Saturday, June 18, 2016

Why Do Christians Worship?

[NFL fans will not miss the obvious; this post was written well prior to the acquisition of Manning’s second (and final) Superbowl ring — Ed.]

Prior to the Superbowl, there was much discussion about Denver quarterback Peyton Manning.

Everybody seemed to want to know where Manning rates on the list of all-time football greats. It was not a subject debated only by the talking heads on TV. Jim Rome rambled on about it on my car radio. It came up at work. It came up at my local diner. Even people who would otherwise be uninterested in football seemed to have an opinion about Manning’s legacy in the two weeks between conference finals and the big game — and even more so during the game itself.

It is in the nature of mankind to have something to say about greatness.

Number One of All Time?

Notwithstanding the spectacular drubbing Denver took in the Superbowl, Manning’s certainly got the stats to be number one of all time, doesn’t he. Well, at least in the regular season. He throws ridiculous distances with uncanny accuracy and possesses an almost-unequaled sense for finding an open man, even if it deserts him in big games. He owns the records for most regular season touchdowns and yards. He’s won a Superbowl, if not the most recent one. By all accounts he’s even a fairly pleasant and self-effacing human being, if we can believe what we read in the media.

In the discussions about Manning’s place in football history there were many different opinions expressed. Despite the fact that people have their own teams that they cheer for, and despite the fact that football and other sports tend to bring out hyperbole and great expressions of emotion, most of us retain some ability to distinguish a rational point of view from the ravings of a moron.

A Talentless Hack

For instance, I might not like Peyton Manning’s haircut, his accent, the colour of his sweater, his age, his name, his team or his TV ads, but were I to express the opinion that he’s “a talentless hack who throws worse than my grandmother”, nobody would take me seriously. They’d dismiss me as either a clueless idiot who doesn’t know anything about football or an embittered New England fan who knows better but is determined to be annoying. Either way, my opinion would be worthless.

My failure to grasp Manning’s good qualities is not a comment about him. It’s a comment about me.

His accomplishments warrant a certain across-the-board respect, whether or not I like him or cheer for him. If I am living anywhere near the real universe, or if I want to have any kind of credibility, I have to acknowledge a certain level of talent there.

Psalm 96 reads,
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! Worship the Lord in holy attire; tremble before Him, all the earth …”
Of course, God is so many orders of magnitude greater than any human example I could put forward that any comparison at all is just plain embarrassing.

Contemplating Inconceivable Greatness

This is understood by definition. If you accept the possibility of the existence of the God of creation at all, you are conceding something and someone so monumentally great as to be inconceivable to the human mind, above and impervious to any criticism one might raise about his methods, beyond human imagination and the assessment of our senses, beyond time itself.

By virtue of simply existing, glory is due to his name. Even in historical times when specifics of God’s nature and being were not yet fully revealed to man in his word or, finally and perfectly, in the person of his Son, we read that “The heavens declare the glory of God”.

It’s always been right up there on the Jumbotron, folks.

Saying Something Profound About Me

Let’s not even get started on the additional things for which the Christian — by virtue of his relationship with and knowledge of a personal God revealed in Jesus Christ, through whom we have all been blessed beyond anything that can be conceived — has reason to glorify God for.

He’s entitled to — he absolutely deserves — an accurate assessment of his greatness.

Those who don’t agree are not telling us anything profound about God. They’re saying something quite profound about themselves though. They are telling us either “I don’t know anything about God and I’m not qualified to even discuss the subject” or “I know about God but don’t want to give him what he deserves”.

Why do Christians worship our Lord?

Because giving glory is the only possible rational response.

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