It seems to me that this may be the right time to address the subject of worship. I want to say at the outset that I am grateful to the Lord for His direction in helping us here at Grace Church to remain a worshiping church when the evangelical church around us is going in the opposite direction.
There are two things that kill worship. One is man-centeredness and the other is pragmatism. Both of those have come to dominate what is called evangelicalism. Our church has not fallen victim to those, to either of them. We have no interest into buying into pragmatism, that is the idea that we will do whatever works, whatever produces the effect that we want, nor have we bought into the idea that the church needs to restructure itself to please men. But we are an island, I think, in a fast moving sea around us that is boiling over with pragmatism and man-centeredness.
As a result, the evangelical movement today has largely abandoned true worship. Oh there seems to be more and more, quote/unquote worship music, sort of the last gasps of someone who is unable to worship while worship quote/unquote music increases, worship in reality decreases. It seems to me that the evangelical church is actually abandoned worship, true worship. Or maybe we could say it another way, the evangelical church has decided to worship the culture, that's pragmatism. Or to worship the unbeliever, that's man-centeredness.
Or maybe to worship their clever leader, the church is now interested in finding out what the non-worshiper wants, the one who has no relationship to God whatsoever. And the church is ready to redefine itself in the direction of the non-worshiper. In fact, churches measure their success on how many non-worshipers they can get in their building on Sunday. They count them very carefully. And they write books on how to get more non-worshipers into your worship service. The more the better. So that the non-worshiper becomes sovereign in defining what the church does....