Sunday, March 27, 2011

does our view of God limit our worship?

{Disclaimer: This post is not directed any one person. Nor is it meant as comments against worship in our churches. It is merely my wondering on the subject as I try to live life as a follower of Christ. I do not intend to offend anyone, only to challenge them to think.}

I was having a conversation with my Mom last night about worship songs that we so often sing. It's a conversation that I've had before with other people. We were talking about how sometimes it feels like all we sing about in worship is love - to the point where, to my Mom and I and to some others I have spoken with, it feels like the song is more something we would say to a husband or significant other - rather than to God. Sometimes I do wonder if we so easily get focused on God's love for us and our love for Him that we leave the rest aside.

I have nothing against songs that talk about God's love for us or our love for Him. That is incredibly important and we should not leave it behind. But, when I look back at the hymns of our faith, I see a broader mix of what the songs talk about. Yes, there are great hymns like My Jesus I Love Thee. But there's also hymns like A Mighty Fortress is Our God that talks about the strength of the God we serve and the battle we are engaged in as follower of Christ. Both are great. Both are right. And both are needed in our worship. Without one of the other something is incomplete. Yet I often feel as though most of the worship I am part of today tends toward songs like My Jesus I Love Thee, with nothing of the other.

This trend has bothered me for a long time. The more I have thought about it, the more I wonder if some of this tendency comes from our attempts - often unknowingly - to make God someone safe and predictable. Yes, God is loving - there is no doubt about that. But, He is also God and is beyond our human comprehension and we cannot make Him safe because we want to understand Him.

I think that when we focus on only one characteristic of God, we actually limit our understanding of Him to a greater extent than we could otherwise have. Just as focusing on only one or two characteristics of a person would mean that we would have a very small understanding of who they are, the same thing happens with God. Even if we do not prefer or cannot completely understand all of God's characteristics, we cannot refuse to acknowledge that which we do not prefer or understand.

As I said in my disclaimer above, I do not mean this to be directed at any person who leads worship. But, I do wonder if our view of God and what parts of God we choose to focus on have limited our worship.

As always, I would love to hear other people's thoughts on this. You can leave them as a comment on this post.

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