(OPINION) ETH – A pastor of Florida Presbyterian Church in America and former professor of theology has reportedly denounced contemporary Christian worship, claiming that it goes against the “reverence and awe” that church services should be having for God.
According to the Christian Post, In his remarks, titled “Reformed Doxology: Worship According to Scripture,” David McWilliams, who is the senior minister of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, critiqued popular trends in contemporary worship, and especially the music often used, during a recent speech at a Gospel Reformation Network conference.
In the speech, McWilliams read from Hebrews 12:18-29, which is a passage that includes a verse commanding believers to “worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” “We long for a Holy Spirit-induced relish for the truth, a delight in the triune God, a heart moved promptly and sincerely by God’s glory in our private and public worship,” said McWilliams.
McWilliams added that one of “the main principles of worship” was that it must be done with “reverence and awe,” which can be hindered by “casual attitudes, carnality, certain kinds of music, and even vocabulary.” “For example, who can think that a service peppered with salsa rhythms will lead the congregation to worship God in reverence and awe? Or rock music.
Will sentimental tunes or music that remind one of the nightclubs lead us to reverence and awe?” he posited. “Therefore, certain forms of music, attitudes, and actions are immediately excluded from worship by the one principle that we are to worship our God in reverence and awe.”
According to McWilliams, true worship should be like “a different universe” and not include “smokescreens,” “movie clips,” or “changing the color of lights,” saying “style is not neutral.” McWilliams also listed multiple reasons for why it was wrong “for worship approaches to accommodate cultural trends,” among them being that it “misrepresents God,”
“devalues church culture,” “harms discipleship,” and “does not mature believers.” “We have set aside the greatest tool for discipleship next to the Bible, and of course I mean the Psalter, the hymnal,” he said. “Hymnody is part of the catechesis of the church.”