There is an unspoken longing inside us all that is drawn to the authentic and will not settle for empty substitutes. We don’t want the flashy looking replica you can purchase on any street corner, we want the genuine.
People are drawn to Christianity for many reasons. Some people seek absolution, others peace, and yet others, a sense of belonging. Some may even find comfort surrounded by beautiful stained glass. In our quest however, we can become attracted to Christianity for more surface reasons.
Theologian Gordon Fee once said,
“The proper aim of all true theology is doxology. Theology that does not begin and end in worship is not biblical at all, but is rather the product of western philosophy.”
This is a very poetic way of defining worship – not just a posture, but a response to who God is and His heart for the world.
Christianity has many alluring traits – things like the illusion of a refined lifestyle, its own “Christianese” language, music, and political view. It even has a squeaky clean dating site that helps The Almighty in finding people their mate.
Within our brand of Christianity, it’s easy to become victims to what attracts us to this lifestyle. Even the “how-to approach” to preaching and study can pull us in as we search for solutions to our problems, as God stands by, being seen but not heard.
Though there is nothing inherently wrong with these things by themselves, unless they lead to “Doxology”, where we become more like Christ, they serve only as high moralism – Cultural conservative standards with God inserted only as a footnote. Being more like Christ means that we think like Him, act like, and respond the way Jesus responds because He is the center of our lives, not homogenized Christianity.
The Pharisees were masters of morality, but did not recognize nor follow Jesus as the Savior of the world. Their standards (which was the engine of their religion) where so stringent that Peter described them as “a yoke people could not bear”. Acts 15:10
I love great worship music – melodies that brings you into God’s presence – but have we become too attracted to the latest styles of worship? People can even become attracted to conservative values like anti-abortion or prayer in schools and miss the agreed-upon maxim in the Westminster confession, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”.
The latest sounds, standards, styles, methods, and political views, can become the epicenter of our religion, turning Christ into a watermark that just sits in the background.
Here’s a test: If we took away all our music and worship riggings, our staunch political convictions, our styles and methods, what would we have left? Would we have “Doxology” without these things? Would we be in love with Jesus and have God’s heart for the lost without all of the props?