So many ideas on worship, and a few do have biblical foundation. . . . (This post continues thoughts from a few days ago.)
Eighteen years ago, the Christian Chronicle surveyed a few American Restoration Movement leaders of various, shall we say, bents. I retained at least one response that surprised me positively, on recent re-discovery:
. . . Worship rings out of the fountain of the soul and heart–the springing out of adoration, praise and thanksgiving to God. . . .
The internal man must be involved. You can worship internally without doing anything external, but you can’t worship externally without involving the internal.
Worship is intentional. You cannot worship God accidentally. It must be an intended act. [editorial emphasis–bc]
We only worship vertically. It is something we do in communication, adoration and praise toward God. . . .
God is not our buddy. He is deity; we are human. Let us go back to the fact of how awesome is the majesty, power, grace and love of God. . . . We must beware turning the worship of God into more of a pep rally than the awe-inspiring worship of the Almighty God.
– Excerpted from Roy Lanier Jr., “My Hope for the Church’s Worship” in “Worship Today: Six Leaders Express Their Views,” Christian Chronicle, 7/94. Reprinted by permission.
Mr. Lanier, if memory serves (and it well may not!), is someone with whom I would share a fair number of historical underpinnings, but whose ideas around church functionalities and Bible interpretation would often fall to the right of my own. He does seem to have a good handle on worship, though! Here, I particularly want to highlight that worship is vertical, i.e., between creature and Creator. The horizontal “life” stuff is related, and does absolutely need to be harmonized, but is not worship per se.
Moreover, specifically on an expression that leads to much misunderstanding: Paul did not write “spiritual act of worship” in Romans 12. He didn’t write English words at all, and the Greek words he wrote aren’t normally, otherwise translated “spiritual” and “worship.”
May we get our ideas on all “God things” from the scriptures.
To be continued . . .