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Thursday, December 2, 2010

by John Swann, Associate Director

Here at the LU we attract all walks of life, culture and religious beliefs.  Although we are all united under God, we don’t all function the same way, or believe the same.  For instance Sunday worship is the most segregated time of the week.  When we go to worship, we get with those who are like minded and never even think about getting outside of our comfort zone.

There is a worship war going on, some who feel worship must be charismatic or it is not worship and others suggest that unless your hands are raised with one tear, it is not worship.  Too many people define worship based on what they have grown up in or experienced. 

Many students of color find it hard to adapt/conform to the worship here at LU.  Not that Dave McKinney and the band are bad, but there are some cultural idioms when it comes to worship that make worship what it is for certain individuals.

The expression of praise has been associated with charismatic/Pentecostal churches.  The quieter worship has been associated with Southern Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist. The Pentecostal person and the conservative person are still Christian, but the expression of worship and beliefs separate them.

I think that worship should be balanced.  There is a time for praise and there is a time to be quiet.  Too often people want to scream and holler at God as if God is def.  Likewise there are some people who must believe that God is in a whispering contest trying to see who can get the quietest.

David suggests in the Psalms, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” this shows me that praise is audible and not silent.  I once sat in a church and was told to give the Lord a silent praise; I laughed to myself and thought where does the bible address silent praise?

I suggest this to you, allows the Holy Spirit in you to connect with the Holy Spirit in the persons leading you in worship.  You will find one thing to be true, true worship is done in spirit and in truth, doesn’t matter who is on stage or what instrument they play. That worship will be your best worship and after that you too can end the worship wars.

John Swann come to us from Paterson, NJ 
by way of Hampton, VA. He is a 2004 graduate of
Liberty and is husband to the former Daniela Flood.
In addition to his work in the Center4ME, he also
serves as pastor of Ebenezer AME Church in
Roanoke, VA. Visit him on Facebook.


Posted at 3:29 PM | Comments (3)