Are We Guilty of “Freestyle Religion?”

The book of Leviticus and Numbers are heavy reading but so vital. Here we are brought front and center for what God requires to be a holy people. Yet today we find that churches are going more, as  Tim Challies says, “pragmatic” and we are on a slippery slope to doing “whatever seems right in our own eyes” as in the book of Judges. It seems that in many ways our church services are becoming more cafeteria style or a  “freestyle religion” as B. Deffinbaugh calls it in his article.

Here’s a question to ponder: Are we becoming careless and so much so that we are failing in one key area that God requires: reverence? 

Take a walk with me through Numbers chapter 4 where God gave specific steps for the Levites to be a part of the “worship team.” Each man was to between the ages of 30 to 50. They were to be “probationers” at the age of 25. [M. Henry] (Numb 8:24) They were to be mentored and taught what they were to do and how to do it. To fail was fatal. Hung over their head was the warning  that to fail was to “fall into the hand of the living God.” [Heb 10:21]

Thankfully, today, because of the sacrificial death of Jesus who tore open the veil, we no longer have that fear and do not need to be so fearful–yet the “rules” still apply as to the how. We are to come boldly but reverently. [Hebrews 10 and Eph 3]. The NT gives us examples for our instruction as to what happens when we trespass. Ananias and Sapphira fell flat down dead and fear came over the church. Paul warned the Corinthians about why some were “weak and sick, and quite a few are dead.” [1Cor 11]. Paul also warned us in Galatians that God will not be mocked. What you sow you reap.

So how do we handle all of this biblically? It starts when we ask ourselves:

  1. Are we praying not just for our pastor but also the worship team?
  2. Have we prepared our hearts for entering and worshiping with a reverent mindset?
  3. Have we examined ourselves?