Diverse Or Dangerous?
If a church's worship is not diverse, could it actually be dangerous? From biblical passages we've looked at, it's clear that God intends diverse people to worship together. And where there are diverse people, there will be diverse expressions of worship. If this is not allowed for there are some dangers that a congregation may fall into.
By not being intentional about diversifying worship, a church can communicate that it values one culture over another. If one language or one style of music or one way of doing things is dominant, it sends the message that anything other than that is not valued. Worse, it reflects the belief that one culture is right and another culture is wrong. Can something be biblically right or wrong? Absolutely! But the Bible gives great freedom for the gospel to take root in any particular culture. The kind of worship expressions that spring from that culture will naturally be distinct. Not necessarily wrong—certainly not in God's estimation! Just different from another culture.
Ephesians 5 encourages us to sing and make melody to the Lord with our hearts. Worship should engage the heart and the inner person that we are. Certain forms of worship speak to the hearts of some people while other people may be unmoved by them. If the worship framework of a church's service only seeks to uphold the status quo, how many hearts might remain disconnected from what is offered to the Lord?
Could a church actually fail to give God glory by resisting diversity in worship? The amazing variety and detail of God's creation hints at His infinite character and creativity. Diversified worship reflects that. “One way” worship shows the world a limited God.
As God's people, if we allow differences in worship to divide us, we do not present an accurate picture of Christ to the world. Jesus is a member of the diverse Trinity, yet is in absolute unity with the Father and Holy Spirit. In John 17:20-21, Jesus prayed that all who believe in Him would experience similar unity. Remember, what Jesus did on the cross destroyed sin, which separates us from God and one another. Our oneness can be a witness to the world of Christ's unifying power.
Is the worship at your church diverse or tipping dangerously close to these issues?