Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Worship Wars by Martin Wiles

I was only twelve, but I remember the war beginning in the church my father pastored. Not one with guns, knives, and swords. But a war nevertheless.

Women’s pant suits made a fashionable appearance in the United States of America in the 1970’s. Perhaps because of the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972—which ruled that girls could not be forced to wear dresses. This new fashion crept into churches across the South and with it a war between those who believed a woman worshipping in pants was acceptable and those who thought it was sacrilegious.

When I reflect on that early war, I chuckle, for it was insignificant in comparison to present worship wars. Wars over music style, dress style, worship times, and wars over whether the church should be a service provider complete with entertainment.

Jesus faced a worship war in the first century. Was Jerusalem or Mt. Gerizim the correct place to worship? But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23 NLT)

Jesus’ answer to the woman reminds me that worship isn’t about dress style, place, time, or even music tempo. While some choose a church based on these things, worship can take place regardless of any of them. Worship is an attitude of the heart, and when my motives for worshipping are honorable, I can worship God any time or at any place.

My worship should also occur daily, not just on the occasions when I gather with other believers. Regardless of what I’m doing—whether it’s working, relaxing, enjoying one of my hobbies—I can transform it into a worship experience.

Are you caught up in a worship war because you have defined it incorrectly? Learn to let everything you do be an act of worship.

Prayer: Merciful Father, may our every experience be an act of worship toward You.

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