Can we talk about worship?
Here are a few quotes to get us started. I cannot vouch for the authenticity of any of them, having found them in that motherlode of fascinating quotes, real and imagined, solid and made-up-on-the spot, the Internet. Smiley-face goes here …
1. From actor Brad Pitt:
“I didn’t understand this idea of a God who says, ‘You have to acknowledge me. You have to say that I’m the best, and then I’ll give you eternal happiness. If you won’t, then you don’t get it!’ It seemed to be about ego. I can’t see God operating from ego, so it made no sense to me.”
There is a reason this makes no sense to you, Mr. Pitt.
The Apostle Paul put it this way: “A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. Nor can he understand them, for they are spiritually appraised” (I Corinthians 2:14).
Don’t mean to be harsh in that assessment, but it explains why so many on the outside look at Christian worship and shake their heads. They just don’t get it.
Let me repeat that: They. Do. Not. Get. It.
2. From a blog in which this guy talks about religion:
Someone asked him why God wants us to worship Him. He answered, “Everyone likes being praised. It’s a huge ego bump, after all. But why does God need it? I mean, what kind of egomaniac needs millions of people all over the world praising his name? Isn’t that a little arrogant? Short answer: Yes.”
He went on to make a case for God being egotistical. Oh, and he thought he was being pro-God.
He should spare God the compliment.
Without knowing this fellow, just from this I’d say he’s another one who just doesn’t get the business of Christian worship.
3. From a Catholic website:
“While worshiping God changes us for the better, the primary aim of our worship is not self-improvement. In the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the liturgy used by many of the Eastern Rite Catholic churches, the priest at one point chants, “For to You is due all glory, honor and worship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
“While God doesn’t need our worship in order to be complete, our worship is still a duty—something that we owe to God. But it is a duty that we can perform cheerfully, knowing that, in doing so, we are participating briefly in the life of heaven.”
OK, this is thought provoking. But it still seems to imply that we might be “adding value” to Heaven in some way, and that God is somehow diminished a tad when we fail to worship.