September 21, 2010

Worship Wars 1

What do you think about when you read the phrase worship war? I suspect you think of what might be better call Christianities battle of the bands. There is a music style war going on in many churches. Some like the classic old hymns other prefer chorus' while others like whatever the new song is produced by Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Hillsong, or their clones. That worship war is not what I am talking about. I would like to suggest that the music style wars are not really a worship war at all, instead it is a front, a battle, in a much large, much more serious war.
Worship War I is not so much about how we worship, it is about who we worship. Commandment 1 (you shall have no other gods before me) and commandment 2 (do not make any idols) of the 10 commandments talk about this war. God took 2 out of 10 commandments to spell out who was appropriate to worship (Him) and who or what was not appropriate to worship (everything else).

Have you ever wondered why God has done this? Why does God care so much about who or what we worship? Does God have some incredible ego that gets bruised every time someone worships something other than Him? Maybe it can feel like it is even a little arrogant for God to say that nothing is worthy of praise but Him.

That me suggest two reasons why God has done this other than arrogance. First we seem to be hardwired to worship something. So if we do not worship God we will quickly find ourselves bending our knee to someone or something else. If not God we will worship an idol. Now we don't always use the word worship, sometimes we use words like admire, look up to, drive by, desire etc. But it is a shorter trip then one might imagine from simply desiring something, to that thing becoming an idol. Now I think very few people carve little wooden idols and place them in their kitchen, but make no mistake there is no shortage of idols out there; thing like money, beauty, power, sex, and popularity. There may be no church dedicated to a goddess of Beauty anymore, but worship of her is at an all time high. Don't believe me, just Google and see how many plastic surgery procedures, diet plans, and beauty products there are out there.

Second we tend to become more like the thing we worship. If we worship money we will become more and more driven to attain money. That may mean working long hours at the expense of your family, it may mean robbing a liquor store, it may mean sitting and home becoming angry and depressed about all the things you don't own. Worship of money can take on a number of forms, but they all lead a person to become obsessed with money. This is only one example, but the pattern will hold true for whatever idol you can name.

Worshiping anything but God twists and turns us into something less than what we were made to be. Instead of being a child of God we become a slave to a tyrant. Right now many of us are fighting over whether we should play the organ or the electric guitar, all the while we are losing the real worship war. In lue of worshiping God most people have turned to worship idols. In short we are fight a civil war while the enemy marches down our streets. Is the church in a worship war, you better believe it. And it is time we started fighting the right one.