Conversely, man’s desire to serve himself is as old as the Garden. There is a narrative that records a truly “seeker sensitive” worship service emphasizing man’s desire to please himself.
Aaron, Moses’ brother, designed a “seeker sensitive” worship service to satisfy the people rather than honor God. Exodus, Chapter 32 is the record of this worship service and verse 6 is especially telling. “And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” The people celebrated the satisfaction of their needs, when in fact they had become idolaters.
The Apostle Paul quoted Exodus 32:6 in his warning to the church about the certain judgment of God against this kind of self-serving idolatry. (1Corinthians 10:6)
Psalm 50 is another example of God’s view of self-serving, empty worship. God indicted His people, calling them “my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice,” Psalm 50:5. He then proceeded to tell His people to keep their useless rituals. He reminded them that He didn’t need any bulls to be sacrificed. He owned everything. He further declared that His requirement was “a sacrifice of thanksgiving.” (Psalm 50:14)
The church of the Old Testament demanded that Aaron make gods for them. God judged them. The people of Psalm 50 received God’s rebuke and He judged them for their false worship. Yet in the light of God’s warning, many churches persist in structuring worship, ministry and teaching around what people feel they need.
May all who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus answer His wake-up call to know God and thereby live as a reflection of His revealed character. Seek a church that is faithful to God’s will by declaring the truth of His holy character so that by His power you will be enabled to live for His glory.
The Rev. Lou Tiscione is pastor of Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA).