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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

All of us are worshippers

Made in God's Image - designed for relationship
Mankind, made in God's image is a worshipper - not because God is a worshipper - but because man was built for relationship with someone Greater. In the same way that the Triune God dwells in perpetual love and communion with Himself (see the Gospel of John as an example), so we are designed for relationship.

For us, that longing and need for High relationship takes the shape of worship: we long for something (SomeOne actually) infinitely greater than us who will satisfy the desires of our hearts, fill up our empty souls and inexhaustibly intoxicate us with their greatness and beauty.

Another way of putting this is to say that our inbuilt desire for relationship is a dependant one; we know that we cannot survive by ourselves, and so we look outside ourselves for someone or something to lean on.

Now, of course the man without God doesn't fess up to this longing, and yet absolutely everything about his life belies his worship. Take Richard Dawkins, one of the world's greatest worshippers, as an example.  Unhappy to be a small ordinary scientist he has found his big Mission in life, to which he has given all of his energies: to rid the world of religion. Everyone around him can see that he could not live without this Mission, that it - and all its multiple components such as fame and money - motivates and drives him.

A frank admission
In 2008 a famous American writer and thinker David Foster Wallace tragically committed suicide. No friend of Christ, he was nevertheless able to see with a rare clarity that we are all worshippers. And even further, that if we worship small created things rather than the Creator, they will eat us up.

Read this as a sermon....

"Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship--be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles--is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clich├ęs, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness."

"Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings."

"They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing."

Some sermon.
Only true worship leads to true happiness.

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