Under this category are pages related to Worship.

  • Worship Trouble — What is Worship? This discusses the problem of how the word “worship” is often used in Christian community without a good definition, which leads to various futile discussions related to worship.
  • Sabbath Trouble — When is Sabbath? This is another topic people often debate about, not realizing that the notion of Sunday or Saturday or any other day of the week are local concepts that cannot be defined globally. Any discussion or theory based on ill-defined notion is a house built upon a sand.
  • Singing Trouble — Exclusive Psalmody? This essay deals with singing of praises onto God. One can praise God with tune or without; but in any case, the content of the praise should be from the truth revealed in God’s written revelation. (Disclaimer: There are ideas such as corporate singing of psalms makes it automatically a worship. I do not thinks so, and the reason is closely tied to the definition of worship. Some thoughts on this I wrote in Worship Trouble — What is Worship?)

But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. (Titus 3:9)

We can only debate on external things and outer forms. We cannot debate on what goes on in our heart because no one can look into a person’s soul. But one important principle of the Kingdom of God we learn from Stephen’s testimony (Acts 7) is that we should always concentrate on the spiritual reality. Please don’t get me wrong; this does not mean that we can disregard any outer form. We should think carefully about forms because it is a medium for expressing the invisible spiritual reality. For instance, the reason that God forbids worshiping Him using a physical image is not just because God does not have a physical image, but the very act of creating a physical image of God is a representation the corrupt understanding of God we have in our heart and mind.

As I encounter many debates regarding worship, sabbath, psalm sining, and so forth, I find that many discussions are carried out without a good agreement on what kind of spiritual reality these notions carry. So many times the discussions focus on external things which can easily lead to “foolish controversies” that Titus 3:9 mentions. May our Lord keep us from falling into such pit falls, and empower us to demonstrate the everlasting life an truth we have in Christ.

For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)