“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. But if I am your father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is your fear of Me? Thus says the Lord of Hosts to you priests, who despise My name. ” Malachi 1:6
It may not sound very hip, but I am concerned with what corporate worship services have become for many congregations. I say this from the perspective of having performed over 1,000 concerts in worship settings worldwide.
There is a growing sense, present in many churches, that following God is all about us as individuals. The music, theatrics, marketing & promotion, and message series seem to be focused on our pleasure. The whole production seems to be at the expense of simply teaching the Bible comprehensively and living out God’s Word in a community of accountability.
This was very much the case with Israel in the days of Malachi. Prophets and priests tickled the ears of the public and showed favor to whoever contributed the most money. The religious leaders spoke of the positive and popular aspects of God’s blessing, and they steered clear of the negative and unpopular elements of His standard.
Selective preaching perpetuated an ignorance of God’s Word. Ignorance of His Word leads to a diminished view of God’s character. A diminished view of God leads to a heightened view of oneself.
Ultimately, the leaders were more concerned with the approval of men than with glorifying God, at the risk of man’s rejection. As a result, Israel heralded Adonai neither as Father nor Lord.
Most modern-day production-centered churches assume that their methods result in the spiritual growth of their congregants. Research has discovered that this may not be the case. Please understand, I’m a showbiz guy. The music business is my professional background. I love a great worship experience when music, media, and message are artfully woven together. But problems arise when a congregation focuses more on gathering, retaining, and (dare I say) entertaining congregants rather than graciously yet comprehensively teaching the Bible.
“The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7
“So faith comes by hearing; and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10: 7
When we acknowledge God as Father AND Lord, we will worship Him as such.
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