...a barely thematic journey through my tangentizing mental life...
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rduht, your comment had all the earmarks of marketing spam, so it was removed. Anyone with an actual, related comment, is encouraged to leave one.
Why is it that for the past...however long, it seems as though TFB is working on the shell of it's members? If spiritual transformation is taking place in the lives of the members there, then it will show. Why must we be insistent that people smile? Why should people be encouraged to dance and clap and raise their hands? Aren't these things just physical? Is it so we can say,"Wow! Look how this church has grown spiritually!"? When all that's really going on is a physical act that was encouraged by the leadership. We are to worship in spirit and truth. Has that even been mentioned? Wasted lives of believers with raised hands doesn't amount to anything, and in the end, it will be burned.
While raised hands, dancing, and smiling can be--and often are--just physical (in which case they are false communication), all these are more properly overflow of the life of the soul. If it were not so, these things would not be commanded in the bible--which they are. Sure, some will raise their hands because the pastor said to, but others will raise their hands because they've wanted to praise God that way, but felt restrained by cultural assumptions. The same can be said for dancing and smiling.If a disciple is truly in love with Jesus, as expressed in submission, adoration, and more, this love will overflow in external expression. If a person claims to love Jesus, but is always frowning and Eeyore-like, then we have good reason to disbelieve their claims.
I see your point, but I don't know that this is a good "rule" to follow. I don't raise my hands and I don't dance. I can't really say that I have the desire to, but I love Jesus. I desire to walk in the light. I want to sit at His feet. Sometimes I might sway a little or move my head, but nothing really beyond that. So is it right for someone on stage to look at me and conclude that since I'm not responding the way that they think I should, then I must not be right with God?
I guess the real question is this.."Is the leadership giving all the options for expressions of worship or just the ones that they would like to see?"
Honestly, when I'm not on stage, I prefer to sit and sing contemplatively. I'm quite certain some worship leaders have looked at me and concluded that I'm not worshiping. They would be wrong in their assessment of my behavior in the pew. As for the leadership, they're probably giving a sampling of examples that come to mind. Do remember that raising one's hands, dancing, singing loudly, etc are all commanded in Scripture (and by the way, I think barely swaying probably counts as dancing).
Yeah. I guess I am dancing. There is one time that I raised my hands, but it was somewhere else. It took me a long time to do it, because I wasn't sure if I was doing it for the right reasons. Even when I did, I wasn't entirely confident about it. I really wanted to raise my hands to God at this time, but the internal struggle took away from the act of worship. I'm not sure that I've been entirely right in my arguments over this, but my motives are pure. I want people to love Jesus. I want them worship Him from the heart. I want people to walk in the light, and sing because of how great He is! I'm not against any particular person in the church on this matter. I love the ones that God has placed over me. I just want to be confident that everything we do is pure, you know?
I think truly worshipful dancing, hand-raising, etc must come from the heart. I've seen too many "worship services" where the hands and arms pop up like antennae: maybe this is from the heart, but I think it's more likely the same sort of cultural pressure that keeps natural hand-raisers bound in churches like ours.I often wonder about my own practice of contemplative worship when I'm in the pew: is it from the heart or am I subdued because I'm afraid of something? It could be that my restrained worship-in-the-pew is not from pure motives; maybe I should be dancing. I don't know, you know?
Maybe, in time, He will help us work these things out.