Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Traditional Versus Non-traditional Worship

Title:  Traditional Versus Non-traditional Worship

Reading for March 25:  1 Samuel 13-14

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7

If I can sum up the current worship debate, it comes down to two opposite perspectives:

Some are traditional. The dress and expression in worship is more formal. The belief is that dress and demeanor should reflect a sense of awe and wonder as we approach the holy, holy, holy God of heaven. (I more fall into this category, just so you know.)

Some are non-traditional. Spontaneity and emotion in worship is the driving force. Casual dress is not viewed as irreverent at all, but as authentic and unpretentious. Worship is something done all week long, not just on Sunday when wearing a dress or a tie. No one should feel inhibited or restrained from expressing the gratitude and devotion  in a physical, demonstrative way? (see 2 Sam 6:20-23)

What I want to say is this: be careful about judging another's heart based on appearance alone. Is it true that some are "going through the motions" and are all about checklists and looking good on the outside, while nothing is going on in their heart? Of course. But be careful! Don't look at the old man wearing the suit and tie and think he "doesn't get it" because he doesn't show outward emotion like you do. There might be more going on in his heart than you think. 

Is it true that some non-traditionalists are just trying to "make a statement" with their dress and the emotion they show has no substance to it? Sure... but be careful! Don't look at the young man sitting next to you who isn't as dressy as you think he should be and assume he's not reverent. Don't assume that his emotion is for show either. You don't know what is in his heart.

"Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls." (Romans 14:4) 

Father, help us to focus on you and not others when we come to worship!