The Emerging Abomination of Desolation

[Bread and grape juice and wine are offered in] “a loud, party atmosphere, and an optional quiet meditation room … [But] this aspect of the worship is not guided by a clergyperson….As such, communion is introduced by a variety of persons—one week it will be with a poem, another week with a testimony about “what the Lord’s Supper means to me,” and another week with the traditional “Words of Institution” from the Book of Common Prayer. [After this] we sit down again for announcements, and the kids then begin to fight over the leftover communion bread, since it’s usually cinnamon raisin or chocolate chip or cheddar jalapeño sourdough. [It’s messy] but true worship of God is a messy endeavor. I make no bones about that. It’s not meant to be done “decently and in order,” but messily and with only a semblance of order, and with a great deal of joy.”—Tony Jones, The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier (New York: Jossey-Bass, 2009), 216-8.

The Beast from Luther's Bible

I stumbled upon the above quote from Michael Horton’s article, “Missional Church or New Monasticism,” in Modern Reformation magazine (March-April 2011).

Loud, party atmosphere, not guided, fight over the leftovers, messy, only a semblance of order—words that describe the Emergent’s (and a huge majority of evangelicals’) principles of worship. When did the worship of God ever described in the Bible as having a “party atmosphere”? Only in the totally depraved human mind.

But this is what the Bible calls “will-worship,” creations of the “idol factory,” the human mind, not the commandments of God:

This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt 15:8-9)

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This is the postmodern evangelicals’ golden calf (Exod 32:7-10) or Cain’s farm produce offerings (Gen 4:3-5), worshiping with what they sincerely feel and think, not with what Scriptures say. Complete rebellion against the God of decency and order (1 Cor 14:40). Perfectly abominable to God as Nadab and Abihu’s sincere, but unauthorized fire (Lev 10:1-3).

Compare this with the true worship of God:

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
(Psa 95:2, 6) (emphasis mine)

Or this:

Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29). (emphasis mine)

Party atmosphere? What about those times when the glory of the Lord appeared to Isaiah (Isa 6:5), Ezekiel (Ezek 1:28), Daniel (Dan 8:17), Peter, James and John (Matt 17:1-6), Paul (Acts 9:4) and John (Rev 1:17)? Maybe they all thought they would die because they had ideas of partying before God!

In 167 B.C., the Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanes set up an image of Zeus and slaughtered a pig in the Jerusalem Temple, a fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy of Daniel’s “abomination of desolation” (Dan 11:31). This was again fulfilled when the Roman army entered the Temple with their banners and destroyed it in A.D. 70. Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 that another abomination of desolation, this time called the “man of lawlessness,” will come, one “who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.”

God has a word for all these false worshipers who rebel against God’s Word and desecrate worship—abominable—and they will be destroyed! So be forewarned: you might think that God is being worshiped in your church, but consider this: Is your worship actually an abomination to God?


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