Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Worship Isn't a Feeling"

If you've been around the Body of Christ for any length of time you've probably heard a sermon or two along those lines.  I know I have, and my experience tells me that those types of sermons typically come from ministers who are trying to explain away the fact that the worship in their churches is either dead or dying.

While I'll be the first to admit that there have been times in my own Christian life when I haven't felt much during personal worship times, I question the premise that, as a rule, you don't have to feel anything special during worship for it to be true and full of God's presence.  How can anyone spend any appreciable length of time in the presence of God and not feel anything?  The Bible says that even the rocks will cry out, and we certainly must have more feeling than a rock!  And though the achievement of a certain feeling should not be the goal or purpose of worship, the consistent absence of a tangible manifestation of the presence of the Holy Spirit upon one's senses during worship should be a cause for concern, especially in a group setting. 

Years ago there was a statement going around that said if the Holy Spirit were taken out of the world, 80% (or so) of the church services would still go on as scheduled.  It was disturbingly true then and, I believe, is still true today (although the percentage has crept upward I suspect).  What I find even more disturbing though, is the fact that most churches would rather make excuses and live with the problem than come clean, repent, and experience the fullness of God in their midsts again (or maybe even for the first time).