Quiz for 1/26/2009

OK, here is another quiz for you.

The question this time is, what kind of worship is the following quote describing? And, as usual, no fair Googling.

“The emphasis [is on] psychophysical relatedness and subjective experience…The transcendence of the deity is overcome in the ecstasy of feeling. Sensory participation  is featured. Images are necessary-the bolder, the more colorful, the more sensational, the better. Music and dance become the means for drawing persons out of their private diversities and merging them into a mass response…worship [is] reduced to the spiritual stature of the worshipper. Its canons are that it should be interesting, relevant, and exciting.”

11 thoughts on “Quiz for 1/26/2009

  1. Strikes me as the emotional/experiential tripe coming from the emergent (by whatever name they currently embrace) group. People turn from the Truth, seeking experiences rather than Scripture to validate their personal desires.


  2. I don’t think you have to go clear to the fringe of the “emergent” church to apply this description. I think it describes the majority of “seeker sensitive” or “purpose driven” style churches.


  3. I agree with Ralph. After twleve (unfortunate) years in the ‘seeker-sensitive’ style, non-denominational churches, I can clearly see the resemblance. In fact, I wouldn’t limit it to just emergent, seeker-sensitive, and purpose-driven…. I would say the description adequately fits every charismatic church I’ve ever been in. These type of churches don’t build their theology upon solid scripture and logic, but rather on emotion and experience. So, it naturally follows that their ‘worship’ will also be very emotionally and visually driven. How sad.



  4. All very well-stated answers. But, alas, all wrong. Sorry!

    Actually, this statement was used to describe the worship of none other than the pagan god Baal. Yes, the Baal. It was part of an article written in 1972 by Eugene Peterson (yes, that Eugene Peterson, of The Message fame. Hey, even a blind squirrel…), and quoted by John Macarthur in Charasmatic Chaos.

    When I read the quote in Macarthur’s book, it sounded like so much of the sugary-sweet, candy-coated, Purpose-Driven nonsense out there I thought I’d share it with you to show that all the articles that have been written here comparing modern “worship” to Baal worship–well, now you know how close they are to the truth!


  5. Wow! I was quite shocked when you said the pagan god Baal! I knew it wasn’t just the emergent church but I would have said something else; although, I hadn’t quite formulated what yet! This was amazing!


  6. When King Solomon died his Kingdom became divided. Two of the 12 tribes, led by Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, became the southern kingdom of Judah. The other ten tribes, ruled over by Jeroboam, became the northern kingdom of Israel (also known as Ephraim).

    Jeroboam did not want his subjects going to the southern kingdom so they could worship in Jerusalem. Therefore, he found a way to entice them to stay. He placed golden calves for the people to worship, and allowed pagan fertility rites and prostitution to be practiced in the northern places of worship. It seems almost unthinkable that a race of people who had almost been rejected by God because of the worship of a golden calf (see Exodus 32), would back-slide into such evil again.

    Hosea the prophet was one of only a very few voices crying out against such wickedness. “For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place.” (Hosea 4:16) He also warned the southern kingdom not to follow their example. “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” (Hosea 4:17)

    What a sad day it is when the Lord’s people turn back to that from which they have already been delivered. Many of us have been rescued from the idolatry of this world by loving Christian friends. We must not make the mistake of presuming upon God’s grace, however. There may come a time when the Lord says to your friends, “Let him alone.” One of the harshest disciplines that God may give to His children is to let them have their own way.


  7. I go to a Charismatic church and it’s not like that at all. This church does its best to preach Biblical truths and does not go by emotional experience. The church does not overemphasize dance. This church does not emphasize the Charismatic gifts more than Biblical doctrines. Speaking in tongues is sometimes (often?) part of mid-week prayer meetings, but these meetings are dominated by corporate prayer. The church isn’t what you guys seem to think of as a Charismatic church.
    I used to go to a church that was a bit more similar to the things you described. There were things that I questioned, but even so, they tried not to compromise Scriptural teaching and they tried to err on the side of caution.
    I acknowledge, though, that there has definitely been some error in some churches and there are also some church leaders who are downright phony. You have to question things. I believe that God heals and that some people have the gift of healing, but I also believe that there are phonies out there.


  8. Doesn’t an expression of true biblical worship include:

    – musical instruments (including tambarines and cymbals)
    – poetry
    – dance
    – singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Eph 5:19)

    But primarily, doesn;t worshipping God means worshipping him with the whole heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 12:30) , in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23), and as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1)?

    What I see in charismatic churches (I have visited quite a few) seems to be mostly expressing worship to God on a Sunday through music, singing, scripture and prayer. They also generally seem to exhort people to see worship as the way they live their life, not just an act on Sundays. They call people to have Christlike character, turn from sin, to be generous, to love their neighbour, to do justice and to preach the gospel.

    Are they perfect in their theology? No. But I haven’t really met anyone who is.


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