Skip to comments.The Rev. Charles Camlin: "Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places"
Posted on 10/22/2005 9:43:36 AM PDT by sionnsar
From the Rev. Charles Camlin of Holy Trinity REC in Fairfax, Virginia, comes the sermon Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places, which really makes some good points about worship in the modern Church in America:
In light of the instructions of St. Paul here and our reading of Exodus thirty-two and Psalm one hundred fifteen, I would like for us to consider some related issues concerning worship. First of all, let us consider the Exodus passage. If you read the passage carefully, you will notice that what is being proposed there is the worship of Yahwehthe God who delivered them from Egypt. But the manner of worship was against what God had commanded them just a few days earlier. They were not to make any kind of image to bow down to and worship. Not even if they were claiming that in doing so, they were worshipping the LORD. The principle here is that you cannot mix pagan styles of worship with the worship of the LORD. Now I am not aware of any churches in our day that are building golden calves. But there are some quasi-pagan elements of worship which are being introduced into churches in the United States. I will mention two. Some contemporary "praise songs" come awfully close to this. Some of these songs amount to the same words being sung over and over again with the intentions of working the worshippers into a frenzy. This is awfully close to some elements of pagan worship. Likewise, there are other churches which are introducing suggestive dances into the worship service claiming that it is all being done for the LORD. The Church better be very careful what it adds to the worship of the LORD.Is that one reason so many of us have lost our spiritual discernment--that we have exalted idols of some type or another above the one true God, and hence have become like those idols? This is a sermon which is well worth reading!
In Psalm one hundred fifteen, the psalmist is urging Israel to trust in the LORD and not vain idols. He then introduces a common idea in the Old Testamentthat you become like what you worship. In the case of idols, what the worshipper does is he goes out into the woods and finds a stump, carves it into the image of a man or an animal, and then bows down to worship it. What the psalmist says, along with several of the prophets, is that these idols have eyes but they cannot see; ears but they cannot hear; mouths but they cannot speak. And those who worship them will become like them. They too will become spiritually deaf, blind, and mute.
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