December 11, 2009
‘Man has to do what God wants him to do’

Worship and entertainment must not be mixed!

That’s the view of church leader Joel Jack in response to comments made during the Praise for the Nation Concert, which took place at the Victoria Park last Sunday.{{more}}

Jack, a preacher and member of the Church of Christ believes that a number of religious denominations and churches are blurring the distinction between worshiping God and having a concert.

Comments were made by spectators who were passing through the Victoria Park after Sunday shopping, equating the event taking place to a Soca Monarch, dancehall or ‘Passa Passa’ show.

The event was staged to wrap up Vincy Homecoming activities.

“People must make these statements and will be offended because they have in their minds some idea of what it means to be reverent,” Jack said.

“When they see people who call themselves Christians fall out of line, they know that this is not right. The church ought to be setting the standard to the world because Jesus calls us to be the light of the world.”

Jack indicated that he has no problem with a religious concert as a means of entertainment, but sees a problem with these concerts being used as a form of worship and praise.

He said that worship is supposed to be conducted with the right attitude, reverence and, though joyful, it must be done according to what was authorized by God.

“Man cannot choose how he wants to worship God, otherwise it is not going to be accepted. Man has to do what God wants him to do but I don’t think a lot of people get that.”

“Worship must be prescribed by God.”

Defending that style of worship, chairman of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Gospel Festival Committee Fidel Taylor insists that this prescription was written in the Holy Bible thousands of years ago.

Taylor, who was also told of the comments, said that there is a lack of understanding of the role of music and dancing as it relates to worship.

He said that Christians are using their God-given talent and abilities in the right perspective.

“Man deviated from their purpose, which is to serve God. What we are seeing is the restoration of that purpose, as long as it is used to give honour and glory to God.”

Taylor noted that Christians dance to honour God, not because they want to gyrate, but because they are joyful of what God has given to them.

“Everything is supported by scripture,” Taylor indicated.

“In Psalm 150 3-6 it says ‘Praise him with the sound of the trumpet… praise him with the tambourine and dance… let everything that have breath praise the Lord.”

“King David danced before the Lord in second Samuel 6:14, and in first Chronicles 15:29. We are living in the last days and God said he will restore and rebuild the temple of David which included dancing and worship.”

Jack rebuts: “That was under the Old Testament – We are living under the New Testament.”

“Under the New Testament, if you read from the first verse to the last verse, you see various references concerning worship and music, but the music is always singing in the first place.”

“In Hebrews 13 and verse 15 it specifically writes and says… offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is, the fruit of our lips… so instrumental music is not even a part of worship.”

The pastor said that the death of Jesus Christ heralded in God’s new covenant with man that was proclaimed in the Pentecost and in Hebrew 10:9.

“In terms of dancing, dance has crept into a lot of these denominational churches… that is a human innovation.”

“If you read the New Testament you will see dance mentioned twice but they had nothing to do with worship,” he added.

Jack noted that even if the songs and lyrics are different, as long as people react in the same ‘jump and wave’ manner as those who are listening to ‘worldly’ music, the comments that have been made repeatedly by critics will always be made.

“I would say that those who call themselves Christians must remember that the Bible tells us that we must not conform to the world; and so anything that is appealing to the sensual, you are not going to be part of that.

“When people worship, the audience should be only God,” he added.

According to Taylor: “There will always be criticism, but as long as we are doing it in the service of God, the devil will attack and use people to make negative comments.”