Fifty years ago, A.W. Tozer of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, wrote a booklet on “Worship, The Missing Jewel of the Church”. Though well received and popular, the emphasis of the book troubled me as a thirty year old preacher at that time. In churches where the Bible was honored as the inspired Word of God and faithfully proclaimed, worship of God was alive and well. No, the missing jewel of the church back then was not a lack of worship, but a lack of fidelity to the Bible by those who were compromising the Fundamentals of the Faith.
Since that time, the downward trend towards apostacy has continued as churches have increasingly focused attention on seeking worship experiences more like rock concerts and feel good preaching that appeal to the masses, as Paul warned Timothy in II Timothy 3:1-5.
Though I am almost 80 years old, I am not one who thinks all church music must be that of past centuries. Beautiful Christ-honoring music has been written and sung throughout church history up to this present time. If it honors and magnifies Christ and His blood sacrfice for sin and if the melody and harmony and rhythm are married to the message (that is, the music fits the message and it is easily singable even by those who are not musically gifted), then it ought to be used. Let the trained choirs and the gifted musicians sing the more difficult Christ-honoring music.
I grieve over an increasing, disastrous misunderstanding of worship in the Church, as people have sought pious, euphoric, self-centered, emotional feel-good experiences, influenced by the deceptive, divisive, unbiblical Charismatic Movement of the past half century. This is so unlike the genuine worship experience of Isaiah as recorded in Isaiah 6:1-8.
Under the category, WORSHIP I offer you some Bible studies on this topic. For more studies on this topic of worship, go to my series on EZRA, where you will find more messages on this topic, including Thanksgiving and Worship and The Breadth and Depth of Worship.
Back in 1983 Pastor John MacArthur wrote a book on worship, The Ultimate Priority. Recently this year, 2012, he has updated and republished that book under the new title WORSHIP, published by Moody Press.
This is the latest and the best I have ever read on this crucially important topic and I encourage you to secure and read it.
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