A.W. Tozer once said the following about worship: "In my opinion, the great single need of the moment is that light-hearted superficial religionists be struck down with a vision of God high and lifted up, with His train filling the temple. The holy art of worship seems to have passed away like the Shekinah glory from the tabernacle. As a result, we are left to our own devices and forced to make up the lack of spontaneous worship by bringing in countless cheap and tawdry activities to hold the attention of the church people."[A.W. Tozer, Keys to the Deeper Life (Grand Rapids, Mich.:Zondervan, 1957), 87-88. ] John MacArthur wrote: "In the past half decade, some of America's largest evangelical churches have employed worldly gimmicks like slapstick, vaudeville, wrestling exhibitions, and even mock striptease to spice up the Sunday meetings. No brand of horseplay, it seems, is too outrageous to be brought into the sanctuary. Burlesque is fast becoming the liturgy of the pragmatic church."[John MacArthur, Ashamed of the Gospel (Wheaton, Ill.:Crossway, 1993), xvii-xviii.]
These statements remind us that biblically based Christian is challenged to think through about worship, along with all facets of life, in light of the culture in which he/she lives. Worship should be included in the total worldview of each individual Christian. Worship is not a significant part of a believer's life, worship is the Christian life.
Let us consider what the word 'worship' really means. "Our English word means worthship,' denoting the worthiness of an individual to receive special honor in accordance with that worth."[Everett F. Harrison, "Worship," in Baker's Dictionary of Theology, ed. Everett F. Harrison (Grand Rapids, Mich.:Baker, 1960), 560.] The Hebrew and Greek terms found in the Bible "emphasize the act of prostration, the doing of obeisance."[ibid] Warren Wiersbe writes, "Worship is the believer's response of all that he is--mind, emotions, will, and body--to all that God is and says and does. This response has its mystical side in subjective experience, and its practical side in objective obedience to God's revealed truth. It is a loving response that is balanced by the fear of the Lord, and it is a deepening response as the believer comes to know God better."[Warren Wiersbe, Real Worship (Nashville, Tenn.: Oliver Nelson, 1986), 27.]
As Bethel Church carefully consider our worship, we want these definitions to become a reality in our church as we worship our God. May our worship honor and bless He who created us and put all of worthiness to Him. Amen