Diverse Unity in Adventist Worship

(Johnny Carson) #41

You are correct to a point, @ezbord, but only to a point. It still boils down to a the overarching realm of personal taste. I happen to agree that the Hallelujah Chorus is a great deal more inspiring to my worship of the Creator/Redeemer than is Do Lord or Majesty, but that preference is only reflective of my own worship style, and thus it is only my opinion, or yours, in the exact same way that Majesty and Do Lord appeal to another worshiper more than does the Hallelujah Chorus.

(Cfowler) #42

Yes, it’s personal taste, preference, opinion. Nothing more. Plus, don’t these things change over time, at least quite a few things. I know I have changed regarding many things.

(William Noel) #43

I think that’s because so few people have had encounters with God that causes them to want to worship. Some years back when I was studying the scriptural model for worship I did an informal survey in a congregation of about 300 members where I asked people to define worship. Their answers were consistent with your description. I was surprised by how many people pointed to the order of worship in the church bulletin as their concept of worship, or claimed that was in the Church Manual was mandatory and we should not deviate from it. Apparently they hadn’t read the Church Manual because it only gives a suggested order of service.

(Johnny Carson) #44

Oh! Ouch! I think that’s a judgment that God doesn’t give you permission to make… Jus’ sayin’

(William Noel) #45

That’s just observing a contrast. If you do a word search for “worshipped” in the KJV you will find several links to the experience of characters who have an encounter with God and their immediate response was to worship God. The scripture model of worship is that it is what we do after encounters with God. Worship is our expression of adoration and praise to Him. We can worship at our scheduled gathering on Sabbath but what we do is not necessarily worship. For example, many people believe the most essential element in a worship service is the sermon. What are you doing during the sermon? Are you expressing your adoration and praise to God? Probably not at all. That’s why I made that observation.

(Dennis Lowrimore) #46

What’s so great ofthis mega scene?

(PAKO) #47

As a Pastor in training i’ve talked about this so much! Even at big events after a beautiful praise session. in come the lengthy announcements “in the name of PROTOCOL” to throw us off. Then the Pastor is left with 13 minutes to preach including a special song.


Was the sermon 3 minutes long?

(Kim Green) #49

Now this was actually funny…lol

(Johnny Carson) #50

I don’t disagree with you on this, but these words do nothing to address your observation/judgment that some who are worshiping are lacking in an encounter with God that leads her/him to a true worship experience. While this may indeed be the case, there is, or should be, no link between their private or observable corporate worship experience and your observations. To do so is to judge their experience and to marginalize others as what? not as worth? Not as connected? What?

(William Noel) #51

Worship in scripture is really a simple topic that, unfortunately, has become widely and greatly understood. Sitting in church doesn’t mean you are worshiping God any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

The scriptural model is that worship is your expression of adoration and praise to God, whether privately or corporately. Anything that prevents you from expressing your adoration and praise to God is NOT worship. What reason do you have to worship? It doesn’t have to be something dramatic and can be as simple as just recognizing that God’s great love is touching you in some way. Personal worship typically allows you greater intimacy with God and the freedom to express your worship in more personal and emotional ways where corporate worship generally tends to be more restrained. There are times when each of us doesn’t feel like we have reason to praise God and those are the times when we need to be asking God to give encounters with Him so we will have reason to worship. Or, the times when we need to be assembling with fellow believers so we can receive encouragement from hearing their praises to God.

(Johnny Carson) #52

Again, I ask, what has this to do with your marginalizing comments about other’s “encounters with God that causes them to want to worship?” @WFNoel

(William Noel) #53

I am puzzled to understand why you think anything I have said is marginalizing the worship of others. I have simply been illustrating how what some people think is worship is not worship according to the scriptural model. Discovering the scriptural model made a large and very positive change in my spiritual life.

(Johnny Carson) #54

My word, you do tend to complicate the Gospel. “Binding burdens on men’s backs” comes to mind. In the context we are speaking of, Corporate worship in church, you don’t get to be the judge of whether someone’s worship is based on a genuine encounter with God.

(William Noel) #55

My puzzlement deepens. How is telling you about the scriptural model for worship judging you or anyone else? Yes, there is a contrast between that model and the experience of many people and it contrasts greatly with the concept of worship that many people have where a sermon is the most essential element. I’m not measuring your experience with God. If anything, I want to encourage you to discover what I have found in scripture and in my worship experience so that you can be blessed, too. I want you to be having encounters with God so you can learn more about His amazing love and your heart will be overflowing with praise and adoration to Him.

(Johnny Carson) #56

Your original statement was, and I quote, “I think that’s because so few people have had encounters with God that causes them to want to worship.”

That, good sir, is an inappropriate judgment of another’s walk with God. In the truest sense of corporate worship it lies far outside the intent of said worship because it, in effect, proclaims another’s worship as not meeting some standard based on your interpretation of scripture that you’ve expounded on in the later posts. You just don’t get to do that. Well, you can, I suppose, if you choose. I find it appalling in nature, but that’s me.

(William Noel) #57

I said that because I have heard it so many times and I once was in that situation where I was full of head knowledge about God but utterly lacking in personal experience with Him. I said it because I hear it every time I visit another church. I recently spent some time at a self-supporting institution and one evening was visiting with several of the single men who were living in the men’s dorm where I was staying. They could give you a long list of Ellen White quotes that were consistent with the focus of the institution but they openly expressed that they were hungry to have encounters with God’s love and power to give their faith the security of knowing that He loved them. So if what I’m saying makes you uncomfortable, so be it. That gives you a starting point for studying and reaching your own conclusions. Still, I must warn you that if you are studying with the objective of trying to refute what I am telling you then you are at-risk of having the same experience as most people who have challenged me and became believers because of the encounters they began having with God.

(Johnny Carson) #58

Wow! Just wow! You assume so much unwarranted authority in this statement. You know what they say about assume, right? :wink:


Was reading Isiah 6 the other day and trying to go through a mind/imaginative exercise trying to imagine being vulnerable before God. Setting apart a time where only he is the focus (the mention of silent worship (like sitting in nature and letting it speak to you)… can be very powerful. Be still, and know that…

In my mind’s eye… I hear Tebe poem (We Praise Thee) (the best choir in my opinion) (St Petersburg Chamber Choir).

The solemness with which they sing… (sounds like a thousand voices) I can imagine Isiah in vision… fully aware of the holiness of God. For each individual, each must “define” what worship is (and music plays a big part), and helps us create a complete picture of the reality of God.

Put another way, in the presence of God there is music, the question is… are our hearts prepared and aware enough to listen, and hear…

with kind regards,


(William Noel) #60

Do you not know the difference between assumption and experience? I’ve “been there, done that and got the t-shirt!”

Are you afraid of having encounters with God? The prospect can be intimidating because it threatens to break our “spiritual box.” I was there once and having him blow-away the conceptual walls that were limiting my relationship with Him was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.