Dave walks out of church after the Sunday service and says: “Worship was awesome this morning. The band totally rocked!”
This is strange. When did “worship” get equated with the “band totally rocking”? When did “worship” get equated with the emotional flow that one cultivates when joining into the group sing for a set of popular songs? When did “worship” get identified with a feeling?
Incredibly, many evangelical Christians today think about worship the same way a fifteen year old thinks about love.
“Tanya is totally hot. Dude, I’m in love!”
Alas, our teenage friend has conflated sexual attraction (i.e. a subjective feeling) with love. After all, if Tanya (God forbid) becomes a paraplegic tomorrow, or suffers third degree burns, or loses a limb in a tragic accident, Romeo’s “love” will change very quickly.
Feelings are nice, sure. But love isn’t ultimately about sexual attraction. It’s about that which sustains you when the sexual attraction isn’t there. Of course, you all know this. It’s so obvious that even saying it sounds embarrassingly clichéd.
And yet, when it comes to “worship” I often encounter similar assumptions at work, ones that equate worship with the emotional feeling one gets when they sing some songs in a group. There’s nothing wrong with that feeling. But don’t equate it with worship.