I say this without a shred of hyperbole: nearly all the problems of contemporary Christendom can be traced back to a defective view of worship.

Even most of the best churches, that otherwise seriously believe the Bible, don't pay attention to what it says about worship.
What the contemporary church believes worship is for:

Evangelism
Outreach
Marketing
Entertainment
TEDtalks w/Bible verses
Theology lectures
Impressive rock concerts
What the Bible says worship is for:

God's people gathering before His presence
God renewing His covenant relationship with His people
God's people receiving grace from Him
God's people responding with praise
God's people returning a portion of the grace He has given
If you want a simple, one-sentence definition of what the Bible says worship is it is this:

GOD'S PEOPLE DRAWING NEAR TO HIM.

Read that again, and again, and again. THAT is what worship according to the Bible is.
God gave His people a pattern of how He is to be approached.

He CALLS us into his presence (Lev. 9:3-5).

He speaks, and we respond by gathering before His face.

Historically, this is where the "call to worship" is derived.
Next, as we draw near to a holy God, we do so as sinners in need of grace so he CLEANSES us (Lev. 9:8-11).

Historically, this is why a confession of sin was ubiquitous in worship.
Having confessed sins, God CONSECRATES his people (Leviticus 9:12-16).

They ascend into His presence by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Hebrew ascension offering was a shadowy picture of this.

We are cut up by the two-edged sword of the Word and ascend up to God.
That is the proper place for the sermon. We are being consecrated with God's Holy Word.

It is not the time for neither a lecture nor an infotainment self-help talk.

It is the time for God's people to be shaped by His Word.
Having ascended into God's presence in the heavenly places, we sit down and COMMUNE with Him, enjoying a meal (Lev. 9:18-21).

When we read the whole Bible, worship without food is UNTHINKABLE.

We shouldn't get the peace offering less often than those in an inferior covenant.
Finally, God sends us out of His presence and COMMISSIONS us to go out and conquer His world (Lev. 9:22-24).
That is the pattern that God has given us to draw near.

Historically, the church followed it closely.

But since the disaster that is the Second Great Awakening, worship became what it is now: a spectacle that may or may not be well-meaning.
The single greatest need in the church is a reformation of worship.

Everything else (restoring sound doctrine, refusing to adopt cultural mores over and against God's Word, etc.) will flow from worshiping God as He has commanded, and not by our own design.
I preached about this a few months ago, and cover these things here:

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More from @BonifaceOption

11 Jan
The problem with pastoral ministry is that it often selects for men who are both not very good leaders and conflict averse.
What I mean is:

Start out with early-20-something men who have an interest in theological studies.

That already is a very narrow pool, and already the overwhelming majority of them would be described as “bookish” if we are being unbelievably charitable.
Next:

Load them down with tens of thousands of dollars of debt for skills and a degree that limit their career prospects to a singular vocation and almost literally nothing else.
Read 5 tweets
9 Jan
I preached last Sunday about going the extra mile (which is about foreign occupiers humiliating you).

I said we do not know what it is like to live under occupation.

Well, you had now better start getting used to it.

Jesus's command is very applicable to our situation.
We want to remove our enemies by force. Sometimes there is a time for that.

But you saw how well that worked out on Wednesday.

Our battles are fought by different means but they are no less battles.
My main point was that Jesus was expressly *not* commanding pacifism.

He is the Word-Made-Flesh, including "A time to kill…" (Ecc. 3:3) made flesh.

Our battle now is to bear the humiliation that is coming for us, that our enemies deserve.
Read 4 tweets
2 Dec 20
lol nearly every instance of newsworthy “racism” is either totally made up by the “victim” (Smollett, Alethia Bernstein) or a misunderstanding brought on by those pathologized by antiracism into being terrified of things like garage door pulls and overhead projector covers.
Meanwhile, antiracists burned down billions of dollars worth of cities and attacked and murdered people because a man overdosed on fentanyl in police custody and a female drug dealer got in a shootout with police.
Even more ironically is we are chastised by Evangelilibs for believing “conspiracy theories” like elite child sex abuse or an election we witnessed get stolen in real time, “because God cares about truth,” but they won’t bother to challenge the shaky Floyd or Taylor narratives 🤔
Read 4 tweets
2 Dec 20
An excellent article by @SolomonsaysN. I respect both him and @douglaswils immensely. The question is what if Trump crosses the Rubicon? What if the legislatures fail to grant him the electors that were stolen from him & he takes what is his by force?

theopolisinstitute.com/not-our-presid…
He is an animal backed into a corner. They have already telegraphed they will dismantle his financial holdings & will try to put him & his family in prison for challenging the global liberal capital empire. What if he calls his 70M very enthusiastic supporters to arms?
It is not without precedent, as Mark points out in his article. History is replete with rulers taking power by force. Would it be a sin to support a ruler and even fight for him taking what is rightfully his extrajudicially?
Read 4 tweets
1 Dec 20
lol the point of the Jerusalem Council was not “eliminating obstacles” as though they were arbitrary but reckoning with a new creation in which Gentiles and Jews together are given the same access to the sanctuary as priests.
Retconning the end of the Old Covenant into “here’s how we deal with America’s racial problems” is both a terrible application of scripture and really stupid.
White people are not Jews & black people are not gentiles. Honestly demeaning to both to assert this.

It would be far better to reform worship where people actually understand they come into the very same presence the priests (& Gentiles further away!) did when they worshipped.
Read 6 tweets
1 Dec 20
But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.

Luke 19:27
The Parable of the Minas is about a failed coup d’etat. The servant who hides the Mina is unfaithful because he does not believe his master will return. He is condemned because he refused to publicly identify with his master because he believed the coup would succeed.
It is not about merely being “a good steward.”

It is about betting it all when things are not at all certain your guy is gonna win & might lose everything if you are wrong.

The immediate application, like so much of the NT is 70 AD. His enemies are brought out and slaughtered.
Read 5 tweets

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