For years I miss understood the Christian life. I grew up in the house of a very conservative pair of ministers, and did not understand why people didn't live in the same style that I did. I also did not understand other styles of worship. In kindergarden my best friend was Catholic, when I heard about some of the things and rituals that he did in church I was confused.
Catholics believe that salvation is about what you do, and doing those things right. If you have been to a Mass, you see that this is true. The whole service is printed out in a little booklet, so that everything is done just right. It is not about feelings or emotions, but that you do Mass right. The result of doing things right in mass is Transubstantiation.
Transubstantiation is the belief that when taking communion that the bread and wine are turned into the blood and body of Christ. This they believe takes place when a properly lead Mass has been performed. The whole service is pointed towards this happening. The message is short, there are not many songs, and all the prayers are recited from the books. Literally the largest part of the service is the serving of communion. So when Catholic people leave the service they leave believing quite literally that God is in them.
At first I thought that this was so odd and wrong, but after thinking about it I believe that many evangelical churches have the same type of thinking. Instead of having the body of Christ in our stomachs, we are looking for the Spirit to come upon our beings.
I know what you're thinking "yeah....that's a good thing, what's your point?" But we try and induce the presence of the Spirit among us by singing the right songs, or by singing this way or that way. All of which are good things but not the only way to do them. We feel that if we don't sing chorus' or if we have just a guitar or just an organ for the music we're gonna miss out on the working of the Spirit.
I believe that there is nothing wrong with wanting the Spirit in our lives, but isn't He already there? That's the beauty of Christianity, "Christ in you, the hope of glory!!!" When we are saved the Holy Spirit comes upon us and takes residence in our beings. We don't need to do the right things because he's here.
So where does this concept leave us? I guess it should make us stop and think about what we really are doing in worship. What is it about the order of worship in our service that makes us. Why do we do the things we do? Should they stay that way? Are they truely acts of worship or are you trying to "charm" God to be present?
I think we need to totally rethink our stance on church and our lives. What do our acts of worship really mean? Why do we do them? Are you like the Catholic trying to call God upon yourself? Or are you using whatever acts you're doing to truely worship God for who He is and what He has done?