The other day, I was in the office and had a time of tremendous worship. Worship is not always corporate. Worship can and should happen in our personal time with God in addition to our time together. God continuously led me to videos and material on worship. I viewed many of the messages of Francis Chan. Francis Chan is a popular preacher and teacher and is the former teaching pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, which he and his wife started in 1994.
Chan stated the following in one of his messages, a statement that had a profound impact on the way I view worship. Chan said, “We pray, ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,’ but I fear that things are much different in the church than the way God wills it to be in heaven.’” Chan adds, “When we have people entering our worship services, evaluating them, and saying, ‘Hey, how was church today?’ They say, “Uh, I really didn’t like the worship. Did you like the worship?’ These are stupid things to say…How did we get here, to the point where someone says, ‘I didn’t like the worship.’ Did it ever occur to you that worship has nothing to do with you? Worship is not about you. It’s all about God!” (Chan, “Are You Ready for the End,” YouTube, 2018). Chan is absolutely right in his assessment.
Chan asked the question, “how did we get here?” It’s quite simple. Socrates and Protagoras asked where meaning is derived. According to Protagoras (481-411 BC), man is the measure of all things. But according to Socrates (470-391 BC), God is the measure of all things. For the most part, Christians have accepted Plato’s view concerning the nature of truth and the measure of all things being found in the transcendent truth of God. Over time, Christians have adopted a more Protagorean mindset rather than a Platonic or Socratic mindset.
Since the Age of the Enlightenment (c. 1715-1789 AD), emphasis has been placed on the individual rather than God. The self is king. Human beings are the end unto themselves. Thinkers like David Hume, Voltaire, and Spinoza greatly influenced the Western world. Hume, Voltaire, and Spinoza advocated a God who was not involved with creation. Thus, people should live their lives as they please without concerning themselves with the involvement of God. This ideology influenced the liberal theologians of the 1800s like Rudolf Bultmann who claimed that Christians needed to demythologize the Bible. Bultmann held that in a scientific age, no one would believe in such things.
The thinkers of the 1800s influenced those of the 1900s. The Sexual Revolution of the 1960s pushed individualism even further by holding that a person could have relations with whomever they pleased regardless of religious convictions to the otherwise. Certain episodes of popular television shows in the 70s and 80s continued to emphasize individuality while devaluing the family unit. Eventually, children were viewed as an inconvenience and marriage was held to be something that was unnatural. Commercials bred entitlement thinking, leading to the belief that people can have what they want, when they want it.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brian G. Chilton