Recent Posts
The requirement for Israel of specific times and rituals for worship, both weekly and annually, [more]
Kevin T. Bauder God did not create human beings to suffer or die. Nothing in [more]
Fifty days after the exodus from Egypt, the people of Israel arrived at the foot [more]
I wrote last week on the desire to be a pastor, primarily from 1 Timothy [more]
Kevin T. Bauder Human suffering is universal. We all feel pain. We ought to expect [more]

Are “worship wars” worth fighting?

Just a quick link and a note since I’ve been traveling all day.

This is an interesting post comparing worship wars in Scripture to those of today. I think it is a worthy comparison.

A few commenters on my Google+ profile took exception to making such a comparison. Here was my reply:

I certainly agree that much of what takes place in the “worship wars” is silly (on both sides), but here’s the problem: the primary issue of disagreement is whether or not form is really all that big a deal.

Those on the more progressive side say no, so to compare fighting over form to fighting Muslims or Atheists seems ridiculous. And it is ridiculous if form is not all that significant.

However some of us believe that certain ways of worshiping, i.e. certain forms, do God such a great diservice that it is just as blasphemous as worshiping a false god; indeed, it is worshiping a false god.

So it makes sense to me that those who deny the critical importance of form would find it appealing to compare the worship wars of the evangelical church to idolatry.

But I think it is a comparison worth considering.

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

3 Responses to Are “worship wars” worth fighting?

  1. to be fair, I don't think any one on G+ is saying that it's not "that big a deal." I just think worship form wars as I've seen it are in somewhat of a different category than… say sacrificing your children on the fire of Moloch. Not that worship form is unimportant, or not worth fighting over, it's just that I think that Luther's Pope was somewhat more of an anti-christ than Bill Gaither, and it's unfair to the reformation (not to mention the Israelite story) to assume an analogy between the two very different controversies.

    (although, the more i think about it…. i could probably be convinced about comparing Bill Gaither and Leo X… both in a different ways torture(d) protestants.)

  2. always good times Scott- hope your ministry is going well – it's fun to track where my classmates have ended up serving, let me know if you're ever on the NYC area.

Leave a reply