So we've looked at worship. And we've thought about spirit. Today is that pesky thing called truth.
But first, have you ever been outcast because of your lack of truth? For example, can you differentiate between a Steeler fan and a true Steeler fan? I can't, but that seems to be what most Christian leaders spend a lot of their time doing. To be a Christian ins't enough these days, one must be a true Christian.
Jesus doesn't do us any favors on this point as he makes it clear that while some worship, others are true worshipers because they worship in spirit and truth. Why does there always have to be stratification? My family is middle class, but doest he 42" vizio mean we're true middle class or are we posers?
It makes sense, I suppose, that true worshipers would worship in truth. They seem to go hand in hand. The Barclay-Newman lexicon offers way too much information when it comes to that pesky word, alethia, truth.
1) objectively 1a) what is true in any matter under consideration 1a1) truly, in truth, according to truth 1a2) of a truth, in reality, in fact, certainly 1b) what is true in things appertaining to God and the duties of man, moral and religious truth 1b1) in the greatest latitude 1b2) the true notions of God which are open to human reason without his supernatural intervention 1c) the truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposing alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians 2) subjectively 2a) truth as a personal excellence 2a1) that candour of mind which is free from affection, pretence, simulation, falsehood, deceit
Two things jump out at me in this lengthy definition. One is that truth is defined both objectively (true no matter what the evidence might suggest) and subjectively (true based on the evidence at hand). *I think I've defined these correctly, there is a reason I avoid philosophy like the plague* The second, and more appropriate for this conversation, is that last definition #2a1 - that candour of mind which is free from affection, pretense, simulation, falsehood, deceit.
When we use worship to stir the masses into a frenzy - it ceases to be true worship.
When we use worship to steer people into a predetermined way of thinking about God - it ceases to be worship.
When we use worship to construct theology - it ceases to be worship.
When we use worship to further the agendas of humankind and turn people away from the one Truth of God - it ceases to be worship.
To worship God in truth is to focus on God alone. To strip away the trappings and the traditions and the music and the affections and to recognize, fully, that God is holy and wholly other and to rejoice that by his grace we can even attempt to realize his presence in our lives. Anything else we might try to accomplish through worship is no longer worship. Some of those things might be good and right - teaching and preaching come to mind. Some of those things might be evil and wrong - coercion through emotional manipulation ranking highest among them.
As Sunday quickly approaches, I am checking within myself for the signs of true worship, for such the Father seeks to worship him.