Sunday, January 01, 2012

Sin is a Worship Disorder?

I have recently started read (with a group of friends) the book Redemption, about the lessons learned about pastoral counseling from the Mars Hill church.

So far this passage has stood out the most:
[S]in corrupts worship.  The result?  Not a ceasing of worship but a distortion of it.  We never stop worshipping.  Rather, in sin, we worship anything and everything other than God.  We tend to exalt a substance, an experience, a person, or a dream to the level of a god.  We define life by its attainment, and we feel like dying when it eludes us.  It becomes bigger in our eyes than God himself and takes his place in our lives.  The Bible calls this "idolatry".  So addictions, for example, aren't just drug, alcohol, food, or pornography problems.  They are worship disorders.
Sin as a worship disorder makes a lot of sense to me.

But I should add that only worshipping God does not mean only wanting God.  I tried that and it does not work.  Once, years ago, I prayed that God would help me to only want him.  He answered my prayer and it started driving my wife crazy.  "What do you want for dinner?"  "Doesn't matter."  "What do you want to do this weekend?"  "Doesn't matter".  After a few days I humbly confessed how my effort was misguided and prayed to want God most instead of only.

That passage also caused me to remember an experience from 2006 when praying together and for each other was what a bunch of children most wanted to do.  Since that day I've seen adults with that attitude, but not again with children (probably mostly because the children were so young at P'nei Adoani and are so young at The River).  For example, Smiley often asks to pray but I have never heard him pray by himself--he still treats prayer as something to do to spend time with his dad, instead of as a recreational activity for all occasions.

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