One of my pet peeves – and i admit I have several when it comes to the church! – is the way God is often treated among believers and worshipers.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen people gathered for worship and several things happen that make the time of worship a joke or puts the focus on the wrong person…or both!

Truth is, we tend to do one of two things regarding God:  a). relate to God as totally transcendent or, b). relate to God as totally imminent.  The truth is, God is both.

To relate to God as totally transcendent means we think God is unapproachable; that we cannot relate to God or that God does not want to relate to us.  God is just too “high and mighty” for us lowly humans to relate to.  He’s always requiring things of you (or so we feel) but never really there for you.

On the other hand, to relate to God as totally imminent is to treat God like a buddy…always there for you, but never requiring anything of you.

Why is it that we think we need to use worship as some gimmick (imminent)?  Is it because we think God is “one of us” and we treat him solely as such in our worship?  Maybe it’s because we like thinking of Jesus/God in this way because it’s easier for us – we don’t have to deal with his demands; we can control him this way.

Or why is it that we think we need to worship God as if God is totally beyond us?  If that’s the case, then the whole gospel is in vain.  The gospel is just that: the good news that God did become one of us…and became approachable so that we could relate to God.

The fact is, how we worship tells the world what we think of God.  If we make a joke of worship or use it as a gimmick, or try to draw people in with some “deal” we show that we think God is totally at our control; that God is just another buddy of ours and that our worship is really not worship at all, but entertainment.  That’s not to say we can’t/shouldn’t laugh in worship…laughter is a gift from God…but never at the expense of worshiping God.

I think the key is to worship with the idea in mind that God is BOTH transcendent AND imminent.  Let’s worship a God is far above and beyond us and thus able to save us; but let’s also worship God as a “friend who is closer than a brother” and can thus relate to us.

It’s BOTH/AND…not either/or.  To make it either/or is to put ourselves as the focus, not God.  Let’s stop making our worship entertainment and gimmicky and start worship God as only God deserves.