Domingo, 26 de Fevereiro de 2017
   
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True Worship

The current evangelical scenario has been subject of much ridicule on the part of unbelievers. Indeed, social networks are full of videos depicting the most curious situations where “believers” behave strangely during worship, raising scorn on the part of non-Christians. Plausible fact: these videos show people falling down, jumping, rolling on the floor, screaming – putting forward or agreeing to the lie that God’s power is flowing through them.

However, the fact is such displays are absolutely reproachable and worthy of disrepute. In Bible accounts, the power of God is never manifested this way. Actually, God’s power manifestations caused astonishment in people. Although there always were unbelievers who would mock the most notable expression of power, the truth is the signs of God’s action were undeniable and aroused awe in most of the watchers. Behold as examples the episode of Lazarus resurrection, the story about the healing of the man with a shriveled hand and the account of the suicidal hogs in Gadara.

This way, harsh mockery by unbelievers against the gospel gains strength and courage based on the certainty that all this is fake and useless, nothing but dull stage performance. After all, what can one think about the episode of someone throwing himself on the floor, shacking his whole body or acting like an animal? By the way, things like this are contrary to good sense; and theologically speaking, are disrespectful of human dignity. We have been made in the image and likeness of God Almighty in order to glorify Him in our lives. Bizarre and animalistic actions reduce human beings and consist of deviation from the core reason why they were created.

Moreover, strange attitudes like the ones taking place in today’s service could not be further from the Lord’s will for his worship. Especially because the manifestations of power seen out there consist of simulations that defile worship for the very fact of being fake. Sadly, in some cases the “actor” himself believes his acting is real. Yes. Sometimes he really believes the reality of the hole he plays even though most of the audience knows none of that to be true.

Here an illustration seems proper. I recently heard of a college boy who wanted to look “funky” and “open minded”. So he looked for drug users in his room to buy some weed. But it occurred that his “suppliers” bought common cigarettes at some bar and kept the rest of the money. They took of the filter and paper wrap offering the tobacco only. Not knowing the difference, the young man picked up the tobacco, prepared a cigarette and dragged it. He obviously got no result and then complained to his mates, who deceived him once again by dragging the cigarette and pretending to be under the drug effects. Naively, the young man believed it and consumed almost all the tobacco. He even said he felt the weed effects, pleading to be high. To prove it, he began acting crazy, falling to the ground and saying nonsense. As a result, the guy became a joke in college. Trying to impress he ended up looking ridiculous.

I believe the same happens to many evangelicals. Being deceived by false teachers who profit from selling lies, they believe to be driven by a special power and start pushing it to convey that. Then, they go over the top and make people laugh.

In order to avoid such things, we need to “scavenge” the Bible bearing in mind genuine willingness to know the truth. I suggest evangelicals with such willingness to observe if everything happening in the service you offer is in accordance with Scriptures. If it is not, leave this kind of worship behind immediately. Remember, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Worship Him this way so that you are not misunderstood as one who embraces evil doctrines, leading men to act like animals.

João Ivo Matos da Silva

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