Friday, March 27, 2015

Voluntary Worship

Leviticus 1:2-3 KJV
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock.
If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD.

Christian history has been marred by the countless times spiritual leaders have overlooked the principle of voluntary worship.
It began with Constantine professing himself to be a Christian.
Whether his zeal was sincere or not is to be debated but he began forcing people who were not believers to unite alongside Christians who preferred to worship in independent churches to join in the same so called churches. This forcing of worship took on a number of firms, from neighbors turning neighbors who did not worship in the way Constantine's church insisted to armies of priests serving as "missionaries" to hunt down and force people to convert to their form of Christianity or die.

Things got no better under the Reformation
Protestant churches took up their own weapons to enforce worship, not the Catholic way but their way.

Smaller groups of believers hoped to find a refuge in the new land of the American continent.
They too, as soon as they were able, forced their form of worship upon their citizens. They enforced a tax to support their approved pastors, jailed and punished those who refused to attend sanctioned church services and persecuted their own members if they taught doctrines other than those approved by their church.

Though America boasts of religious liberty today, matters have only moderately improved.
Our inclination to "press" people to practice faith the way we see it has not changed.
In order for a man's worship to be acceptable before God two conditions must be met:
·       They must worship accurately
·       They must do so voluntarily (its called individual soul liberty)

Anything else may satisfy human standards but has no spiritual benefit for either the one being forced or the one forcing them. 

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