Rev. Matthew Marino claims a lot of “worship” today is characterized by:
1. Individualism: Me and my experience
2. Narcissism: Me and my desires
3. Power: Me and my potential
And, 4. Entertainment: Me as spectator vs participant (1 Cor 14:26)
A lot of what is sung has Jesus-my-boyfriend lyrics.
How often does the pronoun “I” appear versus “we”? Even more telling, how many songs could be sung unchanged if “she” was substituted for “he” and it became a love song to a girl rather than God?
…after teaching our young to think of Jesus in the same terms as a teen crush, we wonder why our young people’s faith has all the sustaining power of one.
We evaluate our worship by our warm feelings…feelings carefully created by melody line and key change. …
God is no longer the Lord of Creation redeeming and calling humans to join in His great mission to save a lost and dying world. He is a genie in a bottle to be rubbed in order to get more of whatever I want at that moment.
We have reversed the subject and object of our worship. The church has packaged us ourselves and is feeding it back to us. …
I do see a sign of hope. …It is a generation that understand the historic order of worship has the power to shape lives, and that the words we use in worship matter. They are not afraid of the vetted, historic words of the church. Make no mistake, they want passion…but they are not so naive as to think that emotion sustains. They long for more Scripture in sermons and more pastoring in their own lives from their pastors. They know that art gives power to the message, and that the liturgy gives a life-shaping container to both…but also that liturgy without artfulness and a clear Gospel message is like a lunch box without a meal inside.
The deeper question, I suppose, is about the nature of God. And concomitantly about our own nature. This is not a rejection of our God-given, deep needs and desires which it is God’s will to fulfil. This is an acknowledgement that our superficial wants may war against our deep needs and desires. Are we there to follow God’s will, and in doing so fulfilling our deep needs and desires? Or do we see God as being there to follow our will, and in doing so fulfilling our superficial wants (what we might even refer to as ‘sin’)?
Do read the whole, excellent post by Rev. Matthew Marino here, and comment either there or below.