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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...




Vantage Point: True Worship

By Ken Horn
Aug. 28, 2011

The first necessity of Christian worship is that it must be sincere. “Those who worship [God] must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24, NKJV).

Puritan Stephen Charnock said, “Without the heart it is no worship. It is a stage play. It is an acting of a part. … It is playing the hypocrite.”

What is hypocrisy in worship? Some would say if you don’t worship the same way at home as you do at church, then you’re a hypocrite. But I don’t believe the Bible teaches that.

What it does teach is that worship must be sincere. It is not hypocritical to worship explosively in the midst of a number of fellow believers in a church sanctuary or conference setting, yet quietly at home with the family or by yourself.

Worship varies in different groups. Your worship does not need to look like my worship to be genuine. It is not the form but the sincerity that matters.

Individual worship varies in different settings. I confess to being a sports fan. While a lot of men may be just as expressive watching a game at home as they are at the stadium, I am not. I am far more expressive at a live event. But I am just as enthusiastic about my teams at home as I am at the stadium. I just express it differently.

There are people who worship the same at home and at church. But it is more common for people to vary their worship according to setting. This is just about the form of worship, not the spirit or the truth of it. Hypocrisy has no favorite worship style. There are hypocrites in staid, formal churches and there are hypocrites in freewheeling, informal ones.

Jesus addressed this: “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me’” (Matthew 15:7,8).

What is the result of such worship? Jesus said, “In vain they worship Me”(v. 9).

Christian worship must take place in the spirit, and not just keep beat to a catchy tune. And it must be true worship, not to be seen of men. After all, Jesus deserves our highest — genuine — praise.

Ken Horn
Editor

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