Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Self-Regarding Worship

I promised more on worship, and Bob of the indispensable In the Clearing delivers for me. :-)
Here's a bit from his recent post, Whitmanesque Worship:
Back in my long-lost liturgical days, I used to say the following words to God as a part of the confession:

I have not loved You with my whole heart, and I have not loved others as myself.

They were and are among the truest words we can ever say about ourselves, even at our finest moments.

Now, on the other hand, I am often prompted by the PowerPoint slides at church to sing songs about how much, how very much, I love God. In fact, I sometimes sing that I love Him with all my heart. Imagine that. Among all the changes I have gone through in terms of my spiritual understanding, this is not one of them. This sort of lyric irks me. They are not only effusively self-regarding, they are plain lies.

Anyway, this is the kind of thing that has a tendency to eat away at our worship, turning it into a Whitmanesque celebration of self . . .

The reason I need a savior is that I have not loved God with my whole heart. If I say that now I do love him with my whole heart, I needn't any longer speak of Jesus or long for Him, because in fact I no longer need him.

Which might be a reason that, so often, Jesus seems so peripheral to our worship and preaching.


DLE said...

Bob must've grown up Lutheran. I still remember the liturgy, too.

Bob said...

Well, I didn't "grow up" Lutheran. I came to it in my early days as a believer, in my 30s. I grew up, umm, heathen!

Milly said...

It sure is easy to fall short and feel a huge amount of guilt with the mind set that you can love God with all your heart. I hadn’t thought about that but it does explain how I can feel so guilty when I fail. Thanks for making me see I’m not alone in my failings.