Is Church Holier With the Lights On? Or Off?

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I’m so tired of watching Christians who worship one way throwing shade at those who worship differently.

There’s a lot more variety in the body of Christ than most of us are comfortable with.

Our discomfort with how someone else worships doesn’t make their worship wrong.

Read more at Pivot

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5 thoughts on “Is Church Holier With the Lights On? Or Off?”

  1. love this short post. I would push back on something though; in the post you made the comment regarding using what “works” in your context. I would ask what do you mean by “works”? How do you define it? I can tell you that in our small little church we presently have a volunteer worship leader who, while she is very talented, is also very limited in her “style” and it shows. You could make the argument that it “works” because she is very talented and on-point with everything that she does. And you could also bolster that argument (somewhat) by noting that there are people who “enjoy” what she does. But are those things the definers of what “works”? You could also make the argument that it doesn’t work because it is in a style that others just simply can’t “enjoy” and that when we have visitors they routinely make the comment that the worship is “bad” and is a determining factor that leads them to not want to come back and explore the faith with us. I understand that just like interpretation that context is king, but context in terms of “style” and what draws people in can tend to be more fluid.

    Case in point; we live in a rural community that is actually pretty diverse in terms of age, economic status, and ethnicity. So we don’t have a singular “context” that we can work to appeal to, and if we did then we alienate certain populations. Personally I believe that this is inevitable and unavoidable to some degree, but that should not deter us from being as diverse in our “styles” as we want.

    I would say that what really works is that which is authentically pursued (from a leadership standpoint), pursued in such a way that our desire above every desire is to give people the space to breathe and encounter God, to pour out their darkness to Him and open themselves up to be poured back into. Am I making sense?

  2. No, lights or style of music, or volume or body movement are not signs of holy worship. Yes, “Variety is the spice of worship” from God’s design. When you say “There’s a lot more variety in the body of Christ than most of us are comfortable with” I am so in agreement. However the variety in the body can only flow from each member of the body directly to the rest. There is no way a platform crew can “represent” or attempt to demonstrate this principle to any great extent. The scripture I think of is “…but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” The Spirit’s filling of God’s people is demonstrated when they come prepared to address or speak to “one another” with various kinds of music. This is a filling up all week long that overflows on Sunday to God and his people. This is the opposite of coming to church empty in need of filling. The Spirit wants us to direct his “filling” to each other, not just to God. This makes every believer, even children, a potential worship channel of Jesus’ leadership. This function demands 24/7 worship. Corporate worship is now share the worship from the last 6 days. This dynamic is a complete church-view shift from normal church. It is probably only possible in a small church. Many who are attached to strict formal church, or loud swaying church, etc might “throw shade” when they first experience this dynamic but it’s what God asked for. Worship is no longer about what we get but what we give. “Submitting to one another” is a very important freedom enhancer and freedom limiter. It should all be about obedience to God. God has made some specific instructions. It’s not at all based on what can attract a crowd to enhance the sense of “momentum” or bigness. God has told us a big eternity is coming with “every tribe and tongue” that we are preparing for now.

    Not all negative expression on forms of worship of others is “throwing shade” imo. Some is legitimate “rebuke and correction” when it flows from God’s Word.

    1. I agree Tim, that there are definitely illegitimate actions that are called worship, but are not. I didn’t bring them up in this post, just because they aren’t the subject of the post.

  3. Isn’t the post about the disunity that is on display regarding forms of worship? This is present because there is a fundamental corruption in what we have claimed is worship for centuries. This disunity and comnparison of ourselves with others over whose form is better should help us see they are all corrupt at their foundation. Just learning to accept them all is not a solution. The Holy Spirit’s designed work is substituted out for our own designs. I offered a solution from God’s Word to return to. There is no way to stop the “throwing shade” when it’s all corrupted from God’s design. God has a design for variety that is currently not allowed. You planted the seed of variety. I am watering it.

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