It has been some time since I last posted a piece in The Reformed Faith. That is not to say that I have not been thinking about important issues, for I have. Indeed, I was reading a booklet written by Rev Dr Warren Porter, entitled, "Presbyterian Worship." An excellent and brief treatment of an important subject such as true worship is, which raises some interesting issues, issues that all Presbyterians ought to read and take seriously.
The one thing that I noticed in this booklet was that any departure from classical and historical Presbyterian understanding of worship was essentially 'will worship.' This is another way of worshipping in an idolatrous manner. To worship the 'will' is not to worship the living and true God. Not to worship God in a reverent and biblically warranted way is to place our will in the place of the Word of God. That is 'will worship.'
In today's unfaithful churches, we see this in almost every church that has adopted worldly modernism as its theological model. Finding a place of worship is like finding a needle in a haystack. You are either bombarded with African tom-tom drums (with their clear association with Voodoo), heavy rock drumming (designed to drive traditional worshippers out of the churches), or churches where the minister is bereft of any ability in preaching, etc. This sad situation is getting progressively worse, and the really depressing thing is, that even the church elders could not care less about the way God is to be worshipped. These are the men who are charged under God to look after the spiritual well-being of the congregations. Insofar as they allow strange worship to be offered to God in their congregations, to that extent they are not caring pastorally for their members. Even new elders in these churches have been so conditioned by past worldly practice that they are now unable to discern between what is biblical and what is not! They have been 'trained' how not to think matters through. Therefore, the churches in which they serve have been left open to the ravages of all kinds of aberrant teaching.
An example of this is the recent repudiation of their Presbyterian beliefs in preference for those of a Baptist system, by 'Presbyterians' who were extremely critical of my exposition of biblical worship, and my criticism of so-called contemporary worship. Not only so, but they were supported by other senior Presbyterians who attended their baptismal service.
The lesson is that when any church lives loosely to its doctrinal standards, it opens the doors to further defections from what they were set up to uphold.
When will Christians from the Reformed family wake up to what is being done before their very eyes, and in their name, and with their authority? When will they start to take their ordination vows seriously? When will they become men of honour and integrity, and challenge those who are seeking to destroy any true Christian worship and witness that remains? For me, and for the honour of Christ, the sooner the better!