What misconceptions can Christians have about worship? In this video, Dr. Derek Thomas mentions two misconceptions Christians may have about what is and what is not biblical worship.
What misconceptions can Christians have about worship? I would mention two. I think the first is that worship’s main goal is to make me feel happy. “So, say what you see, what’s in it for me?” being the sort of approach and therefore, being consumed by what worship will contribute to my wellbeing and my sense of happiness and my emotional togetherness. Rather than seeing the vertical dimension of worship as priority—priority that we are to worship God.
We were created to worship God, and we are recreated to worship God.
So worship is all about Him: giving Him praise, giving Him our hearts, listening to Him speak to us through the Scriptures, singing to Him. So, that vertical dimension prioritizes what worship is essentially about. Too much of modern worship—not referring that to the style of worship, but if I say contemporary, I mean worship of today is often preoccupied with it being more like a concert with a sort of pick-me-up, to make me leave on an emotional high. And that’s not what biblical worship is essentially about.
The second thing, I think would be a view that predominates that the Bible doesn’t really tell us how to worship and therefore it’s a matter of taste. Whereas, in the Reformed faith there has been more or less—differing in different traditions, for sure—but there has been a regulative principle—despite the fact that various traditions might apply that principle a little differently. But basically, saying that we worship God in accordance with the way that He has laid down in Scripture.
So, we don’t make it up, but God has given us certain principles—rules, if you like. This is how you worship God. You, you read Scripture, you interpret Scripture in preaching, you sing Scripture, you pray Scripture back to Him. You see Scripture visibly in the sacraments. And, that answers a lot of questions about what is and what is not biblical worship.