Letter to the editorMarch 25, 2003
Last week, while I was standing around with some friends, I was disturbed by something that was said. A guy that I know started talking about the Breathe event, saying how great it was. What bothered me was when he said, 'All of you should go. You'll definitely meet God there!' While I don't doubt that his intentions were good, his implication was not.
My first thought was why I should have to go to an event to 'meet' God. To me, it seems that in every aspect of life, one can seek out the Lord's presence and grow closer to him. But my second thought was why he had said this. The only conclusion that I could come to is one that has bothered me since. Too often, religious worship services, especially contemporary ones, try too hard to appeal to the emotions of the masses, attempting to create a spiritual atmosphere (whatever that means) through upbeat music and well-timed moments of quiet reflection. In the process, Christians get all worked up by the style of worship, but not the spirit behind it.
True worship is not the kind that is worked up by a great band or an amazing speaker; it is that which erupts out of the stillness of one's heart. That is the type of worship that touches me the deepest, the kind that works me up. For all of those wishing to call me a traditionalist, I must say that I have always loved contemporary worship services. However, it is often easier for me to meet God in a quiet room, with a hymnbook turned to 'Amazing Grace,' than in a place filled with an emotion-evoking atmosphere.
I am in no way opposed to the Breathe event or any other such events, nor am I against the contemporary style of worship. I just want Christians to think about why they're worshipping and what it is about worship that excites them, and it is my prayer that all will experience the joy of letting their love for the Lord (and not the type of music) stir up their fervor in worship.