When we think of worship these days, what comes to mind? Mention the word among Christians and chances are their could be a wide variety of ideas about worship.
Much of it will be personal choice.The sound of the band. The style of music. How the music makes us feel. The worship leader, and many other personal choices.
In my opinion, none of these things tells us what worship is (I am not going to give a theological exposition on what worship is here. That is not the point of this post). What troubles me about the above scenario is that in the modern era, worship has become more about the worshipper than the one we worship.
Since when do we define worship from our personal point of view? This has become so bad that these days, if a "big name" comes to lead worship at a church, you have to book tickets to get in!
Far fetched? Not so! I was driving to work the other day when I heard this ad on a Christian radio station here. I wasn't too sure that I heard right. So, as soon as I got to work I went online just to listen to the radio again. I did not hear wrong! "Israel & New Breed" was coming to Centurion Christian Church, and they were advertising that the band was going to be here only one night and that we must order our tickets for 9 March 2008 at 6pm.
Can you imagine? Here is a high profile worship leader (or so I have read), visiting a church on a Sunday night, and people must pay for him to lead them in worship! That is simply disgusting!
This just once again shows that worship in our modern church has next to nothing to do with God, but everything with us! The church has made man the center of worship, just like it has made man the center of salvation!
The church these days is more concerned with the right worship leader, the right style of music, the right sound, the right lighting, the right acoustics, while in the midst of this all, it has forgotten that it has the right God! But, that is not important! We have to get the people to feel right and get into the groove. Forget the fact that they are supposed to be worshipping God.
To them, worship does not have an object. It only has a subject. It says, "I worship!" It is worship with only themselves in mind. Worship is equated with feelings. Not that worship should not have passion. The point is that their worship encourages and builds up the subject and the subject alone. "Me!"
Because of this utter selfishness, the church has created worship superstars that have created this image of what worship should be like, and if worship does not fit in with this image, then it is not considered worship. How self-obsessed!
When churches charge people to watch superstars lead them in "worship," then they have completely lost the plot! Then again, many will pay for such an event, since they are not seeking God at all! They are seeking their next "spiritual fix!"
But, then again, if we believe that we must draw the world through all kinds of shenanigans, then our worship will become just as self-centered.