What is 'worship' ? Do we practice it?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Eden, Feb 15, 2013.

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    Eden

    Eden Guest

    This is a question that bugs me for a while.

    What is "worship"? What is involved in worshiping Jehovah God? And are we doing it?

    According to the Insight book, worship is "the rendering of reverent honor or homage. True worship of the Creator embraces every aspect of an individual's life"... " Some scriptures mentioned as support are:

    1 Corinthians 10:31 - "Whether you are drinking or eating or doing anything else, do all things for God's glory".

    Micah 6:6-8 - "With what shall I confront Jehovah? With what shall I bow myself to God on high? ... he has told you, o earthling man, what is good. And what is Jehovah asking back from you but to exercise justice and to love kindness and to be modest in walking with your God?"

    At mere face value, this seems like a sensible argument: Everything we do, as long is made conscientiously to honor God may be considered "worship". But is it so simple?

    First, the two given Scriptures do not directly mention "worship" not in greek ['proskuneo'] nor in hebrew ['avadh' ; hishtachawah'] is given here. Actually, in hebrew, there isn't even a word specifically used for "worship" in the exclusive sense of devotion to a deity. The words used in hebrew can be translated as "to bow", "to serve", "to prostrate oneself" and it's the context that determines if it can be understood as "worship" in the common sense.

    I ask: To follow a path or righteousness is in itself "worship" to Jehovah? Don't many people follow a righteous life because of the fear of the civil and criminal Law and authorities and because of their built-in conscience and ethics, even if they don't necessarily believe in God? Also, in that case, what would we make up of 1 Corinthians 5:15, that says about Jesus: "he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him [Christ] who died for them and was raised up". If living a path of righteousness, 'drinking or eating or anything else' to honor a higher being was enough to constitute 'worship', then 1 Corinthians 5:15 would mean that we were also worshiping Jesus Christ, for 'we live for him'.


    However, this would be a contradiction to the 'exclusive devotion' that Jehovah demands from his intelligent creatures. It seems to me that we confuse "sacred service" with "worship".

    When we go to our meetings, how much "worship" are we actually giving to Jehovah? To me, the "worship" is much more the chants and the prayers. To a great extent, the "chants" in our Songbook aren't really praises to Jehovah but solely yet another opportunity to impart "teaching". 90% of the meetings is mostly "teaching" and "encouraging". Is being taught the same as worship? When we meet our brethren at the Kingdom hall, the mere fact that we associate with our brethren constitutes "worship" ?

    What do you think?

    Eden
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2013
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    jehovahisgod

    jehovahisgod Experienced Member

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    oh eden thank you! I have brought this one up so many times in so many places! their is indeed a great differance between our service to god and our praise and worship! our service to god is helping our fellowman by ministering to his/her spirtual or physical needs... for those things we receive provisions from jehovah and support to keep us able to continue... praise and worship,and group song and private song is one way we show reverance and worship god..Im not going to name churchs by name but one religion is sadly,poorly,lacking in the song dept, they sing 2-3 songs per 2 hour season and it honestly feels like death in their! I have gone to church houses that sing and praise and dance modestly, than bow on their knees praiseing god and worshiping him with all their heart! I can not honestly say that a church that sings like they will soon go to the gallows knows jehovah except in text and words... your song shows how you feel about jehovah! this group will argue that all their preaching,and distributing paper is their proof of worship, but take away their paper and very little remains that says jehovah and lord jesus. how I love you! how I adore you! how wonderfull to be here today! church time should include the oprtunity to sing, to stand up and publicly say what you like about our wonderfull god,and to dance if you like before him! to play instruments, beat a drum,clap your hands and shout to the lord! and One church I know that calls itself gods one true church sadley and poorly lacks what the bible says to do in the song dept.. now if some one out their says hey your talking about my church. well just you put this to the test bring a tambourine,sing and clap your hands, dureing song time and see how long before you get rebuked! freinds since when is it jehovah gods will to praise and worship like your being conditioned, and whats with monatone no emotion, feelingless pre prepared sermons! and the same one world wide! were is the invitation to repent and be baptised here and now calling on the name of jesus for forgiveness of sin! ok enough thank you for this thread, we need more like it...
     
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    Jahsdisciple

    Jahsdisciple Guest

    Hi Eden,
    My take on this begins with realising that whats happening in the org is not what it used to be. Songs were "praise" or thanks to Jehovah. I hate the way the songs have changed. It only proves that we have to make sure we are dedicated to Jah 1st.

    "And what is Jehovah asking back from you but to exercise justice and to love kindness and to be modest in walking with your God?"

    At 1st glance,worship may not seem to be involved with the verse. But if one respects Jah enough BECAUSE we have come to know Him,then we will "walk with God"...in a certain way. We may take it for granted that we "know" Jehovah because we hear about "him" all the time because of being a JW,but the fact that we have been spared so much grief in life via His standards is a cause for Joy ! I look at people from work etc...and the mess they make of their lives is terrible. They are "walking", but without Jah. They have no "worship/reverance" for His standards of "good" or dont have a clue as to what they are. So they "walk" into so many landmines of life and cant even see them coming.

    Reverance is so much more than bowing down or treating someoone like a "god". I like that verse that you quote because in it Jah doesnt expect us falling down in the dust and prostating ourselves as many religions do as if this is real "respect for god".
    Jah expects us to "walk with your God" VIA "to exercise justice and to love kindness and to be modest" In other words,displaying qualities that reflect what we know about Him.

    Its about adopting these as our own,so that we "walk" a certain way. What "god" asks us to walk with Him ? If you look at dicatators or even christians view of God,its not about "walking" with Him. That to me is amasing that Jah wants us,as a part of our reverance/worship,to "walk" with Him. Walking is going somewhere. We walk through life. So as we walk through life,Jah is asking us to do that with Him VIA the qualities mentioned BECAUSE they are the qualities He Himself displays in His own life...THUS we are walking together through life.

    This is not typical of how we might view "worship",but in that verse,this is what Jah is "asking back from you". Walking with someone is not the usual view of what "a god expects"..but its what Jah wants. He doenst have the "falling down on ones face in respect" attitude. He wants us to walk with Him. To me thats amasing...and he tells us how to do this "walking" :to "exercise justice and to love kindness and to be modest "
    Agape,JD.
     
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    Diagonal

    Diagonal Guest

    Hi Eden,

    interesting question, that; but just as Jesus said: trueworship is not dependent on location or ‘approved arrangement,’ but on spiritand truth in the heart of the worshipper, thus cutting organized religion outof the loop of mediation between God and man.
    Jesus Christ is the only condition for, and arrangement of,worship meeting God’s approval.
     
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    Eden

    Eden Guest

    The question was more about our meetings

    JiG, JD and Diagonal

    Thank you for your comments. As you can imagine, my question isn't focused on the personal relationship with Jehovah. Rather, it's more aimed at our gatherings, our meetings. Perhaps I should have been clearer.

    Sometimes I sit at the meetings at the Kingdom Hall or Assembly Hall and go through the endless parts from the platform. Teaching, teaching, training, training, examples, examples, teaching teaching .... and find me wondering...is this worship? Does sitting and listening qualify as worship? When one raises the hand to comment on the Watchtower study, does that qualify as "praise to Jehovah"? I really have a hard time grasping that.

    Mind you, teaching is great, but let's call a spade a spade. It ain't worshipping.

    I thing we're sub-par when it comes to really worship God, praise and honor God and Christ in our organized meetings.

    Eden
     
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    wallflower

    wallflower Moderator

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    Regarding our songs, I notice that the focus is on praising the "faithful and discreet slave" rather than praising Jehovah. Song 116 is an example of this. In part verse 2 says:

    "Our Lord has appointed a trustworthy slave,
    Through whom He gives food in due season.
    The light of the truth has grown brighter with time,
    Appealing to heart and to reason."

    To me, when I attend the meetings, I feel like I am attending a sales meeting. "Here is our product - here's how to sell it."


    Wallflower
     
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    Jahsdisciple

    Jahsdisciple Guest

    Hey Wallflower,
    dont you hate that !!! But we have to expect this would happen just before Jesus arrives if apostate anointed are having an effect. They are drunk with power and would love it if others "sing their praises" even if they think they are something they are not. Thankfully we can choose not to sing such songs.
    I really like the old songs. You can get these from youtube. Some even have to words to follow/sing along with.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GthpvunqrIQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXVkNrcFj9c
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6Ly0zNdEI0
     
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    jehovahisgod

    jehovahisgod Experienced Member

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    the way we worship jehovah is not with rituals, Im sorry to say this but the songs and talks. feel way more like rituals than worship.. to me worship for 1 day of my life goes like this.. before sleep I read my bible outloud,than I pray to jehovah, I thank him for the day past, and I ask his blessings for the comeing day..in the morning I get up read the bible outloud and go forth to what ever work comes in on the cellphone,I entertain myself with praises,and thanks to jehovah as I drive.
    when I arive I go about my job, I try to do more than enough to please my customer! I casually drop hints about were I church at.the customer and I spend a few hours talking computer repair,I use my pictures, and online bible threads,for test pages! I dont have to preach much because my customers get interested in what Im doing and we end up haveing freindly conversations involveing our good lord! I do my best to leave a good rememberance of me with my customers,who talk! I always thank and praise jehovah and jesus,for the work.I let him hear my apreciation at church and work, now thats my realistic day of worship. Seldom do I perform tasks or preaching at a church buildings requst. I do what needs doing on my own initiative(holy spirit inspired of course) when and if I go to a church building, I go to join in song, to listen to a stiring sermon! to put money in the box,and to eat with other christians! I have found by expeiriance that its not alway the most acurate reading of the bible literatures that win freinds in christ(souls) it treating people with human and godly care as if jesus was present with you!to me its not about resisting the devil! its about submiting myself to god and leting him do the resisting the devil! yup thats a typical ari davies day! I dont bother doing religeion tasks because I dont like them .and if Im not serving jehovah out of a joyful heart ,Im really not serving jehovah! thats not to say that working out your own walk with jesus does not involve me obeying what I know that the bible says! that how I practice worship! and another day closes with a thank you to the wonderfull true god jehovah and his son jesus.
     
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    Shikinah

    Shikinah Member

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    Worship to me is joy felt praise for our existence and the undeserved opportunity to live for ever. Daily praising Jehovah and his dear son Christ Jesus and doing Jah's will to the best of our ability, all this can be done from any destination. But most are not strong enough to keep this up without the support of others, this is where the congregation acts as a protection, despite the errors which exist within.
     
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    Diagonal

    Diagonal Guest

    Public worship used to be confined to three times a year in Israel, and then expected to
    be attended by males only – so much for five meetings a week for JWs.

    The Pharisees would be proud of their spiritual sons in the WT today – command upon
    command, measuring line upon measuring line, here a little, there a little…

    Public displays of devotion to God just seem to lend themselves for self-promotional
    purposes among those seeking glory from one another;

    hence Jesus advised to enter one’s inner room and to express one’s devotion to the Father
    in private, who looking on in secret, knows exactly what is in our hearts.

    Public worship seems to be a contradiction in terms, unless it is meant to be worship of self.

    Expressing our devotion in scripted ceremonies is about as lame as worshiping God
    by means of an idol.

    I don’t think that a self-respecting God cares much for that.
     
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    Shikinah

    Shikinah Member

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    Hello Diagonal,

    It's very interesting what you said, I never knew public worship was confined to three times a year.. and that only men were aloud to attend.
    Do you have a scripture reference to this, as I'd like to use this for the next time certain sisters try to guilt trip my son about worship means attending all the meetings and how it's impossible for him to have a personal relationship with God without this criteria.


    Thank you
    Shikinah
     
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    jehovahisgod

    jehovahisgod Experienced Member

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    shikinah your description of worship is short and to the point ,I like it!
     
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    Shikinah

    Shikinah Member

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    Thanks J.I.G

    Not long and drawn out like the pharisees :p


    Shikinah
     
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    Diagonal

    Diagonal Guest

    Hi Shikinah

    It is not that females were not ‘allowed,’ but that they were not REQUIRED to
    attend the three yearly festivals of public worship of God in Israel.

    And, yes, you are right, it is so sad - and totally unscriptural to boot - to see
    that Jesus and the Holy Spirit have been replaced as the all sufficient means
    for approaching the Father and maintaining a good conscience and rewarding
    relationship with Him.

    In the WT the ‘meetings’ are viewed as essential mediation without which
    salvation is impossible, so that he who does not attend meetings is viewed
    as having ‘left Jehovah’ and being ‘out of the truth.’

    That smacks of idolatry and can be very dangerous when men who think
    themselves above God are superseding individual conscience by insinuating
    a do as you’re told mentality among its members.

    Once people realize the scam, they may lose faith in God altogether.

    Hence, people need to develop a personal relationship with the Father
    through Christ alone by means of implicit, child-like faith in His loving
    direction in their lives.

    If you need an organization to attain a good standing before God,
    you are being conned by the wrong mediator between God and man.
     
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    Shikinah

    Shikinah Member

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    Thank you Diagonal for pointing out that the women were not required to attend the three yearly festivals. I guess it made sense especially if you were a mother who had a number of children or an elderly widow. I must say I do feel for the children who attend the three day assemblies, especially the young who sit there in the soaring heat not understanding a word, and no form of bible instruction which they can participate in and find spiritually joyful.

    However despite the Watchtower idolatry, I do think that the congregation does provide a certain amount of protection and reminders, as we are living in desperate times, where satan is seeking to devour those who worship Yahweh/Jehovah.
    But on the other hand, it is also setting up a false sense of security, with individuals putting their whole trust in men rather than Christ Jesus.
    This is why our worship must be on a personal level, without fear of men, only then can we worship in spirit and truth and not rely solely on regurgitated force feeding of incorrect dates and poor excuses for misconstrued scripture which didn't see the light.

    "Hence, people need to develop a personal relationship with the Father
    through Christ alone by means of implicit, child-like faith in His loving
    direction in their lives"

    You are correct with child like faith we can also worship the Father without judgement of others and without a spirit of competitiveness.
    There will soon be a humbling and a stumbling, as things start to unfold, this is why we must keep on the watch, and not watching and admiring the Tower when that day comes upon us like a thief in the night.


    Shikinah:)
     

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