Sunday, September 27, 2009

Present Your Bodies: Rejecting Gnositicism

Over the years we have emphasized the importance of ritual. Rituals are significant in the Bible and they ought to be significant to us. We've also emphasized the importance of worshipping God with our bodies and not just with our minds. We have sought to resist the temptation that many reformed Christians deal with, which is the idea that God gave us bodies as carrying cases to get our brains to church. Here is a brief reminder of doctrinal reasons for some of the very physical things we do in our worship of God:

We sing throughout the service, which should be strenuous; we kneel in confession; we eat bread and drink wine; and we raise our hands in the gloria Patri.

We worship God physically in this way for 3 reasons:

1st: We believe that Scripture requires this kind of thing of us. We are not in charge of inventing a worship service that we think God might like. He wrote a book. He tells us. Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

2nd: We worship God this way in order to lean against the perrennial temptation of gnosticism - the idea that some divine spark inside us is all that's necessary and that the material body is irrelevent. We want to be reminded every week that God has a claim on your lungs, your knees, your hands, and your mouth and throat.

3rd: We believe that worship is a conversation - a dialogue between God and His people. It is therefore important that you not be passive. You have a role to play that goes far beyond that of simply sitting and listening. We gather to hear the Word of God, but we also gather so that God can hear from us - observing us as we approach Him.

-Douglas Wilson, intro to the sermon: Judge Me, Oh God; Psalm 43

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