Sunday, 11 May 2014

Themes of Life - Defending true Worship

Our lives have various themes in common. I am going through them, step by step, basing statements on the Holy Scripture, though I am not quoting texts (though I would be happy to supply them).

The second theme - defending true worship - is mainly in the power of church leaders. It is the defence of the true worship of God: the defence of revealed Truth. However, ordinary believers must also consider this issue, when choosing who to listen to, who to identify with, who to mix with, where to attend worship. We must all assess false religion, even non-believers e.g. primarily in the form of dangerous cults and the occult (though non-believers may also question true religion). There are real dangers in false religion for true believers, since their wall of safety in the spiritual realm is Holy Scripture and obedience to God.

This was something that preoccupied when in my twenties, I was trying to find a church where faith was real. I did not want an incoherent mishmash of modern ideas and words, dressed up as religion by modern people without any relationship with the living God. Nor did I think that rock music in church would please the living God. I was graciously led to such a church where I found true Christians, Holy Scripture and Jesus Christ.

Theme Two - keeping pure the religious worship of God (Second Commandment)
Our duties are: respecting and keeping pure the commandments of God about how to worship Him, as set out in the Holy Scriptures; prayer and thanksgiving only in the name of Christ; regular studying and reading of the Holy Scriptures; support for the preaching His Word; the administration/receiving of the sacraments (which are Holy Communion and Baptism); church administration and government which supports Christian ministry; religious fasting, for those who undertake this; no swearing in the name of God and vowing things to Him; separation from all false worship both to God and to gods; idolatry  (which is directing praise to anyone or anything apart from God).

Our temptations are: devising and supporting new ways of worship not instituted in the Bible e.g. changing the teaching on worship, worshipping relics, the occult, omitting psalms and including practices not prescribed in the Bible for worship, man-centred worship; cults and false religion; statues and images; superstitions in the name of God; adding to the instituted worship of God e.g. inventing new practices, following traditions or adding 'popular' worship practices; simony - which is the offering of false forgiveness in return for money; sacrilege, which is defiling the sacred, on purpose; hindering and opposing the true worship that God has appointed since He has indicated His judgement on all false worship, including false worship in His Name, due to His fervent zeal for His own worship, as instituted. Worshippers must worship Him, through Christ, in spirit and truth.

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