Thursday, May 18, 2006

Oxymorons


Plastic silverware. Objective opinion. Artificial intelligence. Educated guess. Microsoft Works. Genuine naughahyde. Government worker. Airline food. Postal service. French resistance. Adult male. Oxymorons.

I thought of another one just as I was writing this. Parachurch ministry. But how about "boring worship"? Can we really be worshiping God and have it be boring? The thing isn't to make it entertaining. The thing is that if it's worship, then it isn't boring. The "need" for entertainment says that people are bored. It reminds me of the kid who asked his mom how far she had counted in her lifetime? She said, "I don't know. What about you?" "25, 657," he answered. She asked, "So why did you stop at that particular number?" He replied, "Church was over." Jesus said to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart" (our affections) and "all thy mind" (our attention). You tell me what gets the most affection and attention, and I will tell you what you worship. A key word with worship is "focus." Does God get your focus? Does He get your attention and your affection? If not, what does?

If God isn't getting your affection and attention, then your worship probably is boring. You probably aren't thinking about the songs you sing in church. You are probably not really exalting God. You are just singing words, probably mostly thoughtlessly. You are probably not extending God to the nations. You are probably not talking about Him to the people around you. Why? He isn't your focus. And when He's not your focus, then you are bored with Him.

What will change that? You need to find out Who He is. He is a "rewarder of them who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). He is a good God. God can't seem like a rip-off to you if you are going to focus on Him, give Him affection and attention. You can't think that He doesn't know what is best for you. You have to recognize Him for Who He really is, that is, the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). All the good things that you enjoy come from God. Why? He wants you to enjoy them. When you blow it by sinning, guess Who can take care of that sin and its results? God alone, of course. If we confess the sin, He's faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9), because the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). He sent His dear Son to you when you were ungodly to die for you, and in so doing, He demonstrated His love for you (Romans 5:8). Only believers can worship God. Only believers can sacrifice for Him. And believers will not find Him to be boring, but new every morning and every day.

Let's stop joyous Christian from being an oxymoron. Let's start today. Start today. That's not an oxymoron. Start tomorrow would be.

7 comments:

Jerry Bouey said...

I thought the title of your post was in regards to some of your critics: Oxy"morons", but then I realized what you were saying.

Good stuff - how can worship in spirit and in truth be boring? Only if we are not right with God.

Truly, if we focus on spiritual blessings like you have pointed out here, then our worship will be anything but boring! Thanks for the reminders of what is important.

Dave Mallinak said...

Permission requested to print this in my church bulletin. First because it is right, second because it is needed, third because it is something I regularly emphasize, fourth because it is well-worded and skillfully written, fifth because it will give our people a different flavor than the normal vanilla. (Insert smiley face here).

Michael McNeilly said...

I think that this is very good article and thoughts. I think we all get so wrapped up in making sure everything is in proper order and what needs to be done rather than what can I give God this worship service. My brother-in-law is a missionary in Fiji and he did something that I like. Every service on the last hymn he would have an invitation for people to get their hearts prepared because most of us don't do it at home. Church and worship become empty when doing it in the flesh. Great article.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks to all the kind comments about this post, which is also a challenge to me. And Hello again Michael. See, I talked to you again. I've thought the same thing about singing; that really isn't about getting ready for preaching. Perhaps preaching is about getting ready for singing.

Anonymous said...

Oxymoron....one of my favorite words: Praise worship; Sunday morning Christians;re-dedication; modern day hymns....and the beat goes on.
I am reminded of the scripture in Philippians 3:19 as Paul tells the people at Philippi to remember about the false teachers whose "god was their belly"..everything they did was for the satisfaction of their own desires; even their professed religion. They had a chapel but it was in their belly...."earthly sacrifices'....is that an oxymoron?
Let us not fall into this same catagory by not confessing our sins, being humble about forgiveness. I am sure Pastor B there is a Greek word for that but at the moment it "clouds my mind"..
Very good post.
ILA

Cathy McNabb said...

Here is another oxymoron to add to your list

A smart drunk.

Making mention of it because this weekend I have had to deal with abunch of drunken college students in the ER.

Joffre said...

I've enjoyed reading several of your posts. I especially agree with this one. Oh, I've been bored sometimes worshipping, but that's because I've been distracted or just going through the motions. The devil hates it when we worship God and will do anything to stop us.

How can being in his presence be boring? We are going to be doing it for eternity, so we can thank Him that its not boring. Eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ His Son, so we need to get in his presence and get to know him.

Even as I write this I am convicted because I just spend a couple of hours avoiding God. I am going to go and seek His face but before I leave you I am going to invite you to some exciting worship. Drop into Bellefontaine, Ohio at Christ Our King, just north of Highway 33 on Highway 47. There is no name on the church just a lot of people inside praising God.

You can email me at homesower@hotmail.com or visit my very now and pathetically thin blog "Come let us reason together". God bless you and keep blogging.