Is ‘Worship’ more than singing (part 2)


  • Recently freelance theology received a slightly negative comment from somebody who had asked a question and did not like the reply. As freelance theology is about freedom of expression, the complaint is printed below, followed by a response from Jon the freelance theologian.

    Comment from AH, United Kingdom

    I’m not sure I’m entirely happy with how my question was answered, the importance of corporate worship disappeared in an air of political correctness about worship as a lifestyle, something that I severely agree with. However, my concern and what I wanted to highlight with the question was actually the fact that worship, the corporate singing version of it, plays an important part in our lining up with God and each other. Joining the angels, like the crowd in heaven. I could be wrong, I’ve been wrong before. I don’t know. I just felt that that it wasn’t really a thorough answer to my question.

    A response from Jon the freelance theologian

    The original answer noted that sung worship has almost always been part of the way Christians worship God. However, the equally valid point was made that it was not the only way.

    The concept of having a ‘time of worship’ during a religious service can be open to misinterpretation. There is a tendency in Christianity to divide the ‘sacred’ from the ‘secular’, but Paul’s instruction in Romans chapter 12, verse 1 is to “…offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” This implies that worship affects every part of a Christian’s life, not just the physical things that occur during church services.

    If corporate sung worship is called just ‘worship’, that implies worship only happens at certain times on certain days, which can lead to the idea that whatever happens during the rest of the week is unimportant.

    Of course Christians gathering together is important. Songs and music may help Christians ‘line up’ with each other. There is a long-standing Christian tradition of corporately singing praises to God, a tradition that works so well at bringing people together that Marxists decided to copy the Christian idea and sing their own hymn, The Red Flag, together at their meetings. However, again the point must be made and it was said in your original comment, singing is only part of this. Most Christians also engage in religious rites (communion being the prime example), many speak creeds together, celebrate Christian festivals in special ways and a few choose to live in actual community together. All these activities bring Christians into line with each other and with God and they could all be viewed as acts of worship.

     

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