This post is directed at atheistic worship. Atheistic worship might seem kind of impossible though, how can you worship something you don’t believe in?
Do you just get together with a bunch of other non-believers and gather to non-worship? No, of course not. That’s like asking non-smokers if they get together and non-smoke.
But we still press those who do not share our faith, and rightly so. We sharpen our apologetic swords and rush into the non-believers’ camp on the battlefield of belief. We have many tools in our arsenal, and we wield each with precision.
How can they not see God? How can you look at Niagra Falls or even the sky and not admit to God? How did life come from non-life without someone to direct it? Why would the early church have endured persecution and executions for a Man that wasn’t what He said He was?
And so on and so on for endless conversations. We leave the battle drained and frustrated. We win a few, but the majority don’t budge an inch. How can they not respond? We question the non-believers, but often share their same attitude.
Hold the phones, Josiah. I’m a child of the King. I’m redeemed. I believe. I had a response.
That you did, and I commend you for it.
But you still might be sharing the atheists’ attitude. Allow me to present you with a question, much like the ones we throw at non-believers.
How can we experience God’s infinite grace and not respond in worship?
If you ask any semi-mature Christian they’ll gladly tell you that God’s grace has saved them from Hell. Their sin was placed on Christ’s shoulders, and God’s wrath that was deserved of them was then poured out on Jesus, the spotless Lamb. They’ll say Christ’s resurrection 3 days later allows them to live a full life here on Earth, but more importantly it allows them to have an eternal life, an everlasting life.
That’s heavy. My cross, my lashes, my nails, my crucifixion, my sin was imputed on God’s sinless Son. The only thing I have to do is accept this gift of salvation in faith.
That should evoke an overwhelming response, right? That’s a pretty big deal.
And we do have an overwhelming response initially, to accept salvation, but then our fire slowly dwindles.
We sing the same songs, listen to the same sermons, gather with the same believers that we did when we were passionate, but it’s different now.
We don’t feel any different week to week. We don’t look forward to church like we used to. We no longer have that sweet hour of prayer; we’re doing good to fake 10 minutes now. We don’t sing like we used to. We don’t feel The Spirit’s presence like we used to. We’re just going through the motions now.
We’re faced with the evidence of God’s grace and mercy everywhere, everyday. But then we don’t respond. Just like the atheists we so often criticize.
That is atheistic worship. The atheist is faced with evidence of God and lacks a response. We do the same exact thing in being faced with the evidence of God in our lives and exercising a shallow worship devoid of passion.
So I want to challenge you, Church. Rekindle the fire you first felt at your conversion. Fall in love with Christ all over again. Remind yourself of your sinful condition and Christ’s unrelenting love for you in spite of it. And then respond.
Don’t have empty, atheistic worship.