Casual worship a Biblical no-no

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." Hebrews 12:28.

"Our responsibility as New Covenant Christians is not to approach Him with a breezy nonchalance. We must serve God acceptably (v. 28) with "reverence and godly fear" (v. 28). The word serve here should be rendered worship. We are to worship God acceptably. This must mean that it is possible to worship Him unacceptably.... And the key note of this acceptable worship is reverence and godly fear. Worship must not be breezy and casual. The Bible says that it ought not to be. And when cultivate breezy and casual worship, we are retarding the growth of the kingdom. One of the fundamental confusions of our era is that which muddles intimacy and informality. The Spirit does cause us to cry out Abba, Father. But the Spirit will never remove godly fear or awe."
- Doug Wilson

And on receiving the Kingdom, also from Hebrews 12:28, same post:

"Jesus taught us to pray, 'Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven . . .' He did not teach us to pray, "Thy kingdom go, Thy will be done in heaven when we get there after we die . . ."


  1. It has been interesting to note that since our church has gone to a blended worship & casual dress & simplified liturgy, the people seem more focused on God, more attentive to the Word, and serious in their praise. I think the older format we were using was so familiar it bred a casualness (ie., indifference, deadness) all its own.

  2. Very good point, scribe.
    I was just talking with a pastor friend about that very thing.

    I would say I'm referring in the post to a different kind of casualness than you are. You're talking about an "expecting the same old" casual. I'm referring to a "weighs lightly on our minds" casual.

    Informal doesn't necessitate casual. You can have a pretty intense informal discussion with a friend, one-on-one, for instance.

    I'm saving the worship style discussion for another time, unless you want to go there now... :)

  3. Steve,

    Great point. I have been to traditional services where everything was light, funny, and casual. I almost left. I have been to contemporary services at a Sovereign Grace (PDI) conference far too contemporary for my taste) which left me with the impression that we all knew we were in God's presence, and therefore to do what we did with reverent awe.