Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Styles of Worship?

The ever-adorable and most lovable Natthida (see right) mentioned a few days ago that she believed that no matter what denomination/church one is in, we all worship the same God, albeit in different ways. This was exactly how I felt about the many denominations/churches about three years ago. It didn’t matter whether one was Catholic, Charismatic or Methodist – we were all worshipping the same God.

I abandoned this erroneous thought as I got deeper into Orthodoxy. Why the need to separate in 50,000 different churches if we were worshipping the same God? Surely it cannot be because of culture and/or style of worship?

How can we be worshipping the same God if our very understanding of God is different? Nestorians believe that two persons existed in Christ. The Oriental Orthodox holds the view that Christ only had one nature. Quakers can experience God directly. Mormons think the Trinity is in reality, three separate beings. Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t even believe in the Trinity. Modern “liberal” Protestants think that God is without gender – neither male nor female.

I shall not ramble on further, but I request my readers to take a look at the pictures below and decide yourselves whether we worship the same God:

Southern Baptists in joint prayer

Worship in the largest megachurch in the world - Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul

Tridentine Mass at St. Paul's Cathedral, Pittsburgh

Service held in the Crystal Cathedral, built by popular televangelist Robert Schuller in Garden Grove, California

Vigil celebrated in Sioni Cathedral, Tbilisi

Weekend Praise & Worship service in Singapore's largest megachurch, City Harvest

Sunday morning service in First Presbyterian Church

A "Bergmesse" - Mountain Mass

Service held in Conference Center of the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City

Mass held in a parish church in Schweinfurt, Germany - what a Messe (Messe is German for Mass)!

Divine Liturgy celebrated in St. Innocent Cathedral, Anchorage

Pop-culture Mass in Austria

Some of the afore-shown churches can no longer distinguish between worship and a concert, or a dance club, or a rave.


Blogger Inquisitor Generalis said...

That Tridentine Mass picture was nice. But, yeah, I see your point. Prots and (many) NO Catholics do worship an entirely different God.

Wed Oct 19, 04:02:00 am 2005  
Blogger WinDeZ said...

As long as the purpose of the worship is God-centred, the difference in worship styles should be fine.

Personally I do feel uncomfortable with some styles of worship present here, but that's just my opinion.

I'm pretty sure you get quite a number of hate mail too... Stay on though!

Wed Oct 19, 10:14:00 am 2005  
Blogger pAtRiCk said...

it's sad but true..even though we all may worship one God, but so long as we STILL have our differences with each other i'm afraid that we may never be united..personally i feel they'll still be fundamental disagreements.

But let's us pray for each other that we'll be united again. God bless..=)

Thu Oct 20, 12:33:00 am 2005  
Anonymous I don't bite! said...

Well, I agree that some of those worship services do look like concerts...

But I do believe that we're all worshipping the same God. What matters is that the purpose of the worship should be to glorify God. As long as that is achieved, the differences in style shouldn't be a problem.

Thu Oct 20, 10:07:00 am 2005  
Anonymous Mr Malcolm Matthew B said...

Worship the same God? Yes. Method of worship? Very different. My personal believe is that there is a fixed & prescribed way of worshipping God, which means to show God reverence & adoration. Worship = 1 show reverence and adoration for (a deity). 2 feel great admiration or devotion for. (Source

One will then say that we can use our creative methods to worship God, which, to them, warrents the use of rock music, haphazard dancing & even shouting in some babbel language which even the best language expert cannot understand.

When one reveres God, one should do so in a manner fit for Him. So singing praises & reciting biblical verses are fit. Just like when one reveres a president or head of state, we use proper language & decorum with him. When the military revere their General or Admirial, they salute him with the smartest uniform & clock-like footdrill. Or your national flag? When it is being raised & the national anthem played, do you sit around ignorant, or stand at attention & sing with fullest patriotism?

How can you revere God using rock music? Or in manners that even make fellow men squirm? That's not possible!

I conclude that worshipping God is done in a prescribed manner which has been done for ages past, which really gives God respect & proper decorum.

Here ends my reply.

Thu Oct 20, 10:26:00 am 2005  
Blogger mIsTy_bIsTy said...


Personally, I've felt that there are certain worships in Singapore that is simply way too in the worshipping stuff is just simply too weird. I have friends who went for such services and then later, came back and tell me how weird they felt when they are attending such churches worship.

For me, I have in no position to comment about worshipping God because I am neither a Christian nor a Catholic...but as being a convent girl for 5 years, this is how I've felt because I had attended mass in my secondary school, and I kinda of know..~

Please don't bombard me with anything. I meant no harm...I'm being asked to comment so yeah..~ that's my reply..=)

Thu Oct 20, 10:46:00 am 2005  
Anonymous Yang said...

Happy Clappy church guys should stop defending yourself because you know yourself that you will always be wrong, no matter what you do and what you say, people will always think it don't make sense. You guys should not make any comments again.

Fri Oct 21, 01:16:00 pm 2005  
Blogger Sean MacNair said...

"Or your national flag? When it is being raised & the national anthem played, do you sit around ignorant, or stand at attention & sing with fullest patriotism?"

I sit around, personally, but I'm hardly being ignorant.

Sun Oct 23, 05:56:00 am 2005  
Anonymous i don't bite! said...

Wow! Some people are really full of themselves! If you have a right to comment here, so do the rest of us. And there's no need to use derogatory terms such as "happy clappy church guys". We're all equal in God's eyes.
What I don't understand is why you simply cannot accept the fact that we all worship the same God, albeit in different ways.
In Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, three different forms of worship are mentioned. What this means is that worship of God is to be varied as there is a song for each situation. Hence, there are different styles of worship for different Christians, as what suits you may not suit me and vice versa.
What matters is that the worship comes from the heart and the focus is on God. Yes, the same God of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Mon Oct 24, 01:05:00 am 2005  
Anonymous mr malcolm matthew b said...

If we don't call you "happy-clappy church guys", then how do we describe that style of worship? Charismatic? Pentecostal? Rocky?

Mon Oct 24, 03:44:00 pm 2005  
Blogger Theophilus said...

I have a hard time believing that we worship different gods. I think we're different people trying to worship the same God.

I make no apologies for the ways in which the Holy Spirit led me within my church experience in growth long before I ever heard of Orthodoxy. I don't apologize for God's work.

Tue Sep 29, 05:54:00 am 2009  

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