"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Concert Mania for God: But is HE Really There?

All day worship, non-stop worship, super concerts. Wow!

With the coming of  electronic and digital technology, perfecting sound systems have become possible. Human voice and instrumentals have never blended so accurately harmonious before--and voice ranges incredibly reached with amazing clearness, perhaps like that of heaven's own music. So churches today have zeroed in on music more than at any time in history. 

They have come up with "non-stop worship" and concerts. In fact, they spend a lot of money for these and send their youths investing time, effort, and money, and even health on the same. They spend their energies and sleepless nights over them. 

I love music and concerts to the Lord. I love the way some individuals master the Lord's intense presence and "bring it down" to where they are so that people around get the bread crumbs that "fall from the table" of such individuals. Wow! Praise God! I wish I had the same anointing. The genuine thing cannot be produced except by Holy Spirit anointing.

But there are others; their talents can produce somewhat the same effects (at times even better), make the audience cry, make them feel God, make them commit to the Lord, change them dramatically, or make them go wild with dancing and fun which they call "joy." What concert mania for God! But question is, is he really there?

I can't help but think; is it God they feel or is it the charisma of the one leading in worship? Sometimes, the worship leader has God's power to bring down God's presence so that being one with the leader's spirit of worship can allow us to share the benefits that the leader himself enjoys. There's such a thing, I admit. And I crave for that more than I crave for my daily physical bread.

But most times, it's just a showbiz effect--like what people feel during secular concerts, especially secular rock concerts. People cry and feel something intense and different. They also can change dramatically, dance wildly, and be profusely welling up with love--all because the lead singer and the band moved them to. Talented guys can do that without anointing from the Holy Spirit.

And sometimes, the same happens in worship concerts or church services without the people knowing it. They worship the worship leader--his voice quality, charisma, appeal--the person of the leader. It's not God. Church people often worship the gifts that God gives a worship leader. Such gifts can create a concert mania for God, but is he really there?

Or, sometimes concerts and good singing can create the impression that it is the highest ministry there is. The singers or worship leaders become popular and begin to have a following and young people imitate them and often that's what inspires many of them to seek a place on stage to be seen performing as good as their "Christian" idol is. Worse, they want to be able to perform like their favorite secular rock band.

Then singing on stage begins to look like the reason why Jesus died on the cross--so people can be saved and join a church and sing in the choir or worship team. And the grand goal is to one day be able to do a big concert and be like the popular worship leaders they idolize.

You can see their faces, looking so sincere and touched by the lyrics of the song or so powerfully moved by God (and why not? They're faces are seen on camera so they got to do the act). There are folks who do this with a genuine heart, but sometimes you see the majority others just trying to act it out. It's all showbiz.

Like for instance, there was this "mighty worship leader" who performed so good and intensely on stage. But when he wasn't leading worship on stage and was just seated in the pews among other church people, he wasn't doing the same intense worship. He was talking with someone or busy doing something with the sound system while worship was going on. And this wasn't exclusive to him. I often see the same scenario in different churches I've been to.

Some people can create a concert mania for God, but is he really there? If talented "Christians" can create gods that seem to be Jesus Christ but are not, they can also create amazing worship atmospheres that are false but look genuine. And shallow people get easily deceived. As long as the voice quality is superb and the leader looks spiritual and able to quote verses and declare "anointed" phrases on stage--and the band plays excellently--people believe and are moved.

Purely human charisma can move people and even make them "born again" and commit to the church.

But they don't ask whether God is really in it. If you're sharp in the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit, you'd know. You'd easily detect folly and fakes, no matter how good they look and sound. Concert mania for God is good, but is he really there?

True Worship

Anyway, truth is basic and simple: Paul said in Romans 12 that spiritual worship is presenting our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. If you want to know what real worship is, that's real worship. In fact, that's the only acceptable worship in God's eyes, not super concerts or singing, especially many of those done on camera.

Popular worship singers and leaders seem to be great servants of God only because we blind ourselves with the standards of this world. We admire them like how the world admired Michael Jackson. We respect anyone who makes it good on stage in public. We forget about Kingdom qualities that the Word of God exalts like being lowly and meek as Jesus chose to be son of a poor carpenter and born in a dirty manger.

We forget about genuine missionaries who live and work with the poor or the sick or those who gave up possessions and riches and fame and chose to live simple, low profile lives. Their lives are daily true worships but no one likes to imitate them. No one feels "anointed" to do as they did. Everyone in church is after the stage and the spot lights. Everyone feels led to sing for God.

Genuinely anointed worship leaders and singers are great in God's eyes. In fact, I respect them a lot. But you see, to God, the least are the greatest.

The Unquenchable Worshipper: Coming Back to the Heart of Worship (Worship Series)