- Greek – proskuneo (pronounced “pros-koo-nay-oh”) or
- Eusebeo (pronounced “oo-seb-ay-oh”) or
- Sebomai (pronounced “seb-oh-ma-hee”) -- to act piously or reverently, to revere, to kiss the hand to (towards) one in token of reverence, to make obeisance, to express respect or to make supplication
- Hebrew – Shachah (pronounced “sha-ka”) or C’gid (pronounced “seg-eed”) -- to prostrate oneself, do homage, to bow down,
I. What worship is not.Edit
- A. Not all of life is worship (Romans 12:1 is used in prooftexting a really idiotic idea, an idea I have no idea why someone would want to believe enough to bother prooftexting it). We see this throughout scripture in that people went to a specific place to worship, began and ended their worship, and even sinned (which cannot be worship!).
- B. Worship is not a time slot.
- C. Worship is not a location. (John 4:21)
- D. Worship defined by man is vain worship (Matt. 15:9)
- E. Worship is not the assembly.
- We do a LOT of actions when we assemble. We also worship Jehovah God outside of the formal assembly. When we assemble, we blow our noses, make announcements, sneeze, fart, discipline our kids, feed our kids, hold/use a song book, make announcements, walk, chat, flip switches, hold a microphone, make announcements, etc. None of these actions is an act of worship.
- The problem is, that if the assembly as a whole is itself worship, then none of these actions are specifically authorized as worship and we are sinning!!! Nowhere does the Bible ever define the assembly as worship. To worship, specifically to partake of the Lord's Supper, is the reason we assemble, but the act of assembling, even for that reason, is not itself worship. That premise cannot be maintained from scripture. It is a hold over from the Catholic ideas of the holiness of the building, the Mass, and a host of other denominational baggage that has been allowed into the church. People still talk about acting differently in the church building (remember the old "tip toe tip toe in God's house" song at VBS? *shiver*?). However, there is nothing sacred about the building, the time slot, or anything we do that is not the action of worship.
- We can worship God alone in a closet (Matt. 6:6), we can worship in song (the praise portion), prayer, and study all alone or in small groups. There are no stipulations on time and place like there is for the LS and the collection. Wednesday nights, Friday nights, Monday mornings, whatever. If we intend our song, study, or prayer (and I don't know how you could pray without worshiping) to be worship, it is. Location isn't relevant either (they sang/prayed in prison!).
- While there are rules for when we are assembled in order to partake of the LS (women are to keep quiet, can only do this on Sunday, can't do it as partial assembly or mini-assemblies), the assembly itself is not worship.
- Neither is there any place in scripture that requires all five acts MUST be done every time or any time we assemble to partake of the LS. In fact, the only thing that is tied to the every first day of the week assembly by command is the collection (1 Cor. 16:1-2). Sure, the other acts are present and permissible. 1 Cor. 11-16 (which is not wholly about the assembly all the way through) does not contain such a command. If it does, please show me specifically the explicit command or the reasoning that shows the implication. If it does, then it is required every assembly and if all five acts are not present then it is not an assembly and the women can speak!
II. What worship is.Edit
- A. Worship is a specific action that takes place for the specific duration of time that the action takes place.
- People like Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and every single individual person in the Bible who worshipped in spirit and in truth had both a start and an end to their worship. E.g. When Abraham took Isaac to sacrifice him he told the two guys that came with them at the bottom of the mountain "we're going up to this mountain to worship" which makes no sense if they were already worshiping in everything they were doing. I could give a host of other examples if need be, but I don't see the need here in this group.
- B. Worship is a specific action that requires intent to worship.
- Given that all life is not worship and given that worship is a specific action, one must intend for their specific action to be worship for it to be worship (vain or acceptable). More on this below.
- C. Worship is a specific action that requires a specific target.
- Because of the nature of worship, it is illogical to say you are worshiping if you are not worshiping something or someone.
- Jehovah God is the only acceptable target.
- D. Worship must be an authorized action.
- There are only five authorized actions by Jehovah that are acceptable to Him as worship: to pray, to sing, to study His Word, to take up a collection, and to partake of the Lord's Supper. The last two have stipulations as acts of worship (see below).
- Without getting into a huge post on authority, it is necessary to say that God always specifies HOW He wants man to worship Him. When God specifies an action and is silent on other forms of that type of action, He limits by that specificity. Worship is always specific in its authorization. Always.
III. Potential scenarios from the above four points:Edit
- A. An action that is not intended as worship is not worship. Without the intent to worship, there is no "target" needed and a more general (non-specific) authority will come into play.
- B. An action that is intended as worship, is authorized by Jehovah God (or not), but targets some other object (in the grammatical sense), is by defintion idol worship.
- C. An action that is intended as worship, is targeted at Jehovah God, but is not authorized is vain worship (Matt. 15:9). It is arrogance and selfishness, the very essence of sin, on man's part that he believes he can devise a method of worship outside of what God has commanded.
In Truth and Love.