THE REV. LOU TISCIONE
I believe God is issuing a wake-up call to the church. No, I’m not a prophet. I haven’t received a special word from the Lord.
God’s wake-up call was issued through His prophets in the Old Testament. His wake up call to the church is very clear and simple. He has called His people to know Him! The church, commanded to be holy, has a primary responsibility. She is to teach God’s people His revealed character. God declared what He required. He told His people to do what is right, to love kindness and to walk humbly before Him. (Micah 6:8)
Each action: doing what is right, loving kindness and walking in humility requires knowing God as He has revealed Himself in His word.
The church will make little difference in the world if she turns to pleasing men rather than God. If the church ignores her responsibility to teach the revealed character of God, then her members will not reflect His holiness.
Corporate worship is one of the primary means by which the truth of God is declared and learned by God’s people. It is also the first place in which the church can be seen to either submit to God or pander to man. Some churches have chosen to design worship services to “attract people to God.” As well intended as the motivation is, the result is that people may be attracted but not to the one true God. Jesus said that the Father is the seeker of worshipers. (John 4:23) God has also revealed the content of worship, referred to as the biblical elements of worship.
The biblical elements of worship are: reading Scripture, singing psalms and hymns, offering prayer, preaching the word, giving tithes and offerings, confessing the faith and observing the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These elements are ordained by God for His glory and our enjoyment.