A Look at Laid-Back Worship

The topic was brought up recently about “laid back” worship. Here’s a small portion with an example of what this looks like:
“He first said that there are two things he loves mainly, the first being the way they worship, since that is basically what their service in centered around. He said also that young people, teens, love to come there because they can come as they are, jeans, t-shirts, anything! He said people show up in Mohawks, tattoos, people scream, people kneel on the floor, people just sit with their heads down and hands folded, people raise their arms, and everyone is ok with it!”

So…this topic of the “come as you are” church is rather interesting. I happen to disagree.

We are certainly called to worship wherever we are at, and worship does not have to be done in an edifice that is specifically ordained for that sort of thing. It can be done at work, at home, etc.

HOWEVER, I disagree on the meaning of “come as you are”, as referenced in a church setting. I do not think that means we should all show up to church in holey jeans and muscle shirts, etc. God wants us to bring
our HEARTS to him as they are…no barriers. We are to come to Him as we are…with all
of our gunk and filth exposed to Him, asking for His forgiveness and mercy. While we can
definitely worship God in our day to day lives, church is special for several reasons. First of all, it’s special because it’s a day set aside as a day of rest and worship…and it’s also a day when the rest of the world specifically sees us. If we come dressed like work, it sends a negative message about Christianity. One of the reasons that we (men) remove hats when praying, wear “sunday clothes”, and close our eyes when praying, is to show a deep respect for the God we are worshipping. We are NOT equals with God! We are His creation, and we owe him respect and Worship. By our show of this, we show the world we are different.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried witnessing to people, and I have them say “One of the reasons I don’t like Christianity is because of all the hypocrites…nobody’s really any different.”

I personally have heard this a LOT, and it’s very true. One of the reasons is because we are revering God less and less, with such doctrines as “God is my buddy”, “He’s my right hand man”, and “God is my copilot”. None of these are true statements. He is our Savior, Lord, and Master. He is Ruler over all, not “OUR right hand man”, or the theologically incorrect statement that he is our “copilot”.

Doctrines such as these lose the reverence that we feel for God, consequently allowing us to believe we can wear what we want, say what we want, look like we want, etc. in church. However, we are told to be “in the world but not of it”, MANY times in the Bible. Often, this means staying away from the latest fashions, which may be immodest, or downright unchristian looking.

Paul Washer has an excellent series of sermons discussing this…and he makes a good point. We begin to be so caught up in the latest fashions that we look, talk, and think just like the world, except for the fact that we call ourselves Christians. This isn’t true Christianity. People should be able to KNOW we are Christians!

So while part of the reason that people are turned off from Christianity is because of hypocritical lifestyles, I believe the other part of the hypocricy comes from a dereverence of our Lord and Savior. I believe a large part of this is how we act in church as well.

Church has become more of a place for comfort rather than conviction! We’re told that we can “come as we are” physically, so we don’t have to make any effort. The sermons are almost always the “feel good” type, taking special care not to offend anyone. They usually involve the “promises” of the Bible, but neglect the “warnings”, just in case it might offend someone, or there might be an unbeliever attending who might be “turned off” by the warnings.

So, all of this to say, I disagree completely with the idea that we should be able to wear what we want and talk like we want etc. in church…it is a means of glorifying God and showing our respect for him. Do I think it is a sin? I don’t know. I haven’t come to a solid conclusion on that yet. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 Uncategorized

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