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Thursday, April 15, 2010
If you ever wondered what it looks like when people worship God in spirit and... well, just spirit, watch this video.

Hopefully I didn't ruin anyone's meal.

This may be an extreme example, but every Christian could use a reminder that God isn't looking for a bunch of emotion junkies who sing stupid songs and think worthless thoughts in their praise. He wants His people to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).


PB said...

"Alzheimers is not biblical."

I wish I had time to drive to Alabama, or wherever this guy is, and punch him in the head until the Holy Spirit told me to stop.

Darius said...

Just follow the worship leader's words: "Put your right hand in, put your left hand in, put your right hand in, put your left hand int..." until the Holy Spirit takes away the pain from punching him.

Darius said...

And to answer your question, it appears that this takes place in North Carolina, since that is where the four churches that are part of this "denomination" are located (though they have a couple dozen "affiliate" churches spread out across the nation. None in Minnesota, unfortunately, or I'd suggest a road trip. :)

Chris A said...

Let me just say this. You won't catch me doing the hokie pokie anytime soon, or ever actually.
But do I believe God is merciful enough to heal people even when they do silly things? Absolutely.

Here is what people don't understand. God's blessings are not contingent on whether we are absolutely doctrinally or practically correct. A lot of Christians have correct teaching, but never actually experience the fullness of God's goodness in this life. In my estimation, we need both - doctrinal soundness and an experience with the Holy Ghost wholly consistent with the New Testament record.

We have a number of churches who have part of one or the other, but have never had this glorious consummation of sound doctrine and the baptism of the Spirit, and either often fail to see value in the other. And there is so much prejudice between the two [carnal] factions that one may feel justified in committing to bodily harm the other, even if it is only in jest.

Darius said...

I agree Chris. My struggle is much more with worshiping God in Spirit. And I definitely agree that God could have actually healed some of these people (assuming that they weren't "plants" in the crowd). Or they could be just affected by the worship like a sick person is by a placebo pill. God can certainly work through our sometimes terrible understanding of Him to do great things and heal us. I am certain that many of those Jesus healed in the New Testament had a very weak understanding of who He was.

Chris A said...

To me, its like this: we have to take care of the plank in our eye before we can address the speck in our brother's eye.

This is what we have: some of the American Evangelical leadership warning of a crisis in Christianity because of weak theological and practical Christianity among charismatics. And then you have charismatics decrying the dry formalism of the non-charismatic, or oftentimes more properly, anti-charismatic Evangelicals who, while they may be more doctrinally sound on the whole, rarely see any [or even theoretically believe in] the present-day demonstrations of the Spirit's power like those recorded in the book of Acts and addressed in Paul's epistles. The truth is that both "camps" are correct to an extent, but neither wants to admit their fault because its just more convenient to point out the faults of the other. However, on this point I will say that the non-Charismatic Evangelicals are a little better about policing themselves in my opinion.

But if we are going to have a discussion about who's sin is worse, what will that accomplish? The fact is that both represent a real crisis in Christianity - the one lending itself to periodic winds of doctrinal and practical extremes and sometimes complete and utter nonsense; the other the creation of a church-Jesus who doesn't resemble the miracle working Christ in the actual Bible because, to quote one prominent Calvinist theologian whom I happen to really like, "God is not doing such miracles today." So you have each group effectively and justifiably (but not really) accusing the other of error while never taking steps to either acknowledge or correct their own errors.

The challenge for every Christian is to recognize the value in our brothers and love them as Christ commanded. That doesn't mean that we have to accept everything they say, but it does mean we have to be careful about how we address them when we disagree with them. And we shouldn't be so quick to draw overly strict boundaries of orthodoxy just so we can claim someone isn't our brother. If that isn't pharasaic I don't know what is.

Darius said...

Good words, Chris. I think, though, that non-charismatic Christians can still fall into emotion-based worship. I see this a lot in evangelical churches that would never call themselves charismatic. They sing a dumb repetitive song that is doctrinally weak at best and think because they really "get into it" that it qualifies as good worship. As long as I go away feeling satisfied, it doesn't matter if God actually was pleased or if the Holy Spirit was present. That's a personal application I can take away from this video; am I standing guard against less obvious forms of emotional idolatry? Or, on the flip side, am I standing guard TOO much and denying the work of the Spirit?

Chris A said...

Yeah, well I think you're right. While I think worship should involve emotion, it should not be based on emotion. I wrote a little about this at ZFT, you may recall. But I think if you have joy unspeakable and full of glory, it can hardly be displayed in a manner devoid of emotion.

However, let me also make the point that while some charismatic churches do sing songs with very little biblical content, that's not so everywhere. Some of the charismatic worship songs, most of them older, are excellent pertaining to biblical content.

In my opinion, repetition is good when used properly. In other words, when you are repeating something worth repeating. Too many lyrics can ruin any good song when people become focused on whether they are singing the right words rather than the words themselves.

I play the bass in a charismatic worship band. I don't have any sway over which songs get chosen, and in my opinion, most of them are weak for one reason or another. If it was up to me, we'd probably have just 10 Gospel-focused songs that were simple enough for people to memorize. But despite my frustration with the current situation, I won't let that keep me from worshiping God.

Darius said...

Yeah, I don't have a problem with repitition, per se. After all, Revelation says that eternal worship consists entirely of repetition. It's the repetition of 3-word shallow songs that gets me riled up. :) Something like Israel Houghton's "I am a Friend of God" comes to mind... It's no surprise that Houghton is a worship leader at Joel Osteen's church, his songs are chaff.

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The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
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