Conditional Worship

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conditionalA conditional statement is one that is put in the form of if A, then B where A is designated as the premise, hypothesis, or antecedent and B the conclusion or consequent.

If…then statements are used extensively in the form of logic referred to as deductive reasoning.

Can we determine if spirit and truth worship is actually conditional using this form of logic?  And if it is conditional, couldn’t we then develop a universal recipe for worship success?  The short answer is yes but our premises and conclusions are often flawed.

The universal hypothesis and the place where worship conflict often originates is in our reasoning that if we sing it and play it in a certain way…then worship will occur.  If hymns, then worship; if praise songs, then worship; if organ…if guitar…if casual…if formal…if scripted…if spontaneous…the antecedents are endless.

If the certain way can vary from person to person and congregation to congregation, then that same reasoning would also cause us to conclude, conversely, that if it is not sung or played in a certain way, then worship will not occur.

If how we sing and play our music is necessary for worship to occur…then music has devolved into a tool for worship preparation only.  Instead of offering us a way to express our worship it serves as foreplay for our worship.  If we are leading worship with this premise, then at what point does our music evolve from worship preparation to actual worship?

Worship is indeed conditional but the conditions are not of our own making.  Those conditions have already been met…Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. If we affirm this mystery of our faith…then how can we keep from worshiping?  If worship is our response to how these truths have been and continue to be manifested in our lives, then worship will occur in spite of what we sing and play or how we sing and play, not as a result of it.

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6 Responses to “Conditional Worship”

  • Travis L. Boyd Says:

    Yes, true worship is always intentional. We respond to who God is and what He has done with the intention of bringing Him glory. It is intentional rather than conditional because we recognize our position as recipients of His love and grace based solely upon His desire to show mercy and the complete sacrifice of Christ. We are truly worshiping as iindividuals when our response to the revelation of these truths is directed to HIm and not toward the worship leadership or any other human endeavor. Corporately, our expression of that true heart of worship may indeed be led by those who are called to lead, but the true heart of worship is already eastablished within the individual by our acknowledgement of His supremacy and desire to intentionally bring Him glory.

  • Terry Stephens Says:

    It’s all or nothing, as the saying goes.

  • Neil Brown Says:

    …which is essentially what I’ve been trying to say for over 30 years.

  • Paul Clark Jr Says:

    Good word, David. While logic is a gift, it can also take us in unintended directions where we begin to trust our logic more than we faith (verb) our true Worship Leader, Jesus. The natural science “If….then” model has as its primary purpose to predict and control. Certainly our full faith in the Triune God moves us in a very different direction where we trust and obey.

    Appreciate you and your regular depth of thought and reflection.

  • Milton Ferguslon Says:

    Dennis, well-put! The focus and the intent are “the heart of the matter.” They are the center of our “circle of worship”. When they converge on “doing all to the glory of God” then the “ways we worship” will reflect that focus and intent.

  • Dennis Allen Says:

    David, thanks again for an on-target post. My prayer is that a time will come when this subject, this perspective, is crystal clear and understood by ALL who lead. When that day comes, we won’t even think about musical styles, or accompaniment, or ties vs. skinny jeans. We will simply be focused on Jesus and our response to what He has done and what He is doing.

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