Ease of falling into lukewarm faith

The functions of worship to prevent stagnant faith in a time of live-streamed churches


Aly Cotte

A student worshiping at “Group on the Road” in Hill Hall.

Eryn Tan Zhi Ying, Staff Writer

A persons hand lifted in worship.
A student worshiping at “Group on the Road” in Hill Hall. (Aly Cotte)

Revelations, a book written by John in the Christian Bible, prophecies about the end of the world.
These prophecies focus on the destruction of the world, but they also allude to the redemption and salvation offered to those who follow Christ. John also highlights several admonitions to different churches about their errors in following Christ.
A significant warning that is commonly quoted in sermons is John’s message to the church in Laodicea. In it, he says, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Rev 3:15-16 ESV).
Lukewarm faith is often warned against in churches as Christians are encouraged to be on fire for Christ. Those who have let their faith become stale, as prophesied, will be rejected by God.
But when under quarantine restrictions and we are unable to physically connect with a church congregation in these circumstances, it becomes more difficult to maintain a passionate and ardent desire for God. There are always demands on our life that seem to make putting God first a challenge, but now it seems to be more of a struggle than ever.
For example, online classes, jobs, relationships and social obligations are all parts of people’s lives that cannot be neglected. If they are, then valued aspects of people’s lives would come apart, such as our income or our need for human interaction.
Compared to what could happen if you lose a job or choose to purchase big ticket items instead of paying rent, religion seems the easiest thing to neglect or put minimum effort into since there are no immediate or obvious consequences.
In a time when churches are closed and sermons are online, minimal effort is given to us over livestream. Without intentional gestures being made, this situation breeds lukewarm faith like algae on a stagnant pond.
Since Christians are now physically cut off from their communities of faith and may have less motivation to listen to online sermons, the church has to become more than a building and a place.
But, fear not, there are ways to counteract the lethargic faith that may arise during these isolating times.
Since university lectures are online and students may understandably be hesitant to add another online “lecture” to their lists, I will not focus on the importance of attending these online sermons but rather on the importance of worship.
When churches closed, Christians lost their place of worship, where they gathered to praise God and thank God. While people usually think of sermons when they go to church, worship plays an equally important role in the Christian church’s function. The church aims to teach people about God and instruct them to follow God’s will. Sermons explicitly achieve these goals while worship implicitly achieves them.
Overall, worship shows and reminds Christians of God’s power and majesty. This recognition reminds us of what a privilege our relationship with God is, thus igniting within us a passion to know God and serve God. In this way, worship prevents lukewarm faith.
In light of the importance of worship in preventing lukewarm faith, it is pivotal that Christians continue worshiping God, even though our place of worship is closed.
There are various other forms of worshipping God that one can participate in from the confines of their own homes.
One method, if you live alone or if your family members are Christians too, is to have regular worship sessions. Playing worship songs on whatever device or instrument you available and simply singing along.
A different form of worship that is available to everybody is to simply observe the natural world around you and recognize that everything was created by God.
As one looks around and absorbs the splendor of nature, one may turn their awe from nature to its creator, thus worshipping God for God’s beautiful creations.
Another form of worship is prayer. Quietly reflecting and speaking to God, prayer expresses reverence and thanksgiving to God. Funny enough, most people find that once the start praying for what they have, they find more reasons to pray.
Each relationship with God is a special privilege that God has given to those who seek it, and this privilege must not be abandoned to become stale like lukewarm water. Instead, remaining grateful and awestruck allows one to know God and hear God’s voice. One way to ensure this impassioned form of faith is through worshipping God. By continually expressing our reverence and adoration to God, faith can grow deeper in relationship to God instead of stagnating into the faith that God rejects.