Some Questions About Worship

Some Questions About Worship

I am very busy with several projects that are all urgent and should not be writing on my personal blog right now. But I need to take five minutes and write about this anyway.

A video has been making the rounds by Victoria Osteen. Victoria is wife to the (in)famous Joel Osteen. She had some stuff to say. Here’s the video, and below some key quotes from what she said.

I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it — we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy this morning

So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?

Well, well, well. Someone has not studied the Westminster Catechism. Not surprising of course — most modern “Christians” don’t have much use for something like that. But it sure would help with some general education here. The first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” and answers it thusly: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” Note that the answer is not to be happy or to do things for our own selves. It is not “be happy because that’s what makes God happy.” No, the key issue here is that God is to be glorified and that is our chief end. That is our created purpose.

The answer is not without its scriptural support. 1 Peter 4 has some things for us to look at. Let me quote a couple verses from the beginning of the chapter for context, then move to the key verse.

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

So the context here is that Christ suffered for us. We should no longer live in the flesh and the lusts of men, but we should live in the will of God.

Now verse 11:

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Notice what the purpose of all this is. That God may be glorified in all things. Our happiness is immaterial. God is concerned with His glory, not our happiness.

1 Corinthians 10:31 again reminds us to do all for the glory of God (not our own happiness):

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Chronicles 16:29 says:

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

We are to give the Lord glory because it is due to Him. We come before Him to worship and that is all. We do not come because God is happy when we are happy so we should come and be happy. We come and worship because it is due to Him.

Victoria Osteen would have us believe that worship is about us, about ourselves and God is secondary. But God must not be secondary in anything, ever. Let me ask these questions for you (and Victoria) to think about.

Who is worship for?

Here are three hints:

  • It’s not about you.
  • Think about what the word Worship means, and who is being worshiped.
  • What is the chief end of man?

What does worship do?

Here are three hints:

  • It’s not about you.
  • Think about what the word Worship means, and who is being worshiped.
  • What is the chief end of man?

What is the chief end of our Worship of God?

Here are three hints:

  • It’s not about you.
  • Think about what the word Worship means, and who is being worshiped.
  • What is the chief end of man?