This is a continuation of Reforming Worship. In that blog I gave three principles for worship in a congregational context. This blog will deal with the first principle.
1) The Father calls us to worship the Son through the preaching of the inspired Scripture that is empowered by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2)
You can tell a lot about a church by looking at (or for) the pulpit. I do not intend for this statement to be a generalization. I'm sure there are many exceptions to what I am about to say, so I'll rephrase my statement.
You can tell a lot about a church by looking at the front. What is most noticeable? Is it the choir? Is it the altar? The baptistery (or Baptismal Font)? Maybe the organ, or the orchestra.
Hopefully the first thing we notice about our church is the pulpit. You can tell a lot about what is central to the worship going on in a church just by looking at what is most prominent.
The most prominent feature of our churches should be the pulpit. Not because it is a beautiful piece of furniture, but because of what it represents. The pulpit represents the preaching of the Word of God. And preaching should be the most prominent aspect of our worship.
In Scripture we find the Object of our worship. Not Scripture itself, but the One who is revealed in Scripture, God. God has chosen to reveal Himself to mankind through nature. But He has revealed Himself to the Church in the Bible. And any true preaching of Scripture should point us to God.
It is through God's revelation of Himself in Scripture that He calls us to Himself. In Scripture we find the way to peace with God. Through the pages of Scripture we see Jesus, the Son of God, who perfectly reveals the glory of the Father. This is why I say that the preaching of this Scripture should be the most prominent aspect of our worship. Through the pages of Scripture God calls us to worship.
There are churches where prominence is given to singing. Worship in these churches climax at the end of the 'song' service. If they are particularly worshipful, preaching may be excluded altogether. This worship, I believe, misses the point. If God has revealed Himself in Scripture, then eliminating Scripture in order to give prominence to some other part of worship, such as singing (which is scriptural), will inevitably lead to idolatry. If God is not worshipped as He has revealed Himself in Scripture then our 'worship' is in vain. In fact it has become idolatry. We have rejected the inspired revelation of God and substituted uninspired, good in many cases, but even in the best case, uninspired reflections of personal experience.
So, in conclusion, Singing: Good, Baptisms: Good, Altars: O.K., Scripture: Absolutely Indispensable. Isaiah 66:1-6
Reforming Worship 3