A Pentecostal Reflection on Contemporary Worship and Consumerism

18:11

Here's a very important reflection on contemporary worship from Pentecostal theologian Simon Chan's latest book. Read and reflect.
Much has been said in recent years about the "dumbing down" of worship and the conspicuous absence of a sense of reverence and awe in so-called contemporary worship. But the underlying problem is a culture of consumerism and self-fulfilment. The church is expected to be a service provider to meet the needs of its consumer members. In this consumerist context, people are not likely to encounter anything like the fascinans et tremendum that humans experience in the presence of the holy God. Traditional words such as "holy", "praise", "honor", and "majesty" are still freely bandied about, but for the modern Christian, worship is largely a personal experience in a celebratory and friendly atmosphere. There will be a lot of acclamations about God's goodness, love and intimacy, but little that suggests the awesome presence that elicits reverence and awe, fear and trembling (Heb 12:28-29; Ps 96:8-9) leading to bowing or prostration (Ezek. 1:28; Rev. 1:17). The inability to understand these qualities has resulted in considerable shrinking of modern worship.
(Simon Chan, Grassroots Asian Theology, pp.88-89)

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The Tenets of the Apostolic Church


The Unity of the Godhead, and Trinity of the Persons therein.

The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent.

The virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, triumphant resurrection, ascension, and abiding intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ; His second coming, and millennial reign upon earth.

Justification and Sanctification of the believer through the finished work of Christ.

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers, with signs following.

The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church, which is the body of Christ.

The Sacraments of Baptism by immersion and of the Lord's Supper.

The Divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures.

Church government by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, elders and deacons.

The possibility of falling from grace.

The obligatory nature of tithes and offerings.