Thursday, October 20, 2005

Worship vs. Chaos

Recently I heard Crawford Lotitts Jr. speak at the Straight Up Conference in Rolling Meadows, IL. His ministry challenged me deeply! Here's a thought from his Living a Legacy radio broadcast:

Living A Legacy Broadcast for Oct. 17, 2005
Dr. Crawford Loritts

Spontaneous worship is not the same as confusion and structure doesn’t necessarily mean stifling the Spirit.

Have you ever seen a teenagers room where you thought you might need a tetanus shot before you went in there? There’s clutter all over the place and mass confusion. The floor is such a mess that you can’t even see the floor. There’s stuff piled upon stuff and you can’t tell what is important and what is trash. To tell the truth the kid probably can’t tell you what’s important and what is trash. They can’t find what they need. Its somewhere in there but they just can’t seem to locate it. It’s gotten lost in the clutter.

Sadly, I’ve been in some church worship services where sometimes the worship of God is lost in the clutter. All the stuff that we call worship may not necessarily be worship. There’s a lot of confusion that goes on, things that are out of order, that don’t make sense. Sometimes we pass the stuff off as being led by the Spirit.

As I read the Scriptures I come to the conclusion that our God is a God of order and design. I didn’t say stifling, rigid structure, that’s a different thing. There’s incredible freedom but also God gives us a word about being confused, about having clutter. Listen to what the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 14 verse 26 and verse 33. Verse 26 says; “What is the outcome then brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, or has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”

He underscores the goal that when you come together he says, “Let’s have some order here. Let’s not be tripping over one another but there’s a point.” The point is edification. That word ‘edification’ simply means to be built up. People need to be benefited by the worship service and in context here he is saying, “Be clear about what you’re doing. Be clear about what you’re saying so that people are not confused.”

In 1 Corinthians chapter 14 verse 33 he puts a bookend on it when he says; “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace as in all the churches of the saints.” Here in context the Apostle Paul is saying, “Now listen I’ve spent all this time telling you about the freedom of the Spirit and the fullness of the Spirit but also there has to be order. People need to be built up.” So, our worship services need to reflect the order and design that is part of the very nature and character of God.

If there is a sense of confusion it did not come from God. There needs to be a sense of peace in the church. The peace that he is talking about here is not just the peace of personal tranquility but he’s talking about the peace that hovers over the congregation as a result of structure, order and design.

Here’s what I want you to remember today. Let’s corporately approach the worship of our awesome God with a fresh appreciation of the order that His divine dignity not only deserves but also requires.

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