Everyone Worships Something – March 17, 2023

In December 2019, there was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. It was an op-ed piece by Erica Komisar entitled “Don’t Believe in God? Lie to Your Children.” In the article she stated that “Nihilism [atheism] is fertilizer for anxiety and depression, and being ‘realistic’ is over-rated.” She continues on to write, “The belief in God—in a protective and guiding figure to rely on when times are tough is one of the best kinds of support for kids in an increasingly pessimistic world.” We would agree with her statement so far. Komisar’s counsel goes awry, though, when she discloses her advice for parents on how to talk about death if they don’t believe in God or life after death: “Lie. The alternative is to tell children that they will simply die and turn to dust, which is harmful for children’s ability to cope. Religion, on the other hand, will give children community, a sense of meaning, values of empathy and compassion, and will protect them from anxiety and depression. So even if there’s no God, no heaven, we should tell children there is.”

What Komisar discovered is that worship of self and humanity (which is what atheism is) is sowing the wind. What she also states, but does not seem to recognize, is that everyone worships. She acknowledges that people need something beyond themselves. Mankind inherently knows that they are incapable of coping with life on their own. As a result, everyone worships something.

It would probably be best to work through a definition of worship to help us understand this. As we talk about worship, we are referring to the innate desire of man to look to something for purpose, satisfaction, and joy, and to subsequently regard that person or thing with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion. As a practical outworking, worship is declaring the greatness of someone or something.

This is the fascination with sports. This is the fascination with politics. This is the fascination with alternative medicines. This is the fascination with mass consumerism. This is behind the revival of the occult in our country. This is behind every battle we face in life.

Everyone worships something. As believers in the one true God, God’s people should strive to worship the right One in the right way. Scripture clearly demonstrates that a believer’s life is all about worshiping God (Romans 12:1-2). God created all things to worship Him. Mankind stands in a particular position as God’s special creation in God’s own image. As such, man is specially designed to worship God. We need to note that this worship is best pictured when the bride of Christ, the Church of God, gathers for corporate worship. Every Sunday when we gather, we are making a very important statement to the world in who we worship, how we worship, and why we worship.

Over the past few weeks, I have had several conversations surrounding worship in the church. As a result, I want to work through this topic over the next few weeks in this letter together. Today we want to understand that everyone worships something. As Christians, we should worship the right One the right way. With this in mind, it is important that we understand two foundational principles to worship and the church that we will begin looking at next week: True worship is for God and to God. God cares how we worship and who we worship. So we must seek to worship the right One the right way.