You ever notice some people worship… worship?
Let me see if I can explain;
As a kid, I remember one year going to a big church Easter revival. With the full choir, great music, and impressive stage construction, they did an amazing job of bringing ancient Biblical narrative to life! The live animals were impressive, even the Roman Centurions looked like modern day body builders. It’s really cool to see people express their faith through creative ways. In the last few years I have had the opportunity to meet some extremely talented artists with the ability to express their deep faith using simple tools like a pencil and paper, and create an image that expresses the depth and truth of their faith.
Expression of faith is a wonderful, inspiring ability. I do however believe some people get to the point where they begin to worship their expressions of faith more than the Truth they claim to believe.
I was discussing this concept with a friend of mine the other day over a cup of coffee, and he said it like this. Imagine a young lady who grew up in a really conservative church. Pretend her mother constantly put the pressure on her to wear long sleeves. After years of fighting the young lady finally yields to her parents wishes, and begins to feel peace in her heart. The rebellious fight in her finally calms and she feels like a new person. Even the relationship with her parents improves. Let’s pretend years later she has a daughter. She deeply wants her daughter to experience the peace that she did, so she forces her daughter to repeat the same ritual of worship–wear long sleeves. This mother doesn’t realize that her peace had nothing to do with the sleeves and had everything to do with a heart transformation that took place as a result of her willingness to honor her parents. The sleeves were just an expression of the event that transpired in her heart.
There are religious people that do this in many different ways. There are many people that if closely examined worship their expressions more than any Truth they claim to believe. There is nothing wrong with long sleeves, huge Easter productions, or even an organ playing an old hymn, as long as we never forget these should be expressions of a Truth that lives in our hearts.
Expressions are good! Let me say that again in a different way, they are really important! The Bible does give rudimentary expressions that we all should exhibit. Take a moment and read all of 1 Corinthians 13 and Galatians 5:22.
I know I want to have, as well as participate in a church obsessed with the Truth as we express it in different ways.
I actually just spoke on this… In this message I share one of the biggest mistakes I made in ministry. I spent to much time worshiping expressions of worship and teaching others to do so. I am far from perfect or even having all the answers, but I fully believe we need to be a people in pursuit of Truth.
Here is my story… (Please forgive the timing delay when the powerpoint slide comes up part way through)