Worship Wars: What Are We Fighting For?

Worship Wars: What Are We Fighting For?

Worship Wars: What Are We Fighting For?

Class#1-What are we fighting for?

Call to worship: Psalm 96:7-9

Q: Worship wars…What are the sides?


ILL: Worship Director search committee’s-Such a hard job.

QWhy is worship such a divisive and contentious issue among Christians?

Q: Name the sides

ILL: Contempravent video

What Are the goals of this class?

Become more educated Worshipers:

-Understand worship more across the board:

Metanarrative and arc of service

How we are to engage with the service Spiritually, Mentally, emotionally?

-Undersand worship at Uptown more:


arc of service.

Theme driven.

Q: what would it look like if this class was a success:

It woud affects our hearts and our heads.


People more intentionally paying attention to the content of the worship (Hymns, confessions, how the whole service gets together


People more excited about worship.

People rightfully engaging emotionally, rather than just going through the motions.

Jumping into this week:

Worship: The What, Who, Where, When, Why, How?

Worship: What?

What is worship: Definition:

“(Worship) is a family meeting with God, it is the covenant community engaging with God, gathering with his people to seek the face of God, to glorify and enjoy him, to hear his word, to revel in the glory of union and communion with him, to respond to his word, to render praise back to him, to give unto him the glory due his name.” -Lig Duncan

“What we say and what we do when we stand before God, realizing in high degree who He is and who we are, and what He has done for us.” –Robert Rayburn

Worship: Why?

Worship is not an option, it is what we were made for:

“Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”

-Psalm 100:1-3

Westminster Shorter Chatechism Question #1:

What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy him forever.

Worship became broken in the fall, but continues after the fall

It is not that non-Christians do not worship, it is that they do not worship God.

”For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.Claiming to be wise, they became fools,and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” –Romans 1:21-23

Asherah poles, high places, bowing down to false Gods.

Worship: Who?

God commands us to worship Him!

“The Bible is replete with commands to praise God. God commands it because it is the ultimate goal of all He does ‘to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled among all who have believed’ (2 Thess 1:10)” –John Piper

Psalm 96:7-9

Q: Why do people Struggle with the Idea that God commands worship? What he is uppermost in his own affections?

2 main struggles with God being uppermost in his own affections:

  1. we don’t like people who are like that…always outdoing other people and showing how great they are.
  2. The Bible teaches us to not be like that.

Is God Vain or loving to command our praise?

“Because God is unique as an all glorious, totally self sufficient being, He must be for himself if he is going to be for us. The rules of humility the belong to a creature cannot apply in the same way to its creator.” John Piper

The Trinity’s Roles in Worship

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love5he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,6to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” –Ephesians 1:3-6, 13-14

Q: How can we differentiate between the Trinity’s roles in Worship?

Christian Corporate worship is Father-focused, Christ Centered, and Spirit enabled.

Going back to the idea that worship became broken in the fall,

To Participate in True worship is to participate in the restoration of the fall.

God the father-Made us for worship

God the Son-restores us for worship

God the Spirit-draws us into worship.

God intends to heal our lives of worship

Worship: Where?

OT-Tabernacle and Temple

NT-Church…Not a place, a people.

Worship: When?

Side note, could be talking about what day of the week, OT Saturday Jewish Sabbath, NT after Christ’s resurrection Sunday, Lord’s Day, some call Christian Sabbath.

To worship is to participate in the historical

”And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,19addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,20giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” -Ephesians 5:18-20

-Early Church

Q: Why is it significant that worship connects us to the historical church?

To Worship is to participate in the eternal

“And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever,10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,to receive glory and honor and power,for you created all things,and by your will they existed and were created.” -Revelation 4:9-11

Q: Why is it significant that worship connects us to the Eternal?

“If you don’t like church, you probably won’t like heaven.”

While there are reasons I do not like that saying…impossible to not like heaven,

I like the main point.

Worship now is participating in the eternal.

We will sing, we will worship.

Worship fully realized.

True Worship teaches us how to live now

Use of the Psalms

The rest of the classes- - ->Worship: How?

Many worship fights start based on what we want, what we like, what we prefer,

But the real question is How has God told us he wants to be worshipped?

Short answer to the How of Worship is: How God told us to.

The rest of the classes will flesh that out.

These ideas pitted against each other, and people often choose one side and sacrifice the other when God calls us to both.

But I like the summary in Give Praise to God

“Read the Bible, preach the Bible, pray the Bible, sing the Bible, and see the Bible.” –Lig Duncan

“In biblical worship we so focus upon God himself and are so intent to acknowledge his inherent and unique worthiness that we are transfixed by him, and thus worship is not about what we want or like…but rather it is about meeting with God and delighting in his delights. Praise decentralizes self.” Lig Duncan, Give Praise To God, 64

Final Thought:

To Grow in the Christian life is to grow in Worship.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1

Not an on off, a turning up the temperature.

Tim Keller-Prying worship off Idols and returning it to Christ.

Mortification and vivification.

What is the structure of this class?

Intro question:

Call to worship


Hymn Study

Hymn Study for this week: O worship the King, Written by Sir Robert Grant

Why would we study hymns? Train us to seek to understand what we sing, encourage us to love the good theology that we sing.

"I am strongly persuaded that after theology, there is no art that can be placed on a level with music;for besides theology, music, is the only art capable of affording peace & joy to the heart." -Martin Luther

Some say I am not really a singing or worship person…

For the record:

Singing is not a suggestion, it is a commandment: Psalm 96:1 says “Sing to the Lord a new song.”

Background of the hymn:

Written by Sir Robert Grant

-Lawyer, Parliament, governor, East India Company (Pursued trading between English and India)

scottish Anglican, born in 1779

Father, Charles Grant, Conteporary and worked with William Wilberforce.

Written in 1833

#2 in Trinity Hymnal

Based on Psalm 104 v. 2-Wrapped in light

Version we use is Chris Tomlin’s

Call to worship hymn

-arc of service, first hymn.

-Used to draw us into worship, support the call to worship.

Q. What would you expect from a hymn that would be used as a “Call to worship Hymn?”

Q: How does this specific Hymn accomplish those things and call us to worship?

O Worship The King

C. Tomlin | J. Michael Haydn | R. Grant

O worship the King all glorious above

O gratefully sing His wonderful love

Our Shield and Defender the Ancient of Days

Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise

O tell of His might O sing of His grace

Whose robe is the light and canopy space

His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form

And dark is His path on the wings of the storm


You alone are the matchless King / To You alone be all majesty

Your glories and wonders / What tongue can recite

You breathe in the air / You shine in the light

O measureless might ineffable love

While angels delight to worship above

Thy mercies how tender how firm to the end

Our Maker Defender Redeemer and Friend

CCLI Song No. 4255664

© 2004 worshiptogether.com songs | sixsteps Music

Class # / Date / Topic
#1 / November 4 / Topic: Intro: What is worship
Hymn: Call to worship Song
#2 / 11 / Topic: Corporate and Personal
Hymn: Confession of Sin Song (Cry of the sinner)
#3 / 18 / Topic: Immanent and Transcendent
Hymn: Confession of Sin Song (Cry to the sinner)
#4 / 25 / Topic: Heart and Head (think and feel, emotional and accurate)
Hymn: Confession of Faith Song (Confession of Beliefs)
#5 / December 2 / Topic: Confession (of sin and faith)
Hymn: Confession of Faith Song (Confession of Confidence)
#6 / 9 / Topic: Prayer
Hymn: Assurance of Grace Song
#7 / 16 / Topic: Word
Hymn: Songs of Preparation
#8 / 23 / Topic: Sacraments
Hymn: Song of response
#9 / 30 / Topic: Conclusion: After worship (application, so what
Hymn: Sending song