I have been rebuked in different degrees by many for wasting time with this philosophical, theological stuff. I’ve been told to “just trust the bible and get on with it”. Of course, these rebukes and accusations of wasting time and being told to “get on with it” are more my take on what I felt was being said then the actual words coming out of the mouths of those saying them. Because of all this, I feel that I should give an explanation as to why I pour so much energy in this pursuit.
Worship is an act of religious devotion usually directed to one or more deities. The word is derived from the Old English worthscipe, meaning worthiness or worth-ship — to give, at its simplest, worth to something.
It is my conviction that we become like what we worship. There are all kinds of people that worship God. The problem is that the God being worshiped is not always the same. There are many images of God even within the Christian faith. Many or most, if not all, of these images are idolatrous, they are fashioned out of our own minds.
I think that with the birth of Christianity came the birth of a new spiritual discipline: theology. Theology has to grow to be a new task, the prayerful reflection on and invocation of the one true God. That is why in Romans 12, Paul, summoning people to obedient worship, says “you have to be transfromed by the renewing of your mind.”
It is not enough to coast along, following a few rules, doing a few odd things here and there, hoping it will all work out. It is not enough to “just follow Jesus”. We need to follow the Jesus that is the result of theological discipline. And we cannot simply follow the Jesus of our ancestor’s discipline, we have to make Jesus real to us and in our current cultural context.
I believe that all of us needs to be engaged in this discipline to some degree. Not every one needs to be active primary participants, but we all need to be active listeners and be willing to put in two cents from time to time. Because I believe that this discipline is not a personal one but a communal one.