there’s more than one way to God. before you post a comment or tweet that i’m a heretic, hear me out. i firmly believe that Jesus is the ONLY way to God and that the Bible is God’s Word, error-free. i also believe in the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
i’m not backing down from any of those truths.
but over the years, the more I interact with Christians outside my church, the more i have come to understand that our journeys of following God look different. there are certain core truths (like i said), but the ways God teaches each of us can look different. God teaches me to trust Him differently than the way He teaches you because I have different issues, struggles, and experiences.
we’re all wired differently. it’s how God made us. and part of the way we’re wired is how we connect with God. some can read classic books by long-dead writers and feel inspired by God; others open the latest bestseller and find their faith strengthened. some worship God listening to Mumford & Sons, others prefer the latest Passion album.
is one smarter or deeper than the other? is one more spiritual than the other?
not really. that’s just how God speaks to them.
this faith, this journey of following Jesus Christ, consistently breaks out of every box we put it in. we worship differently. we enjoy different teachers. we go to different churches. but there’s one unifying part to all of that—Jesus Christ, the head of this body.
that church across the street who reads out of their hymnal every Sunday connects with God. the one down the street where folks raise their hands and worship with enthusiasm connects with Him too. the one across from that is a blend of both. is one better than the other? no.
each one can have people either running from God or running to Him. each one can have people acknowledging He is good and holy in different ways. each one can have people who connect to God in a different way than you do, but still be as passionate about Him as you are.
and how awesome it will be when someday that body is united and worshiping God in many different ways.
God is so big. God is so complex. and because of that, it will take all of us connecting to Him in different ways to even begin to worship Him for all He really is.
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2 thoughts on “wired”
Some thoughts/questions on your post:
1) Your post made me reflect on some of the specificity of worship that we see portrayed in the Old Testament. It seems that the LORD required the temple to be constructed in a very specific way. The furniture had to be built a certain way. The fabrics had to be a certain type. If the LORD was specific in this way in the OT period, what would make one think that there were no requirements on churches for how they structure a church service?
2) Something I have been learning recently is something called “The Regulative Principle of Worship”. This idea originated in the reformed churches during the protestant reformation period. John Calvin and Luther for example promoted church services that were structured in a certain way. They based their ideas of principles derived from scripture. Because they held so strongly to the idea of “sola scriptura”, they felt that Christian ministers and church bodies had a responsibility to structure their worship services as much as possible according to a scriptural pattern or at least scriptural guidelines.
2a) For example they felt that church services ought to include expositional preaching of the word. In other words, not topical sermons, but preaching through entire books of the Bible.
2b) This was kind of a reaction to Roman Catholic mass where preaching was not primary (but the sacraments were primary). So protestant churches made the pulpit primary, not secondary. Notice that the pulpit (and therefore preaching) was at the center of the church building. The Word became primary.
2c) They felt that a service should include songs, hymns and spiritual songs. (see Colossians and Ephesians)This is where the hymnal tradition came from in part.
2d) They felt that services should observe the Lord’s supper or communion.
2e) They felt that churches should obey the mandate of baptizing new believers
3) I personally think that there are elements that ought to be included and that the church errs when she does not include these or neglects these. On the other hand I would agree with your point that people feel close to God by different means (certain books or music). I think we ought to make a distinction between how we each feel close to God and how church worship services should be structured or rather the elements that ought to be included.
4) Other secondary points
4a) We are commanded to worship together as a body to not forsake church attendance
4b) We ought to IMO rest on the Lords day if at all possible
4c) We ought not to isolate ourselves from other Christians, but to be in fellowship with them
4d) We ought to confess our faults/sins to one another (at least to a trusted friend in the church)
Hey I appreciated your post and thought it was interesting. It provoked a lot of reflection as you can see! Have a great day!
wow. thank you for the incredibly thought out, and well-articulated response. after reading this, i can definitely label the “wired” blog post as thought-provoking, as well as your response. you brought up some great points, and i do agree that there are certain fundamentals that should be present in any worship service, including God’s Word being the center of the message and the guideline for any truths being communicated. thanks again for the comments!