Apophasis II

A fuller definition of worship will be forthcoming, but for now let’s work with the very general idea of worship being ascribing of great worth to someone or something: necessarily one of the four aforementioned categories. Despite the wide scope of the word it allows us to ask one the hardest and most driving questions about worship: what have I actually been worshiping? Is it the Creator of the universe? Using this idea, worship encompasses the entirety of life; and in fact can be best judged by the general trajectory of ones life. Are you prioritizing their life around wealth, fame, beauty, or love? Or better yet, which one of the four objects of worship are you building your life around?

Very few people build their lives around ascribing worth to created spirits, or demons. Where people have to be very careful is in realizing the forms that demons or demonic principalities might take; whether it be Extra-Terrestrials, Brahma, Karma, or Cosmic Energy. These are powerful spiritual objects that love to live under different names, so caution should be exercised. If these are spiritual rebels to the Creator it is wrong to ascribe worth to them. For here it will suffice to say that worship of these created beings is clearly wrong.

Even in our materialistic age it is clear to most Christians that materialism is wrong. Churches across America are losing the war however, as more and more of today’s parishioners are preoccupied with the mindset of this age. This behavior is often done out of a deficit of self-will and improper perspective, and when called out to the open the correct answer is clearly seen.

It is precisely between the Imago Dei in humanity and the revelations of Creator where most people are deceived. The Imago Dei, even in the fallen human reveals beauty, meaning, love, and goodness in the awesome panoply of divine likeness. Consider the fervent musician who seeks to continually channel the muse, to go further and further into the arms of beauty, creativity, and truth. Communication – and especially communication through the arts are part of what it means to be human. But is this experience an experience of the Creator, or just an orientation towards the magnificent human soul?

In some cases, it might be the case that someone is ascribing to a demonic power the power of the “muse”, in which case they are clearly not worshiping the God. Music is commonly used as part of worship, and many people equate worship with their ecstatic musical experiences. For many who frequent such “worship services” three of the four objects are possibly being worshiped. For the “worship leader” there is also the possibility of fame and wealth, leaving them open to all form of idolatry. This is not a judgment of these times of worship, merely an observation of how convoluted the experience can become.

Conversations can also be tremendously divine experiences. To see a person is akin to seeing infinity; it easily dwarfs nature’s canyons and oceans. This dialectic ecstasy is rarely known in a full and mature form, or else it would prove to be an idol worth denouncing. Almost everyone knows from their own experience how wonderful a good conversation can be, and thus relish in the joy living as their true humanity dictates.

Love can also be a created god. Plato makes a distinction between divine love and earthly love, one of which is pulls us upward and other that pulls us down. For the unformed person, love is likely to be a romantic narcissism that is ultimately selfish. On the other hand we know from St. John that “God is Love”, so the connection between the two is inseparable. At no time however, are we told the “love is God”, thus making the worship of love a notable failure.

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