Before I tell you what a worship war is all about, let me ask you – what is worship supposed to be? Worship is that act of lifting our hearts and tongues to our great God in praise and adoration of Who He is. We praise and worship Him for His redeeming grace and mercy. We extol Him for His majesty and holiness (Psalm 99:3-5). We stand in awe of His providence and creation (Psalm 95:4-6). Those are just a few of the things that come to mind when we enter into a time of individual and corporate worship of The Lord. The total focus of our being is engaged on The Lord, The One Who sits upon the throne (Revelation 4:2,3).
However, such a precious act of devotion can very easily become a worship war between different congregations, or even within our very own church community. How? If the focus of our worship is no longer based on Whom we are worshipping but on how we worship, we have a worship war on our hands. It is a tragic thing indeed to hear about the “worship” wars that exist within the church. Let me give you one example. The traditional churches which only sing hymns look down upon the congregations that sing contemporary songs. (I wonder what the Psalms were called the day they were penned and sung for the first time to the nation of Israel.) Likewise, the “non- traditional” worshippers say that those who only sing those old hymns without musical accompaniment are dead and cold. Without any real knowledge of what is going on inside another person’s or a congregation’s heart, we have the body of Christ playing God and assuming that if one congregation doesn’t worship like another, then they are out of order or in the flesh. “In the flesh”, of course, is another catch phrase used in modern Christendom which really means you do not worship the way we do here.
If the worship of God can only be offered up unto our God in only one particular way, then we have diminished worship to a style or preference. Of course, the human element in worship is that there may indeed be certain kinds of music that allow us to enter into the presence of God easier than others, but to say that another congregation or another person in the same congregation is not worshipping properly because they do not do it the way that I (we) think it should be done is legalism to the hilt. Congregational worship is a time when the body of Christ gets lost in the beauty and majesty of our Redeemer and Savior with all of our hearts. Think about these things the next time someone tries to lure you into a worship war debate. Think about these things on a personal level that next time that we say, “Let’s stand up and worship.”
Beloved, there are no silent participants in the heavenly choir (Revelation 4:10-11, 5:9-14). Get your eyes off others, get your eyes off yourself, and worship your God!