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Worshiping a God

 
 
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 05:30 am
http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1518767

This thread was created out of interest in something that was said in the above linked thread. In it, Frank Apisa queried Snood:

Quote:
I wonder if the theists among us can work up the courage to actually acknowledge the possibility that there are no gods?

I doubt it!


Snood replied:

Quote:
Yeah, you would. But there's no percentage in wasting time trying to convince you we can consider that, and still choose to worship God.



I replied:


Quote:
I am stuck on the concept of "worship". Were a God ever to be revealed to me, (which I seriously doubt) I could never imagine myself groveling in subservient adoration to this aforementioned deity.

You have said in your writing that you can consider the possibility of there being no God, yet you choose to worship him. Why is this happening? Are you covering your bets? (I am more interested in the "worship" part of your statement than whether you consider the possibility of no God.)

Why do believers "worship" their God? Is the concept of a God such that people feel the need to placate him? Does worship help a person to gain "points" in heaven?


I would really like to explore the entire concept of "worship". What does it mean to a believer? Is not simply leading a decent life enough?
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Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 06:11 am
Re: Worshiping a God
Phoenix32890 wrote:

I would really like to explore the entire concept of "worship". What does it mean to a believer? Is not simply leading a decent life enough?



I am going to enter into this knowing it may confuse and/or infuriate some but that's how it needs to be sometimes.

As a believer in God and God's little helpers* I cannot say that I worship God in the typical sense. I do not attend Church services nor do I run up and down the streets of town thumping a Bible and preaching loudly. I have serveral Bibles and occasionally take one off the shelf and thumb through and read a passage or 2 (or more). My connection to God is a daily deal. I talk with God daily. Some would call this prayer; however, my prayer mode is slightly different wherein I ask for assistance in particular areas of my life or for God to assist others a time of crisis within their life. Once in a while I will get on my knees to pray and that is usually an emotional thing and not a matter which I take lightly.

To some degree I would like to figure that a person leading a good and decent life is a manner of saying that the person believes in God or some larger source of power greater than ones self; but that seems not only oversimplified but possibly untrue. Human nature itself can help a person lead a decent life (although I believe God is still in there).

In general I try not to argue as much on the idea of is there or isn't there a God; rather, I attempt to find out what it is that a person believes was the creator or caused the creation of the universe within which we live.

A believer I am and it is almost, if not completely, impossible to convey exactly how it is that I came to believe. In reality I believed from my earliest. It seems to have been some sort of innate part of myself. My spiritual being, created through and by God has always been connected to God. How can I communicate a feeling that goes deep within me? Honestly I do not know that I can.


*God's little helpers....to me the universes, (and I believe there are several) consist primarily of souls. One of the purposes of souls is to help other souls in turmoil, often this involves taking the form of a body, either human or other. In the form of a breathing creature, the soul can communicate love and decency and often help a tortured soul into bliss. It is very complicated and putting it here in a massive forum within the massive network of the internet does not do it justice. I have had these discussions with people and in person it seems easier to express. I apologize if this is too far off topic or not understandable but these are my views.
0 Replies
 
lab rat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 06:14 am
In Romans 12 and elsewhere in the Bible we are told that "worship" that is acceptable to God has much more to do with one's attitude and lifestyle than with religious rituals (sacrifice, "groveling", IMHO most of what people call organized religion; see, e.g., I Samuel 15:22).
As far as whether or not "simply leading a decent life" is enough: "enough" for what? It certainly qualifies as an act of worship, based on Romans 12. However, according to Christian beliefs (e.g., Psalm 53:2-3, Romans 3, . . .), it is not enough to satisfy God's requirements for holiness, because even those who live decent lives still screw up sometimes.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 06:47 am
Sturgis- I am neither confused nor infuriated. I think that you have offered a lot of food for thought and discussion.

lab rat wrote:
As far as whether or not "simply leading a decent life" is enough: "enough" for what? It certainly qualifies as an act of worship, based on Romans 12. However, according to Christian beliefs (e.g., Psalm 53:2-3, Romans 3, . . .), it is not enough to satisfy God's requirements for holiness, because even those who live decent lives still screw up sometimes.


I really don't understand how leading a good and decent life is an act of worship. I lead a good and decent non-religious life. I have respect for my fellow human beings, and always do my best to "play fair".

If one leads a good and decent life, it is inevitable that given the vast and myriad choices one makes on a daily basis, that there will be some mistakes made. How does worshiping God, render a person "holy"? Does the worship of a God expiate a person's screw ups?
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 07:01 am
I don't believe that a person is granted immunity from unintentional screw ups Phoenix. In other words if a person knowingly hurts another or steals or lies for their own gain (as opposed to a lie which is meant to keep someone from harm, such as a person with reduced mental capacity or mental illness to whom it might cause damage).

Add to this that I do not believe the simple act of vocally worshiping God makes a person holy. There is more to it than that. What makes a person holy is all the actions combined both good and bad. I believe that God takes all matters into account when looking at us and in most cases even when disappointed in us (our souls) does not condemn us but rather gives us yet another chance to understand and connect to the vastness of the universes. This is where I enter into the realms of discussion on reincarnation which as much as I would like to discuss further, at the present moment I cannot since I must get out the door to an appointment. Rest assured though I plan to return later and hopefully will remember this thread and will be able to elucidate my views more thoroughly.
0 Replies
 
lab rat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 08:06 am
Keep in mind that I'm approaching this from a Christian (/Protestant) perspective--what follows should be prefaced as "according to Christian/Protestant beliefs . . . ":

Worshipping God doesn't render a person holy. Our "screw-ups" can only be expiated through the salvation process--i.e., Jesus, who was holy, paid the required penalty for our mistakes when he was willingly sacrificed. Those who accept His payment of their penalty are viewed as holy and acceptable to God. They still make mistakes, of course, but those mistakes are paid for / forgiven. Worshipping God should follow as a natural expression of thanksgiving and love on the part of the believer. Inasmuch as the believer strives to live a godly life, serving and loving others, he/she worships God.

(I hope this doesn't sound like I'm on a soapbox--I'm just trying to explain my understanding of worship and its role in the Christian faith)
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 08:21 am
Sturgus- No, you don't sound like you are on a soapbox. Now what does your religion say about the person who behaves in less than holy ways during the week, but is the first on line in church on Sunday?

I know of an extremely religious person (not a Protestant) who was really rotten to his fellow human beings. He was in the position of having control over the lives of many vulnerable people, and used this position to exploit them.

A colleague of mine once chided him for his despicable behavior. She berated him and asked him how could he, such a pious man, behave the way that he does.

His answer floored me. He said, "My relationship with God, and my relationship with man are two different things".

How would you react to that?
0 Replies
 
husker
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 08:29 am
Then that man is really missing the point
0 Replies
 
husker
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 08:33 am
Romans 12 can basically be divided into main thoughts:

Treat fellow Christians with love (vs.3-16)
Treat those who are yet to believe and who give you a hard time for your faith with love (vs.17-21).

12:3 - [In Context]
As God's messenger, I give each of you this warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you.

12:17 - [In Context]
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 09:09 am
Just visiting, Phoenix.

Sunday worship is what most of them call it.

It is "worshipping."

And considering some of the stuff said during these services...

...it is grovelling.

As you know...I think the god of the Bible is not even worth respect...let alone adoration, love, or worship.

But I understand that people disagree with me on that.

To each his/her own.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 09:31 am
Quote:
wor·ship (wûr'shĭp)
n.

The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.
The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed.
Ardent devotion; adoration.
often Worship Chiefly British. Used as a form of address for magistrates, mayors, and certain other dignitaries: Your Worship.

v., -shiped or -shipped, -ship·ing or -ship·ping, -ships or -ships.

v.tr.
To honor and love as a deity.
To regard with ardent or adoring esteem or devotion. See synonyms at revere1.
v.intr.
To participate in religious rites of worship.
To perform an act of worship.


Frank- I was unsure of the spelling, so I looked it up. Apparently both ways are acceptable.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 01:33 pm
"For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome." (1John 5:3)
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 01:42 pm
neologist wrote:
"For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome." (1John 5:3)


Yep....more grovelling.

But aside from that...

...here is one of the god's commandments (there are lots more than just 10 of them):

"If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be
put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their
lives." Leviticus 20:13

That one would be burdensome for me. Very burdensome.

Here's another:

"If a man has a stubborn and unruly son who will not listen to
his father or mother, and will not obey them even though they
chastise him, his father and mother shall have him apprehended
and brought out to the elders at the gate of his home city, where
...his fellow citizens shall stone him to death." Deuteronomy 22:18ff

That one would be burdensome to me also.


Here's another:


"When you march up to attack a city, first offer terms of peace.
If it agrees to your terms of peace and opens its gates to you,
all the people to be found in it shall serve you in forced labor.
But if it refuses to make peace with you and instead offers you
battle, lay siege to it, and when the Lord, your God, delivers it
into your hand, put every male in it to the sword, but the women
and children and livestock and all else in it that is worth
plunder you may take as your booty and you may use this plunder
of your enemies which the Lord, your God, has given you." Deuteronomy 20:10

And that one would be burdensome to me also.

I could go on...but I think you get the picture.

John sounds like a fruitcake...grovelling.

And John defintely overstates the case for how non-burdensome some of his god's commandments are.
0 Replies
 
mesquite
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 04:10 pm
neologist wrote:
"For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome." (1John 5:3)

All 200+ ??
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 04:32 pm
Worship is from the same origin as worth or worthiness. When one worships one gives honor or pays homage to that which is of worth or value to him.

In a religious setting it might be God, but it also might be the religious community, or the space, or the ritual. A fisherman can worship while fishing at dawn on a rowboat. He might worship the peace, beauty and serenity of his surroundings. A mother might worship the end of the end when all the children are in bed.

When we plan a worship service as a group we try to include something that each of us brings with us as important. Perhaps music or readings or a guided meditation. When our youth group plans a worship service it is completely different than the ones we plan. Both are worship and both are beautiful.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2005 07:35 pm
mesquite wrote:
neologist wrote:
"For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome." (1John 5:3)

All 200+ ??
Christians are no longer obligated by the law covenant. That's why they call it the NEW Testament.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2005 03:24 am
neologist wrote:
mesquite wrote:
neologist wrote:
"For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome." (1John 5:3)

All 200+ ??
Christians are no longer obligated by the law covenant. That's why they call it the NEW Testament.


Of course, Jesus does not agree with this...but, hey...

..what the hell does Jesus matter to a Christian.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2005 06:03 am
Phoenix32890 wrote:
Sturgus- No, you don't sound like you are on a soapbox. Now what does your religion say about the person who behaves in less than holy ways during the week, but is the first on line in church on Sunday?

I know of an extremely religious person (not a Protestant) who was really rotten to his fellow human beings. He was in the position of having control over the lives of many vulnerable people, and used this position to exploit them.

A colleague of mine once chided him for his despicable behavior. She berated him and asked him how could he, such a pious man, behave the way that he does.

His answer floored me. He said, "My relationship with God, and my relationship with man are two different things".

How would you react to that?


Although no longer attached to any particular church I was raised in a Protestant household and attended Protestant (Methodist and Presbyterian) services Dad was Presby, mother was Methodist and I was given the chance to explore both sides. Anyway I recall that the idea of what God asked us to do was to be good to all people, in fact all creatures. One of the first hymns taught to me when I was only about 6 years old drove the point home, All Things Bright And Beautiful. The words of it were as follows:

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all. Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings. (written by Cecil Alexander in the 1800's) Words of All Things Bright And Beautiful web link
This told me that God had created everything and therefore I should be good and decent to everything and not try to separate my relationship with God as being completely apart from how I dealt with people or animals or even flowers and trees. If God made these things, and if God made me and subsequently God loved me, then clearly God loved these creatures and creations and would it not be a sin to then be intentionally mean towards another and to then try to justify it as being as the person you cited "My relationship with God and my relationship with man are two different things." Now whereas it is true that one worships God, and not another person (that brings in the whole idolatry matter) the fact remains that to fully worship God (in my view) is to also respect others. To think otherwise is (again my view) sort of saying some or better than others, some are more worthy. The God I believe in doesn't have a rating system of that type for us. We are all equal and one of my goals in this Earthly life is to achieve a level of being where I am able to fully and honestly accept all as equal, without deciding one person is more deserving of my time and attention than another.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2005 08:44 am
Sturgis wrote:
[ Anyway I recall that the idea of what God asked us to do was to be good to all people, in fact all creatures.


You are just pulling our leg, right???

The god of the Bible asked us to be good to all people????

Here are a couple of quotes from your god (I've got dozens upon dozens more if you want):

"If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be
put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their
lives." Leviticus 20:13


"If a man has a stubborn and unruly son who will not listen to
his father or mother, and will not obey them even though they
chastise him, his father and mother shall have him apprehended
and brought out to the elders at the gate of his home city, where
...his fellow citizens shall stone him to death." Deuteronomy 22:18ff


"When you march up to attack a city, first offer terms of peace.
If it agrees to your terms of peace and opens its gates to you,
all the people to be found in it shall serve you in forced labor.
But if it refuses to make peace with you and instead offers you
battle, lay siege to it, and when the Lord, your God, delivers it
into your hand, put every male in it to the sword, but the women
and children and livestock and all else in it that is worth
plunder you may take as your booty and you may use this plunder
of your enemies which the Lord, your God, has given you." Deuteronomy 20:10


"I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishments
for their fathers' wickedness on the children of those who hate
me, down to the third and fourth generation." Deuteronomy 5:9

Don't you think that is a rather strange way to tell us to love these people???

C'mon.

Let's be real.
0 Replies
 
Ray
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2005 11:25 am
I think Sturgis believed in a God that is different from the God depicted in many verses of the bible. Only Sturgis can answer though...
0 Replies
 
 

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