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The Real Worship War

Forget about choruses versus hymns—what about justice?

At a worship service I attended, my attention was drawn to the enthusiastic worship leader. He opened our time with prayer, asking God to meet us and draw us into the Lord's presence. Then he stood with eyes closed and the band playing. He lifted his hands and offered his joyful praise to God.

That's when I really took notice, for as he sang so rapturously, he kept stepping on the feet of the people behind him. Not just once or twice but repeatedly throughout the singing. No apology. No acknowledgment of his "tromping in the spirit." He was just praising God while oblivious to his neighbor.

I have no doubt the worship leader was just so caught up in his own experience of worship that he lost track of others. That's exactly the problem.

For all of our apparent passion about God, in the end much of our worship seems to be mostly about us. We presume we can worship in a way that will find God but lose track of our neighbor. Yet it was this very pattern in Israel's worship life that brought God's ...

May/June
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