Being passionate and compassionate are Christian

Many of the local Christian churches use contemporary music, with loud music, and their congregations almost dance during the services, showing how they are moved holistically by the Holy Spirit.

It wasn’t until the winter of 2015-16, that I had started studying various aspects of the way Christian churches worship. I was introduced to active worship by a pastor friend of mine that really uplifted my spirituality, which was enhanced by my discovery or rather the Holy spirit leading me to a Songs 4 Worship music book and coordinating CDs. I love the songs in the book, and on the CD.

I started using the book for preludes, offerings and recessionals when I was scheduled to play organ.

The pastor was kind enough to send me a brochure from their church. It was packed full of Bible passages and Hebrew worship words that have been the framework of their worship services.

Much of it is based on the Scriptures where David writes about shouting unto God and dancing before the LORD, such as 2 Samuel 6:14 and many of the Psalms such as 98:4 which says, “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth; make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” (emphasis mine) This is my favorite one on praise and worship, and just one of several passages that tell us God likes us to make a joyful, loud noise unto him in song and with instruments.

Even conservative church liturgy holds much of these Psalms (Ps. 95 on Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary p. 111), and yet, it is missing the word “shout.” In some places, our liturgy talks about bowing and kneeling before the LORD, yet we do not. One problem is that we are not supposed to add to or take away from God’s Word, yet the word “shout” was removed. Another problem is that when we say we are kneeling and bowing down, yet we are not actually doing that. Could it be that we are then lying to God, to ourselves and to others? Granted, some of us can no longer kneel, and as one who does not do that well, I tell God, I’m kneeling in my heart.

Another question is why do we not dance before the LORD? If all the other Psalms and worship items from the Old Testament are usable, why not that? I have learned some Hebrew words for worship and one of them is Tehillah, which means “laudation, to sing halal (like hallelujah), the total involvement of one’s self in worship, highest form of praise.”

Halal actually means “to rave, to appear clamorously foolish to be excited, to be boastful, a tremendous explosion of enthusiasm in praise and is connected with the overthrow of the wicked.” (Ps. 104, 105, 109:30, Ps. 113:1, 9. Yet, conservative Lutherans tend to worship in a more stoic manner, which seems to disregard the Word of God. “Organized” does not have to mean “stoic.”

I found that I do not want to be stoic or stiff in my worship, I want to commune with God. I want to sing in a way that invites God to come into our church and into our hearts, which consists of vertical songs more than horizontal songs. It means a lot more major key songs instead of unusual minor key hymns that most people cannot sing and that are sometimes difficult to play. It takes away the power if people cannot sing them and distracts from the focus of worshipping Jesus.

Also, God gave us emotions, like talents; we should use them to his glory. It is a fact that people succeed in careers they have a passion for, not just an aptitude. Even so, we are to be zealous for the Lord. (Romans 12:11)

I have seen the Holy Spirit work in people, and they often express it in tears or shouts of joy (Hebrew: shabach), but I have never seen that in any of the conservative Lutheran churches I have attended. I have been at prayer meetings where men have passionate discussions about Jesus as their Savior and about the power of the Holy Spirit, but none of them were in conservative denominations. We get should emotional when God touches our hearts.

Being passionate and compassionate are Christian, and so is worshipping God with your whole being. He likes it hot, as he said in Rev. 3:16. Let Him set your heart on fire, even if the rest of you doesn’t warm up right away.