Dan Edelen, over at Cerulean Sanctum, posted this gut-check article which he has entitled, “Big Box Altars.” The whole article is worth the read but I share this portion of it as it called to mind the sons of Aaron who brought “strange fire” to the Lord. Much of what we call worship in our corner of the globe is nothing more than a stained-glass charade. It’s man’s best coming to the Lord by man’s own way, by his own rules, rife with self-indulgence and self-effort. Such worship is too neat, too pretty, awfully scripted and hollow. And it fizzles.
Does our worship even come close to what is shown in Scripture? Could you fall on your face in the aisle next Sunday without disrupting the agenda? Could you dance (not you Pentecostals…I’m talking to the Methodists) like David danced without getting eyeballed like David got eyeballed? Can you weep between the porch and the altar? Can you get so lost in worship that you forget there’s anyone else in the room? Hey, here’s one: when’s the last time you’ve seen an adult run from his car to the front door of the sanctuary just because he was excited to come in to the house of the Lord?
Enough of me, here’s Mr. Edelen’s thoughts:
I’ve got to believe there’s something wrong with a Church where week in and week out there’s no weeping before the altar of the Lord. If a man can go through an entire church year without once falling on his face weeping, without soaking the church carpeting with his tears, something’s desperately wrong with his church.
I’ve got to believe that a church will never amount to much for the Kingdom if it never once sees someone get up and dance during worship. I’ve got to believe that a church filled with people who just sit and nod their heads will be asleep when the Bridegroom comes. The Holy Spirit’s missing in a church that goes through the emotionless motions.
How can an unstirred church reflect anything resembling the abundant life?
In C.S. Lewis’s masterful book, The Great Divorce, he posits a heaven so substantial that all of life this side of it resembles a vapor. Massive, unearthly Christians fill that dense heaven, giants, heroes that shake the foundation of the world with their conquests. How then can it be that so little life fills believers today? Why is it that we cannot find succor for our souls on Sunday, but instead find our hearts strangely warmed—if only for a passing moment—by a 60″ plasma display rocking with the Final Four?
Have we Christians rendered Christ so inconsequential? Have we denied the power of YHWH for the power of LG?
What happened to passion and fire?