The best worship style is a biblical worship style. The Christian should read the Scriptures and consider the form of worship in the assembly and outside of assembly. How did the first Christians worship? Do modern innovations to worship consistent with worshiping in spirit and truth as Jesus proclaimed? This article will briefly address worship in the assembly.
Changing Worship Styles
For Christians to consider changing worship styles, followers of Christ must act consistently. Christians must not defend biblical worship in one form and justify altering another. What will Christians miss by changing to worship style unlike that of New Testament worship? Will worshipers lose focus upon God when they turn more to ritual, and tradition or toward innovation, entertainment, and amusement?
Jesus revealed, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23–24 ESV). Not only must Christian worship sincerely from one’s spirit, but true worshipers worship according to the truth of God’s Word (John 17:17). God and His Word are the standard for true worship. God’s Word is as infallible as Jesus Christ and His words are infallible (John 6:63; Heb 9:14). Jesus gave His words to His apostles and prophets (John 16:12-13; 17:8; Eph 2:20; 3:3–5).
Altering One Part of Worship and Not Another
For consistency of maintaining the purpose, focus, and form of New Testament worship, Christians must consider how changing worship may alter every act of worship. Is adding lamb to the Lord’s Supper is wrong? After all, “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” is within the same book that says, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” (1 Cor 10:16; cf. 11:23–26).
Believers could add lamb to the Lord’s Supper by justifying that Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper during the Passover (Matt 26:17–29; Mark 14:12–25). Some may rationalize: There was lamb’s meat at the last supper (Luke 22:7–16). Also, the Bible does not say, “Thou shalt not eat lamb’s meat in the Lord’s Supper.” Do not Christians have the Holy Spirit and the anointing to know that it is good to add lamb’s meat to the Lord’s Supper (1 John 2:20, 27)? Therefore, what is wrong with adding lamb’s meat to the Lord’s Supper? No one can judge another for how they worship. All should have freedom of religion to choose their worship style.
Here are questions that Christians should ask: Did Jesus establish the Lord’s Supper correctly? Does a person’s freedom of conscience permit that person to disregard God’s Word to alter worship? If God does not say, “Thou shalt not,” then believers can alter God’s commands and organization of worship and the church? Who are believers hurting with such changes?
Questions of Salvation and Christian Fellowship
Many people justify their altering of worship because they do not believe that God will hold that against them for changing His Word. Would altering the Lord’s Supper threaten a believer’s eternal life? The apostle Paul revealed,
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. (1 Cor 11:27–32)
Would changing the Lord’s Supper include factions and divisions?
For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. (1 Cor 11:18–21)
Christians Need to Picture New Testament Worship
What did Christian look like in the first century churches? The Scriptures present that Christians assembled weekly if not daily. They met on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). Acts 2 depicted that the first Christians worshiped together. They were devoted to the apostles’s doctrine, to sharing with one another, to the breaking of bread together, praying together, and praising God together (Acts 2:42–47).
Paul also instructed in matters of the assembly in 1 Corinthians 11. Paul in The Hebrews writer exhorted Christians not to forsake the assembling for its purpose to stir one another to love and good works (Heb 10:24–25).
The Implications of Changing Worship
Can Christians or a church change other forms of worship and service to God? Can followers of Christ alter baptism, loving others, prayers, sharing, and church music? If someone is convinced that Christ perfectly established the Lord’s Supper, did Jesus also perfectly set every instruction for the church?
How complete are Jesus’s revelations of baptism? Should believers be baptized for another reason than salvation and forgiveness of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 1 Pet 3:21)? Can Christians change that burial in baptism the believer is raised with Christ (Rom 6:4–5; Col 2:12–13)?
No one can add or take away from God’s Word (Prov 30:5–6; Gal 1:6–9; 3:15; 2 John 9; Rev 22:18–19).
Unaltered Worship in the Church’s Music
Can Christians add anymore to one institution of Christ than the Lord’s Supper? Can Christians anymore add lamb to the Lord’s Supper than add other forms of music to singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16)? Did not Jesus declare in the Lord’s Supper, “I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt 26:29)? The apostle Paul exhorted in Hebrews 13:15, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Can we anymore alter or add to “the fruit of the grapevine” than to “the fruit of the lips”?
If believers can alter singing as a church, then they can add lamb to the Lord’s Supper? Did Jesus not institute praise by singing in the congregation? Jesus expressed, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise” (Heb 2:12; cf. Psa 22:22; Matt 18:20)?
Jesus proclaimed the change of worship for true worship. Jesus revealed, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23–24).