I am becoming increasingly disturbed by the alarming lack of spirituality in the worship practices of contemporary Christians. I attribute this to a lack of adherence to the Word of God. In churches that have tossed aside the Authorized Version (The Word of God) in favor of the modern mistranslations, it should come as no surprise that other heinous practices are thriving. One of the most destructive things I’ve seen is a loss of due respect and reverence for the person of God. How do I know this is so? It is because I have heard so few people using “thee” and “thou” in their prayers.
Some would consider this petty and insignificant but I am certain it is precisely this level of attention to detail that separates the truly Spiritual Christian from the Carnal Christian. Today’s Christians have an informal, intimate familiarity with God as if He were their best buddy. They view God as a pal, not as a potentate; more as kin than as King. Instead of being intimate, they should be intimidated; conventional instead of conversational; reverent instead of relaxed; holy instead of homey.
It is this lack of due reverence that has led to the general decline of spirituality among professing Christians today. And this explains the lack of true Christian experience in these shallow professing Christians. It is clear that God does not hear the prayers of the irreverent and disrespectful. This explains why you see all the expressions “brokenness” during prayer or emotional display that threatens the formality of our worship services.
In order to recapture the solemnity that God requires, we should encourage the use of King James style English during prayer. The use of “thee,” “thou,” “ye,” and ending verbs with –est (knowest, doest, etc.) are all signs of an elevated approach to prayer. Why should we go to such trouble? For the following reasons:
- It sets our spiritual language apart from our ordinary way of speaking so we can speak in a holy language, rather than a fleshly one.
- It advertises to others that we are speaking to a high and holy God, not a familiar friend.
- It reproves the carnal Christians for their casual intimacy and teaches them to revere God from a distance, as we ought to do.
- It emphasizes the depth of our personal spiritual commitment to all things holy in contrast to their lack of dedication.
Our prayer should demonstrate to others how holy and separate we can be in our relationship to God. We should advertise how remote and inaccessible God is to the common, carnal Christian instead of encouraging their irreverent behavior.
Our proper relationship to God should be seen as supplicants seeking the favor of a distant deity, not constant companions of a compassionate caregiver. It is no wonder that we see so little holiness in the lives of God’s children today. There is no fear, no terror, no awe-inspired dread for the mighty power of the One who is able to cast soul and body into hell. All this focus on the love of God has removed the fear of God. So why should we be surprised if we see the loss of holiness as a natural result of the loss of fear?
In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
I John 4:17, 18 (NIV)
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