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Monday, April 8, 2013

The Church's Main Business

Cornelius Plantinga, in his book, “Beyond Doubt”, writes, “Before anything else, the Christian church worships. That is the church’s main business” (276). John Piper asserts the same point in “Let the Nations Be Glad”, “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. ( . . . ) Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man” (11). And along with Missions not being the ultimate goal of the church, I would add that the same goes for evangelism. By declaring God’s character, adoring his majesty, dwelling on and cherishing his merciful kindnesses, we are being more truly what we were originally created - and re-created – to do: Worship God!

Plantinga observes further: “Answering this call to worship is a counter-cultural, almost subversive act because much contemporary culture thinks it is humiliating to surrender to God” (277). Contemplate the enormity of this. By worshiping God we are (1) becoming more aligned with who we are supposed to be; and (2) we are making a strong, gracious declaration to the world – turning the world’s agendas and ambitions upside down and inside out. We are saying something worth saying: God does not exist to make much of us, but we exist to make much of God! 

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand” (Ps. 95.6-7a).


1 comment:

Brunhilde Marie "Brunie" Hudson said...

All beautifully said, thank you. It took me a long time to understand what one of my great objections was to the work of the church: I've always been oriented to worship, "liturgically comfortable." I think of the fact that in the early church, those who were not members of the worshiping community were excluded from the most important mysteries. The church thought they were that important. This also leads to another of the conclusions I've come to: The church at worship is not an "evangelism tool" (although attendance by non-believers, as I once was, can have a salutary effect).