Monday, August 4, 2008

Biblical Worship

Candy's post today deals with her idea of what worship should look like, with some verses pulled from the Bible specifically to support those ideas. Although, she says it more like this:

The Bible says that we Christians are to worship our God - the one, true God.

How are Christians to worship? Does the Bible tell us how? Does the Bible give examples? What does worship in heaven look like? I hope to show you scriptures that answer each of these questions...

Candy feels worship should include the following elements:

As the above scriptures show, worshiping the Lord involves many things. Some are the following:

- The lifting of hands

- Praying

- Blessing the name of the Lord

- Bowing

- The laying on of hands

- Singing praises

- Dancing and leaping

While I think Candy is free to worship as pleases, I am confused as to how she can pull some verses out as proof, while ignoring others. For example, how could she leave out greet each other with a holy kiss (1 Thess 5:26) while putting in David dancing before the altar of the Lord? Do we know that everyone danced before the altar of the Lord, or was that something that only the Lord's anointed king did?

Here are some other elements of Biblical worship:
  • Incense should be burned perpetually, throughout the generations. Ex 30:8
  • Candlesticks and candles should be used. Ex 31:8
  • Vestments should be worn. Ez 3:10
  • God find repetitious prayer pleasing. Rev 4:8
  • Includes communion of the body and blood of Christ through the bread and the cup. 1 Cor 10:16.
  • Wine is used for this communion. 1 Cor 11:20-21
  • Christians who are with God in Heaven also participate with us in this worship (Heb. 12:1, Rev 6:9-10, 8:3-4)
What about when some churches and Christians "lay hands" on someone for healing, or for agreement in prayer? Is that biblical? Yes it is. At my church (Foursquare) last Sunday, the elders anointed some people with oil, and prayed for healing. Is this in the Bible? YES!

I'm glad Candy recognizes that the sacrament of Annointing of the Sick is Biblical.

Did you know that the Bible has a built in song and praise book? It's called the book of Psalms.

Exactly! When religious communities chant the Liturgy of the Hours, it is a way of praying, without ceasing, in song.

The custom of reciting prayers at certain hours of the day or night goes back to the Jews, from whom Christians have borrowed it. In the Psalms we find expressions like: "I will meditate on thee in the morning"; "I rose at midnight to give praise to thee"; "Evening and morning, and at noon I will speak and declare: and he shall hear my voice"; "Seven times a day I have given praise to thee"; etc. (Cf. "Jewish Encyclopedia", X, 164-171, s. v. "Prayer"). The Apostles observed the Jewish custom of praying at midnight, terce, sext, none (Acts 10:3, 9; 16:25; etc.).

You can see a Carthusian monk praying the Psalms in the night in this clip.

Candy also subtly lets us know that she does not consider a Catholic Mass to be Biblical worship:

There is vain/meaningless worship, in which one is following after the traditions or commandments of men, instead of from God:

"But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." -Matthew 15:9

"Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." -Mark 7:7

However, the Bible does distinguish between traditions of men, and traditions which come from God.

2 Thess 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

Candy once told us exactly how she felt about a Catholic Mass, which she attended (bold mine):

It was so sad and gut wrenching that it almost brought me to tears. I was the only one attending, that I could see, that brought a Bible, and even bothered looking up scriptures. The Bible ignorance in that crowd was astounding me as well. Most of them don't seem to read their Bible, they just follow what 'the church' teaches them. Everyone there looked to me like they were wearing masks with no eyes. :-( I suspect that there might have been more true reverence (as opposed to ritual) in a black mass (however they'd be worshiping the wrong guy, of course).

Candy concludes her article with verses from Revelation, showing Biblical worship in heaven.

Worship in Heaven also includes:
  • an altar (Rev 6:9, 8:3, and others)
  • the prayers of the saints being offered at the altar in the form of incense (Rev 8:3-4)
  • The Lamb standing as if it had been slain (perpetual sacrifice) (Rev 5:1-7)
  • Angels repetitiously praying Holy, Holy, Holy (Rev 4:8)

You can read verses which tell of the perpetual sacrifice of the Mass in heaven at the Scripture Catholic website.

You can read a talk by Scott Hahn on the same subject here. Hahn wrote an entire book on the subject, titled The Lamb's Supper. He later did a television series on EWTN based on the book, and you can listen to the audio files here.

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Nancy Parode said...

I'm just finishing up The Lamb's Supper and it is a fascinating book. I'm glad you suggested that people read it. Scott Hahn ties the Mass to the book of Revelation in an amazing, completely logical way.

Tracy said...

Fantastic post Kelly!!

Kelly said...

I added a few more parts to the article, in case anyone is interested.

KitKat said...

I am going to have to pick up that book! I love liturgical worship, and I have alwasy wanted to be able to back it up scripturally. Great post!!!!

Kelly said...

kitkat, besides The Lamb's Supper, Scott Hahn has another book called A Father Who Keeps His Promises, and that uses references tying together the old and new testament.

Dave Armstrong's A Biblical Defense of Catholicism has three chapters that deal with liturgy and scripture, as well.

I think the latter two give you more of the background you need to really understand The Lamb's Supper (which I didn't care much for, the first time I picked it up).

KitKat said...

Thanks Kelly! :) I'll try the other two first.

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