Calvin on what passes for “Worship” in many evangelical churches

Too much “worship” in churches today is nothing more than the product of people’s imaginations designed to make them feel good. It should be the product of the study Scripture and designed to glorify God.

Having observed that the Word of God is the test which discriminates between his true worship and that which is false and vitiated, we thence readily infer that the whole form of divine worship in general use in the present day is nothing but mere corruption. For men pay no regard to what God has commanded, or to what he approves, in order that they may serve him in a becoming manner, but assume to themselves a license of devising modes of worship, and afterwards obtruding them upon him as a substitute for obedience. If in what I say I seem to exaggerate, let an examination be made of all the acts by which the generality suppose that they worship God. I dare scarcely except a tenth part as not the random offspring of their own brain. What more would we? God rejects, condemns, abominates all fictitious worship, and employs his Word as a bridle to keep us in unqualified obedience. When shaking off this yoke, we wander after our own fictions, and offer to him a worship, the work of human rashness, how much soever it may delight ourselves, in his sight it is vain trifling, nay, vileness and pollution. The advocates of human traditions paint them in fair and gaudy colors; and Paul certainly admits that they carry with them a show of wisdom; but as God values obedience more than all sacrifices, it ought to be sufficient for the rejection of any mode of worship, that it is not sanctioned by the command of God.[1]

[1] John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and Henry Beveridge, Tracts Relating to the Reformation, vol. 1 (Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1844), 132–133.

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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1 Response to Calvin on what passes for “Worship” in many evangelical churches

  1. Jim says:

    Reblogged this on Zwinglius Redivivus and commented:
    Yay!

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