don’t lie in worship – it’s your choice

16 02 2010

“Christians don’t tell lies – they just go to church and sing them.” – A. W. Tozer

When first I heard the quote from A. W. Tozer I smiled because it’s true. It’s not that Christians don’t ever lie, but the point is that they sing lies. Now, I must be a little more forgiving. The definition of “to lie” is “a false statement deliberately presented as being true.” I don’t think people really are trying to deceive God or other people, but I think often words are said without believing them.

Watch this:

Speaking truth during worship cannot be over emphasized. John 4:23-24 states

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

The last line says “those who worship MUST worship in spirit and truth.” There is no provision for worshiping without truth. Simply stated we cannot lie in worship.

But what about the person who wants to sing the song, but doesn’t feel like the lyrics are true in their soul. Though their mind may agree that the lyrics are true, they may not be true for them in their heart. Likewise, what about when a person sings a song and feels they are true, but the mind hasn’t taken the journey?

Sometimes feelings come first and sometimes thoughts come first. They don’t have to coincide in order for them to be true for us. When we move by faith we move according to God’s word because we believe it is true. Sometimes feelings aren’t there. Likewise there are times we feel like something is right, but we don’t understand why it is, which is equally as right.

If either feelings or thoughts precede the other it is not as if we are lying. Ultimately, it is the intention and direction of a person that determines truth. God’s word is truth; if we are agreeing with it in thought or feeling then we are pleasing God.


one thing that scares me about worship

16 09 2009

One of my great concerns about church is reflected in a quote by A.W. Tozer

Christians don’t tell lies they just go to church and sing them.

Isaiah 29:13 states,

These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

And in John 4:23 Jesus tells the Samaritian woman,

the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

It seems so simple when it happens to us. Someone says you did a good job or that they like your haircut or whatever, but you know they don’t. They told you with their words, but you could see right through it. Why do we think we can fake out God?

When someone straight up lies to you not only do you not recieve the fake compliment, but it probably starts to turn you off from the person. (At least that is how is works for me.) It ruins the relationship.

God doesn’t only percieve that we are not genuine (uh hum… LYING) He knows! Peter in John 21:17 states to Jesus, “you know everything” and 1 John 3:20 states, “he knows everything.”

I can’t think of anything in the Bible that says we have to sing when we go to church. I think God would rather us just shut up if we can’t sing in truth.

It seems apparent when we look at John 4:23 that God desires worship to be given in truth. Additionally, looking at Isaiah 29:13 is seems important that we are aware of our hearts, which should be postured in the same direction as the lyrics of the song.

Worship is not just a sing-a-long; it is a service to God that demands us to be truthful in what we are offering to the Creator of the universe.