Both. I want to see both. Understanding and Passion. Intellect and Feeling. Now is not the time for the church to be divided over the love of two things that were meant to coexist.
There’s a false dichotomy floating around that we’re either serious about God’s Word or that we’re serious about worshipping Him with passion. And sometimes it makes sense, because often those that are scholarly in their approach to God aren’t big into the ‘feely’ part of worship or church. And sometimes those that consider themselves ‘worshippers’ are accused of being theologically shallow.
But that division blows my mind. The deeper I get into the word the more I want to scream from the mountaintop that He’s good! The more I notice the intricate awesomeness of scripture, the more desperate I am to express my love for Him despite my circumstances in the valley.
How I tire of “that church’s worship is good, but the teaching is weak” or “the message is strong but the worship is so dead”. Instead of polarizing, isn’t it time (especially in our American culture) to meld the two…to recognize where we might need to dig in…to relinquish some pride and admit we need to let go of our need to control worship?
Our nation is in desperate need of Jesus. Jesus isn’t a set of truths. Nor is He a feel-good guru that gives people momentary, experiential hope. Our nation is a people that need a soul-filling, mind-occupying faith that is both deep, intelligent, experiential and emotional.
As a pastor of a local church, I’m taking notes on the areas where I feel we fall short on both sides of the spectrum. I want to push myself to grow in the area of weakness - not rely more on the area that I find most comfortable.
Acts 2:42-47 blows my mind. Those early church folk. Devoted to teaching & fellowship. Praying. Eating together. Selling things to benefit others. Meeting together and worshipping. And God added to their numbers. Because they were fully engaged - mind, body, spirit.
I want to be a part of THAT church. That’s a church I’d go to. That’s a church that’ll change our nation. That’s a church that’s attractive because its changing lives. That’s a church that isn’t fighting culture but changing it from the inside out.
We are to love the Word of God and we love the presence of God. We should love thinking, meditating and ruminating on His truth. We should also love to EXPRESS our love for Him in song and physical response to His goodness.