and prophesy, but we can glean a lot about worship from those general principles. Here are those principles:
For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:33 NKJV 
and

Let all things be done decently and in order.1 Corinthians 14:40 NKJV
Remember that in your worship services.  God is the order of peace not confusion and all things are to be done decently and in order.  Those are not just one man's opinion, but the Word of God.  If you are worshiping and that worship is not in any kind of order and is any bit confusing, it is not in accord with His Truth and therefore not of His Spirit.  Order is something very important to God.  We see so many examples in His word regarding organization.  His meticulous details regarding the temple, or the organization of the camp of the Hebrews as they wandered the desert, the assignment of different functions to different groups, and even the meticulous detail of God's ceremonial and moral laws.  God is meticulously organized and even creation itself is a testament to that.  Just look at the beautiful dance of our Solar System as our spinning planets revolve around the Sun and the moons revolve around the planets.  Our God is a God or order and so something not orderly it outside the character of God. 

Now that we have addressed in the issue as a group, let us now address it as individuals.  To answer that question, we need to look at how the Bible says being filled or directed by the Holy Spirit will affect us:
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:18-21 NKJV
and
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
We see here that being in the Spirit is about many things, but included are things that are contrary to an out-of-control worship service.  It involves singing and self-control, gentleness, peace, etc.  Getting all worked up and crazy is an emotional reaction, but not a Spirit-filled one.  You can not lose control in worship under the leading of the Holy Spirit because self-control is a fruit of the spirit.

Our worship can be so much deeper and more meaningful if we, instead of trying to illicit an emotional response, think on the things of God being sung about and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and lead us in our worship.  Emotions are deceptive and can be easily manipulated in a crowd and we must be careful to focus our eyes on God and not get caught up in the sweep of emotions that can overcome a crowd.  Those sweeping emotions have been used by many so-called Faith preachers of today.  They usually follow those emotional worship services with a plea for money and those pleas are usually very successful.  That is what happened at Eagles Wings, that is what happened at Faith Fellowship, and that is what I see on TV with many of the televangelists of today.  It offends me to no end where these so-called preachers (all who live lavish lifestyles) manipulate the worship of God to their own ends.  Here is what God says about men like them:
Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. Jude 1:11 NKJV

Please be careful. There is a lot that claims to be Christian but is more interested in your money or just control over your life than your soul.  They are (knowingly or unknowingly) ministers of Satan hellbent on keeping you either ineffective as a Christian or to prevent you from becoming one at all.  You have the Word of God, which is a weapon powerful enough to defeat anything Satan can throw at your.  It is the weapon Jesus Himself used when tempted by Satan.  Be grounded in God's Word and you will be able to stay above the manipulation and preach the truth.  Do not take it for granted that something is Christian just because it is labeled as such.  Do not take for granted every emotion is from God.   The Bible itself tells us our hearts are deceptive and wicked and can only be known and understood by God.
The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:9-10 NKJV
Trust only God and His Word and test all things against His Word. 
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 NKJV

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