Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Biblical Church part 4: Reverence in Worship

I truly believe in order, but I also believe in freedom and creativity even within the disciplines of order .  The last time we discussed the intangibles of a Biblical church, which were:

  • Love

  • Order

  • Reverence in Worship

When we speak of order in the church, the stereotype is often of an antiquated, quiet and even stogy church service that is so insipid it could put you to sleep.  This is one common stereotype.  With the reawakening of the church to the Pentecostal movement Joel 2:28  and Acts 2:4, 39  

we were introduced to another stereotype.  This was with people running and rolling in the aisles,   praying ecstatically and loudly with the Spirit and with understanding   (see Romans 8:26  and Jude 20-22).
Some church movements had no respect for an order of service or a preaching minister. The outsiders view was a cacophony of noises, emotion and pandemonium.
But, somewhere in between these two extremes we see a proper balance in the church.   Many opponents of Eastern philosophy speak of the duality of the Yin – Yang symbol as being bad and evil.  An interesting counter point is that they believe in a proper balance in all things.  This was the founding tenant behind Buddhism.  I do not believe in the Hindu and Eastern religions, but we must concede the point that a proper balance is needed in all things (Ecclesiastes 7: 16-17 Ecclesiastes 3.  I noted on several occasions that Pentecostal Bishops would remark that even the old time Pentecostals would become offended if the order of service varied from what was expected.  They would state “… if we forget this… then some think  ‘God didn’t move’..”   One minister compared our order of service to the Catholic and Orthodox church:  IE do not tamper with it!!

Its amazing how the more things change, the more they stay the same!

A church service and all activities need order, but within the order is freedom of creativity. At this point I need to mention the most important person in the service, he being the Holy Spirit.  God’s Spirit should be in charge and direct every facet of the service.  No doubt, all of the Christian readers have heard this from time “in memoriam”.  This cannot be overstated!  Some of us were taught good principles for services and conduct, mixed with Old-Time Pentecostalism and a few of us were given 5 min lessons in psychology and even a bit of mass hypnosis.  Others of us have accepted the idea that we must move at the speed of light and fashion to keep up. 
Crowd manipulation and spiritually “keeping up with the Joneses” are both dangerous misconceptions.  Is God ordering the service?

How important is it to keep up with the Joneses... and at what cost?

 It is not a cardinal sin to break with a service routine and reverse or omit certain things, but should there be a norm or disorder??  Please keep in mind that every service should be directed by the Holy Spirit and we should follow his guiding Proverbs 3:5-6 , but God is orderly and a perfect gentleman. He is also a personal God and intimate with our every need. With this thought in mind, even in freedom and proficiency there should still be structure and order.

Lets look at the Thomas Jefferson quote again, and revise it: .  

 Order in Worship can consist only in the power of doing what we ought to will, and in not being constrained to do what we ought not to will.

Until next time:

Your Brother in Christ
And  Senpai in Karate 


  1. I think you got a pretty good pulse on how things are supposed to work. If the Spirit moves in a service things will still be done in an orderly fashion. Many services are led by men who get in the way of God's order and do not allow individuality or creativity to play a part. Very few if any congregations follow the principles and model of the early church. Giving was not commanded or required in a way where hell was considered an ultimatum for those who did not have to give. The majority of churches today will not allow God to move in them because the leaders are greedy of gain. In Acts, distribution was utilized to take care of the poor and most people gladly gave. You very seldom if ever see this model, but what you do see is a lot of money going into the church leaders pockets. How can God's Spirit move when a minister who is supposed to be a servant is fleecing the flock. So many things that are not supposed to be happening are happening in the church and this does more to prevent God from moving in a service than anything else

  2. All of us being Vessels of clay, have a tendency to get in the way 9of the Spirit).
    I have a good friend who is an A.G. minister (about 25 years my senior but still a good friend) who made the statement: "The church really didn't start to have problems until it became property holders".
    I guess my follow up question is "Who watches the watcher"?

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  3. Your friend make an excellent point; and you raise a valid question. In my opinion a church lacking corporate accountability quickly becomes a dictatorship. Such is not the model set by Jesus. Though Sovereign He became obedient (unto death by crucifixion). To lead Christians must follow.