Has God Disappeared from Christian Worship?

Here’s a fun exercise for you.  Turn on the local Christian radio station that plays music all the time for 30 min.  Try to keep track of all the times that you hear the term “worship” and think about how this term is usually employed.  Now ask yourself, is God at the center of our worship?

When God is the object of our worship then bringing Him the glory and praise He deserve is the end goal.  All too  often this is not the purpose of our gathered worship.  We are more interested in how our worship makes us feel or the emotions that are stirred up by songs being played.  In other words, God is no longer the object.  It’s no longer a question of whether or not God has been honored with a right heart.  Instead, worship has become about the “worshipper.” Or, more accurately, we’ve become the object of our own worship (again).

It is this erosion of Soli Deo Gloria (To the Glory of God Alone) that the Cambridge Declaration addressed with these words:

Wherever in the church biblical authority has been lost, Christ has been displaced, the gospel has been distorted, or faith has been perverted, it has always been for one reason: our interests have displaced God’s and we are doing his work in our way. The loss of God’s centrality in the life of today’s church is common and lamentable. It is this loss that allows us to transform worship into entertainment, gospel preaching into marketing, believing into technique, being good into feeling good about ourselves, and faithfulness into being successful. As a result, God, Christ and the Bible have come to mean too little to us and rest too inconsequentially upon us.

God does not exist to satisfy human ambitions, cravings, the appetite for consumption, or our own private spiritual interests. We must focus on God in our worship, rather than the satisfaction of our personal needs. God is sovereign in worship; we are not. Our concern must be for God’s kingdom, not our own empires, popularity or success.

Ok, now turn off the radio.  Think about your own conception of worship.  Who are you worshiping? Who’s Kingdom are you worried about?