Means or End?
Christian worship a means to another end, or is it an end in itself?" The
author is John Piper.
MEANS OR END?
For thousands of people, and for many pastors, the event of "worship" on
Sunday mornings is conceived of as a means to accomplish something other than
worship. We "worship" to raise money; we "worship" to attract crowds; we
"worship" to heal human hurts; to recruit workers; to improve church morale;
to give talented musicians an opportunity to fulfill their calling; to teach
our children the way of righteousness; to help marriages stay together; to
evangelize the lost; to motivate people for service projects; to give our
churches a family feeling.
In all of this we bear witness that we do not know what true worship is.
Genuine affections for God are an end in themselves. I cannot say to my wife:
"I feel a strong delight in you so that you will make me a nice meal." That
is not the way delight works. It terminates on her. It does not have a nice
meal in view. . . .
I do not deny that authentic corporate worship may have a hundred good
effects on the life of the church. It will, just like true affection in
marriage, make everything better. My point is that to the degree that we do
"worship" for these reasons, to that degree it ceases to be authentic
worship. Keeping satisfaction in God at the center guards us from that
— John Piper, GOD’S PASSION FOR HIS GLORY: LIVING THE VISION OF JONATHAN
EDWARDS WITH COMPLETE TEXT OF "THE END FOR WHICH GOD CREATED THE WORLD."
Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1998, p. 42. ISBN 1-58134-007-9.
[Here’s the one from last week that says almost the same thing: www.wqotw.org/WQOTW/2002_WQs/WQ10292002.txt]
Have a great week,
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary