Contending For The Faith

October 30, 2008

Believer-Centered Worship? Or God-Centered?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lynda O @ 4:50 pm
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This week’s “Wednesday Word” from Miles McKee brings a good reminder about God-centered worship.  Too many churches today are all about “Believer-Centered Worship” and focused solely on an entertaining music program.  Yet as one worship song refrain goes, “I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about you, Jesus.”

McKee writes:

“Now here’s something we must grasp: since the gospel is about Jesus, the gospel is, therefore, not focused on the believer.  In the genuine gospel, the believer is not on center stage, rather, in the authentic gospel, the limelight falls on Christ alone.  There are pastors who dispute this, but let me point out that ever since the fall of man, when sin entered into the human race, the focus of man’s attention has been on himself.  Listen to the Father of our fallen race as he cowers in embarrassed fear before his Creator; he says, “I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:10).  Notice how that four times in one verse he uses the personal pronoun “I”. Adam shows us by this one sentence that sin’s first warping of man’s character was to make him into a raging subjectivist.  He, not God, is now the center of his universe. No longer does his life revolve around God and His glory.  His life is now centered on himself and his condition.”

Man-centered worship is basic to human fallen nature and goes back to Satan’s lie in the garden.  Man has always wanted to worship some man-made idol, and unregenerated man, by nature, cannot please and worship God.  I think of Jeremiah 3:10, a situation concerning the Old Testament Jews:  “In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,” declares the Lord.”

McKee makes an interesting comparison between pagan religious meetings and “Christian” so-called meetings which are only thinly-veiled paganism:

“we have this ‘Indian Guru’ group of people meeting to encourage one another in their so-called faith.  They encourage each other in their experience and growth.  The speaker speaks about them and how they can improve their quality of faith and life.  They are the center of their meeting. Now here’s the question, is this a Christian meeting?  Well of course not! Why? Because, as already stated, the Lamb is not the center!  Jesus is neither the goal nor the sum and substance of their meeting.  Now, in a different location, meeting on the same night, we have another assembly of people.  They are not followers of the Indian Guru; they call themselves Christians. Christians? Why then is their meeting to all intents and purposes the same as the Guru group?”

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