Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 21, 2014

“Seeker-sensitive” Worship Services? “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?”

Today’s devotion comes from Numbers 15:14-16.

“14 If an alien sojourns with you, or one who may be among you throughout your generations, and he wishes to make an offering by fire, as a soothing aroma to the Lord, just as you do so he shall do.  15 As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations;  as you are, so shall the alien be before the Lord.  16 There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.’”  Numbers 15:14-16.

——————–

Many churches form their worship services to be “seeker-sensitive”, that is, their primary goal is to make their worship services attractive to visitors, rather than pleasing to God according to His commands as to how He wants to be worshipped.

Today’s Scripture adds to the immediately preceding Scripture that worship services must be formed to fit God’s regulations for worship by adding that such regulations apply even to aliens (visitors). “There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.’”  Verse 16.  “As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations;  as you are, so shall the alien be before the Lord.”  Verse 15.

Yes, we should be friendly to visitors.  But, we see many churches change not only the form of their worship service but their gospel to be attractive to visitors.

For example, Reformed churches know that predestination is repulsive to most men, so many Reformed Churches try to hide or minimize that part of the gospel.  They primarily promote that they are a “Bible-believing” church or they only emphasize their youth activities or other particular services to their congregation or their charitable services to others.  They may even eliminate altogether descriptive words in their name like “Reformed” to try to appear to be just a community church.  They minimize their Reformed Doctrine in their own web-site’s description of “Who We Are”.  In summary, they try to be like every other church.

By drifting toward being like every other church, these Reformed churches can lose their “Reformed” salt.  Matthew 5:13 provides this warning:  “You are the salt of the earth;  but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”

And, the drifting can eventually turn into a deserting.

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;  which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!  As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?  Or am I striving to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”  Galatians 1:6-10.

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