Monday, July 23, 2007

1 Timothy 2:8

This little part of my blog is about the application of this verse here:

I Timothy 2:8
I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. (NIV)

Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. (NASB)

Although there are many ways in which to worship God, to worship God in a way other than the way which He has established as acceptable is not necessarily recommended.

To "worship" God in a way contrary to the way which He has established has been condemned and is still dangerous. E.g. Leviticus 10

In the application of the scriptural text which is above, these two ways of worship are mutually exclusive (although I suppose that worship of God that is an afront to God may not really be worship of Him at all, but only something else, i.e. an afront to God)
  1. Acceptable: Raising your hands in worship to Jesus while trusting God to restore all things and also bring His judgment with speed and finality
  2. Condemned: Raising your hands in "worship" to Jesus while dissatisfied because of His foreign and/or domestic policy (think about Jonah)
This was pointed out to me by Pastor Dale Swanson of Reaching Men Ministries and other such things who was once an interim pastor at Sky Valley Bible Church which I attended immediately prior to moving myself to Pullman Washington. I remember that on more than one occasion he indicated from the pulpit that during worship services some of us acted even more uptightly than a bunch of baptists [in a bar]. There were a number of people there who likely would have been members of the frozen chosen society had there been a local chapter. But in pointing out an application of the above passage, he asserted that the reason that so few people in that congregation raised their hands during worship services was that the majority of the people there were angry with other people and didn't want God's mercy for those other people.

When I heard this, I thought to myself, "that sounds about right." Because of this warning (coupled with my anger towards some people) and the fact that I had grown up in that particular church, I never raised my hands during a worship service before December 6th of 2005.

I find the above scripture to be inconvenient because there is much aggravation to be had in the church and I have noticed that I have to do spiritual discipline if I am going to be able to get along with the people with whom I minister. So I have found that I can go to church and waste my time by not worshiping Jesus appropriately because of my anger, or I can trust God to take care of the things that I am angry about.

This can be difficult because I have a tendency to invent things to be angry about when there is nothing to make me angry. I forget that God is more interested in changing me to become more like Him than He is changing the whole rest of the world so that I will like it (--Danielle Deniet). On the other hand, this has nothing to do with failing to resist evil in its various forms.


Blogger Patso8 said...

Pastor Dale's assertion must've come w/ some inside information, otherwise it seems to me a tad brazen, I'm sure there are many reasons people don't raise their hands in worship...shyness could be one, double amputation, another (and don't even get me started on quadriplegics). I find in my own life, when dealing with the issue of anger, it is rarely someone or something that "makes me angry", but rather, I am angry and it gets transfered to someone or something else...sometimes it is as simple as someone/thing has wronged me, but if I'm inventing things to be angry about, chances are I'm just angry.

4:54 PM  

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