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Let's Get Specific – Some Choruses, a Pep-talk, and an Offering, part 7 of 20

November 19, 2010

The case has been made that God, not us, gets to regulate His worship; after all, He is the One being worshiped (see previous posts). John Knox, the Scottish reformer, understood this: “All worshiping, honoring, or service invented by the brain of man in the religion of God, without His own express commandment, is idolatry” (Works, Vol. III). John Calvin called our brain an “idol factory” (Institutes, I.xi.8). If these two John’s got it right; lots of little evangelical brains have been forging away on Sunday morning for some time now. So if God gets to regulate His worship, how…

The Regulative Principle – Some Choruses, a Pep-talk, and an Offering, part 6 of 20

November 11, 2010

It’s called the “regulative principle”. In short, it means God says how He is to be worshiped; that He has said so in His Word; and that if it’s not found there, we don’t do it. It’s classically defined in the Westminster Confession. It reads: The light of nature showeth that there is a God, who hath lordship and sovereignty over all, is good, and doth good unto all, and is therefore to be feared, loved, praised, called upon, trusted in, and served, with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the might. But the acceptable…

Worshiping in Vain – Some Choruses, a Pep-talk, and an Offering, part 5 of 20

November 4, 2010

  Anyone disagree that it is appropriate and right that the house of God be ordered by God’s rules? How can any disagree with that? But when it comes to corporate worship, at least in practice, many actually do. The impression given in many sanctuaries is that God hasn’t regulated His worship; that He has left it to man’s ingenuity instead. But we saw last time (Some Choruses, a Pep-talk, and an Offering, Part 4) that worship according to “rules taught by men” (Matthew 15:9) is no worship at all. It is frightening to consider we may be worshiping God…

He Gets to Decide – Some Choruses, a Pep-talk, and an Offering, part 4 of 20

October 28, 2010

Thus far, the case for God’s regulated worship has been made from the Old Testament. Can one be made from the New? Most certainly; we’ll look at one this time and another one the next. In Matthew 15, Jesus is having another run-in with Israel’s “worship experts”—the Pharisees. After their confrontation, Jesus gives them a less-than-complimentary title; calling them “blind guides”. The full indictment goes this way: “Leave them [the Pharisees]; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit” (15:14). In what way were they blind? Jesus had said a…

A Costly Worship Mistake – Some Choruses, a Pep-talk, and an Offering, part 3 of 20

October 21, 2010

 There is another guy with a funny name in our Bibles who paid dearly for his “worship mistake”. His name was Uzzah. King David was excited about moving the ark of God (2 Samuel 6:2) to Jerusalem. Sounded like a good idea; it was the embodiment of the presence of God. Thirty-thousand soldiers and the masses lined the way to usher the ark to the holy city—it’s quite the worship celebration, too, music and everything. Two men, Ahio and Uzzah, were selected to escort the cart carrying the ark. Ahio was in front, Uzzah was in back. Then there’s trouble.…

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