Can You See The Difference Between Contemporary Worship and Early Church Worship?

Contemporary worship vs Early Worship

Posted on October 19, 2014, in Christianity, Contemporary Church Culture, The Seeker-Sensitive Church Model, Worship and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Hello, Not for Itching Ears,

    I believe what God wants for worship is an undivided heart from his worshipers. The marriage analogy may work for representing this idea. We who are married expect our partner to be faithful. Our expectations are that we are exclusive to one another in this kind of relationship. We are instructed in God’s word to worship exclusively the creator of the heavens and the earth, the only true and wise God. However, we are not to worship the creation but the Author of creation.

    I’m not sure that it entirely matters concerning the format or style of our worship in music or song other than it needs to be theologically correct. Of course, order needs to be maintained so believers can get something out of corporate worship. Chaos does not do this. Sometimes when I am listening to contemporary Christian music on the radio and I hear a verse in song that doesn’t ring true with me, something inside me says ‘is this what God shows in the Bible’? We as believers do not want to be repeatedly singing statements of falsehood in our corporate worship, or in our hearing of music.

    Some Christian songs have little if any worship value, they are simply nice entertainment. We like the drums in the song, or the melody etc. These type of songs might be ‘have a nice day’ kind of songs. Not all Christian songs lend themselves to be used in worship. Some are too difficult to sing, or sometimes most of the notes are too high for the average person, etc.

    To my thinking what constitutes worship of God is what the believer does with the song in their heart. They can go through the motions of worship, or perhaps just stand there somewhat uninterested, or they can use the song to connect with God. Worship is about the believer and not necessarily about how well the worship band is performing.

    However, we do know that an anointed worship leader can lead people into worship through the Holy Spirit. But there Is that old saying, ‘you can lead a horse to water but……….you can’t make the horse drink’.

    Some thoughts from me.


    • Hi Linda,

      I somehow missed this comment, so sorry for the delayed response.

      You inadvertently demonstrated the point of this post. The modern church views “worship” as a song that is sung. We argue over the kind of songs we sing, the style of music or service that houses the songs we sing and the types of instruments used in these songs. We argue back and forth over the type of lyrics for our songs and the people that our songs are directed towards (God, unbelievers or ourselves.) We discuss the correct tempo of the songs, the more biblical themes for our songs and so forth. In short, we definitely, most assuredly and unquestionably consider the singing of songs as the primary means of worship.

      When confronted with this, most thinking Christians will say something like this; “Worship is much more than singing songs…” True, but that does not negate our actual practice. Our actions speak louder than our theological dogma. We sing, that is what we do.

      I asked the worship leader my church eventually hired, before they hired him, how he would lead worship if he could not sing any songs. He was speechless and had no idea. Although big hearted and well meaning, he represents the actual truth that the church holds dear: Worship is a song, so come on everybody sing along!”

      The early church did NOT view worship this way.

      Who had a more correct view of worship, the early church or us?

      It is an extreme form of arrogance to even suggest that what we consider “worship” in our churches is closer to what Jesus taught than the disciples themselves understood. Yet, there will be worship leader after worship leader who will insist that we have it right.

      Ironically, the Modern worship movement has mutilated worship almost beyond recognition.


  2. Nickel Boy Graphics

    I found this to be a very powerful message, and it prompted me to ask, “What am I willing to lay down?” and “Do I truly appreciate what was laid down by those before me so long ago?” I’m also prompted to see “giving up” as an act of worship. Wow! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Not For Itching Ears, While seeking a photo for my worship article I found your site…also liked How to Be a Better Blogger. Thanks, it’s good advice. Will be reading other articles on your blog. May the Lord continue to inspire you!


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