The dictionary defines worship as “performance of devotional acts in honor of a deity, as a church service; the act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being or other divine power; religious exercises.”
Everyone is of course free in this land to worship “a deity” or the “Supreme Being” of his choice. Nevertheless, Christian worship is worship and prayer addressed, not to a nameless deity or Supreme Being, but to the Triune God. Our Lord said, “I am the Lord; My glory will I not give to another, Neither my praise to graven images” (Isaiah 42:8). This Old Testament expression of God is verified by what He said in Matthew 4:10, “Thou shalt worship the Lord Thy God and Him only shalt thou serve.” The Apostle John wrote the word of the Lord, “All men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father who has sent Him” (John 5:23).
For that reason Christians will want to worship and pray to, not a nameless, faceless god of many names, but the Triune God who has revealed Himself in the Scriptures as the one and only true God. We do not expect that everyone will agree with us. But we will not deny our Lord or our faith to satisfy the whims of society, or to accommodate the winds of change, even as we expect others will do not want to deny their deity.
Our worship service is built around the Word of God, and is addressed to the Holy Trinity. Our liturgy begins in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The elements of our worship are in praise of the Trinity. Our prayers are addressed to the Triune God. The service closes with benediction to the glory of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.
In the religious milieu in which we live in this world it is a matter of confession that we worship the Triune God and Him alone. It is also a matter of confessional principle not to participate in worship or religious exercise with those whose god is not the Triune God, or whose confession is that every god is the same as every other god. To stand on our confessional principles is a right afforded us under the constitution of our country. More importantly, it is a conviction based upon the Holy Word of God.
Witness to the truth and to the God of our salvation, as well as concern for souls who do not know the Triune God demands that we confess God honestly in our preaching, in our prayers, and in our life.
The Psalmist said, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord. . .” (Psalm 19: 14). A Christian cannot be true to that prayer and engage in worship or prayer that allows that prayer to any god is God-pleasing, so long as it is prayer and is done sincerely.
This is not a popular position in our day. The popular notion is that it makes no difference whom one worships or to whom one prays. An old preacher in Chicago in the 1940’s put this to the test. He said, “I have invited some of them to carry out their statement that there are no differences, and prove their sincerity by coming over and joining my church. But they invariably back away. They say we are all aiming at the same thing, but I cannot get them to aim with my shotgun.”
These convictions we hold, not because we are against prayer. We are for it. Our Father has commanded us to pray. We hold these convictions, not because we want to put God out of the lives of people, but because we want to lead them to the God of Scripture. We hold these convictions because living the truth witnesses God’s love to our neighbor.
We hold these convictions because they are taught us from God through His Word. God Who speaks in His Word is He Who sent His Son to take away our sin through the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross. This is the God who brought forth from the dead the Lord Jesus Christ that we might be assured of our reconciliation with Him. It is He who says that He is pleased with prayer offered in the name of Jesus. This is the God Whose return we await when He comes with all His holy angels to take His children home to heaven.
We worship Him, and pray to Him alone because we cannot do otherwise. We do so also because we do not want by our silence or our actions to give a false witness, which misleads people. Our call is to lead people to Jesus Christ their Savior. We pray the Heavenly Father to give us the strength to worship in spirit and in truth. We pray to Him for the salvation of all.