Monday, July 31, 2017

Classic Theism: Worshiping the Immutable God

Today’s obsession with being relevant and being all things to all people isn’t so much the fruit of pragmatism (though it is that too) but more so the outcome of forgetting God.  We’ve forgotten the Immutable, Impassable, God only wise and so we’ve become convinced that God is OK with our neat tricks and new styles of worship and evangelism. “God didn’t say we couldn’t use strange fire as we approach Him in worship, so…”

 

Beware the church that is always trying to make Christianity cool again; far more often than not, their hearts are preoccupied with what the world wants than what God wants. Of course it could be argued that Christianity has never been cool. That’s fine. St. John’s Revelation of Jesus Christ provides us with sufficient motivation to overcome the antagonism and persecution that comes with being the uncool kids of history. But many are tired of not being invited to the cool kids table and so the sufficiency of Scripture (which tells us how we’re to live and operate as the church) has been superseded by the spirit of pragmatism (doing what works in getting people to church). We’ve exchanged the weight of God’s word for being burdened over what the world thinks of us. “To the rest of you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come” (Rev. 2:24-25).

This is why the regulative principle sounds so weird to most evangelicals today. So many of us are pragmatic Americans at heart, no matter how much we think we put God first. But today’s obsession with being relevant and being all things to all people isn’t so much the fruit of pragmatism (though it is that too) but more so the outcome of forgetting God.  We’ve forgotten the Immutable, Impassable, God only wise and so we’ve become convinced that God is OK with our neat tricks and new styles of worship and evangelism. “God didn’t say we couldn’t use strange fire as we approach Him in worship, so…”

The Second London Baptist Confession reminds us that “the acceptable way of worshiping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.”

Part of their defense for understanding worship this way comes from Deuteronomy 12:29-32. There God warns the Israelites not to worship Him with borrowed means from the surrounding nations. And what becomes clear is that God views the deformed worship of those nations as coming from a deformed understanding of God. The nations have invented their own gods who are mutable and impassioned and thus the people are always sacrificing to their gods in order to mollify them. And it never dawns on them that their so called gods seem to be as hungry and in need of attention as the very men who invented them. They are gods made in the image of man.

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The post Classic Theism: Worshiping the Immutable God appeared first on The Aquila Report.



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