Why is it loving of God to demand praise from man?
Michael Prowse is/was a columnist for the financial times in London and he wrote a book review a few years ago expressing, He said “ I cannot understand a god who demands that people get down on their knees, demands that people praise him, demands that people love him. That sounds like a weak tyrant who desperately needs the approval of his subjects”
C.S. Lewis, prior to his conversion said a similar thing when he was 29 “ When God demands praise for himself, it sounds like an old woman feeding her insecurities and failures of life’s past disappointments, fishing for compliments for herself”
Why does God demand Praise? What is the essence of worship? Why is it loving of God to demand praise from man? Why is it Loving thing for God to be self exalting? This is the scope of this article, hopefully you will find it edifying. Dear Atheists, this one is not for you, to put it in your own words, “You need really thick “god goggles” try 3D God goggles and at least two tablespoons of lithium to catch any of it. And most of you atheists are intelligent, rational and logical and unfortunately natural. Nonetheless, I have saved a special mention for you all near the end of the piece with particular mention to a few individuals.
I need to give due credit to my Hero and one of His two Hero’s, John Piper and CS Lewis for the originality of these reflections. They are not my patented ideas, but my blood will very happily patent their truthfulness and biblical accuracy!
The essence of worship is being satisfied in God. When the experience of God is an experience of awe, Joy, pleasure, desire, contentment and satisfaction, then the worship of God is consummated. People mistake worship for religious rituals, as if God needs sacrifices, money, prayers, good deeds, loyalty. People don’t understand Worship as demanded from God’s point of View. God “feels” or rather God experiences human worship when He is the cause of Human Joy and satisfaction, not when Humans obey him because the bible says so. The bible is a means to the objectives of God for mankind; Life Abundant! When Life abundant is an experiential reality through Faith in the Gospel then only God is worshipped, or to put it in an unbiblical way; God “feels” truly worshipped when He is the cause of our deepest happiness. He does not “feel” worshipped when he gets obeyed. He only registers worship when He gets enjoyed! But this is just a taste, a little nibble of what is to follow, the atheists are going to hate what follows and call me a PR Manager/Marketing executive. Wait for it...
Fast forward the CS Lewis clock and this is what He had to say on his reflections on the Psalms “The most obvious fact about praise strangely escaped me, I had never realized that all enjoyment naturally and spontaneously overflows in praise. The world is full of praise, Lovers praising their mistresses, readers praising their favourite Authors and books, walkers praising the countryside, players praising the game, fans praising their hero’s and sports stars, supporters praising their team, we praise the weather , theatrical performances, Olympic champions, world champions, art, dishes, restaurants, historical personages, parents praising children”, and he concludes “My whole more general difficulty with why God demands praise was depended on my absurdly denying to us, what we always do, what we delight to do what in fact we cannot but help to do about absolutely everything else we value and enjoy”
Hold your horses, it gets worse!
Lewis continues “ I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses our joy but the praise completes the enjoyment.”
Lewis is drawing our attention to the fact that Praise is part of enjoyment. It is not a tack on. You praise because it consummates your enjoyment and your enjoyment is lacking, it is incomplete without the praising. This is so obviously observable today! Whole networks are organized around this principal. Supersport have dedicated panel of experts who “praise” the events of the game, commentary during sporting events serves this purpose at least in part. We talk about the movie after the movie, we talk about the final for weeks after the final whistle, we re tell the knockout in detail that put an end to the bout, we praise what we prize because the prize is not complete without the praise. The praise is part and parcel of the prize. This is why humans celebrate! This is why we toast, because we necessarily naturally spontaneously delightfully wilfully praise what we enjoy, and we do this not as an expression of what happened, but as a consummation of our enjoyment. The enjoyment is incomplete without the praise.
Here is the first little application, the command that we praise God, is the demand to do what we always do, what we can’t help to do with everything else we enjoy. When God demands that we praise Him, He is demanding that we bring our Joy and satisfaction to consummation, He demands our Joy and happiness in its fullest measure.
Praise and worship are not religious words. Religion Hijacked these words from humanity, from secular society, there is absolutely nothing religious about praise and worship. Seeing these words as categories of religion and divorcing them from normal everyday human life is a grave error that breeds massive spiritual confusion and incomprehension. Praise and worship are the evidence of, not merely the expression of but the proof of a happiness consummated. So When God commands that we praise Him, He puts Himself forward as the most praiseworthy reality and the most satisfying being and the most Glorified person worthy of infinite adoration, pleasure and enjoyment and He demands that we enjoy what is most enjoyable in all the universe and to praise that so that, with the express purpose that you become and learn how to sustain being the happiest individual human being you could possibly be given your vapour of a life. God commands your happiness consummated.
You were made for more than praising the speed of Usain Bolt, made for more than praising the elegance of the Range Rover Evogue, made for more than praising the lavish homes of Top Billing, made for more than praising the accomplishments of our kids, made for more than praising the bat of Hashim Amla or the skill of lionel Messi, or the beauty of any of the past 100 Miss Venezuela’s. Praiseworthy they all are? Yes! Yes! Yes! But nothing nearly as praiseworthy as observing and enjoying the Glory of God while basking in His presence.
In conclusion, We were designed(sorry evolutionists, please try stay on topic) to praise what we prize! That is our nature, its in the chromosomes. Like breathing and crapping. It’s the terms and conditions of being Human. However, this is and was not by chance or accident, but with intention and purpose deliberately revealing the motive of God to be a benevolent Father seeking the most heightened Joy and celebrated happiness and deepest satisfaction for human beings by putting Himself forward in the person of His son to be marvelled at as the most praiseworthy and enjoyable reality in all reality and then He says/demands/commands that we worship and praise Him, Demanding that we do what we always do with everything else we do as a natural overflow of pleasure and satisfaction. That is why God demands that we praise him and that is why It is loving for God to exalt Himself because He is non negotiable about our happiness, But He put it beyond faith in Himself.
This is why it comes across as a bit of a ridiculous invitation for an atheist to invite a Christian to an alternative life, to consider the possibility of something else... We know what is out there! Natural living! We reduce ourselves to our senses, we reduce ourselves to praise what is not immortal and infinitely praiseworthy, we settle for significantly less. How can we turn back?, how can we turn away? As Blaise Pascal said “All people search for happiness, it is the reason behind all actions, even of those who hang themselves” How can I accept a life whereby I exchange the Glory of the creator for the glory of the created? Would you want a complimentary autobiography of Nelson Mandela, or would you want a personal interview with Nelson Mandela in his house? It would be belittling to Him and insulting if you refused the interview and preferred the book, Likewise With God! Jn 5:39-40
Dear Church of News24, This is my last article, my farewell article to the church that meets at News24. I have submitted numerous articles and none of them are getting published, consequently it is not worth the energy and time that gets put into them, If every 2nd article gets “lost”. I don’t like being muted. I have a big passionate mouth, that makes announcement from a big passionate heart. I may however publish a 6min video on SPIRITUAL WARFARE to say goodbye next week.
I have certainly loved this forum, I know that we all actually love each other or at least we love to hate each other, we feed off of each other. Both camps love the heated debates, and the truth is, news24 would not be the same without us. Atheists and Theists alike. Personally I have made some friends along the way, and learn’t to respect people of another persuasion. My only mistake is almost getting sucked into the name calling game where I started calling atheists cartoons and for this I’m sorry, apologies to all who took offense. I must admit, I loved being called names, I was called PrimeEvil and Primepophoel while Charles was called Dumbass and Faithfilled called faithfooled, i admit, I will miss that. I had some great discussions with some people who bat for the other team, Guys like Mememan, Sean.Brennan, Adriaan, Questioning Faith, Adele, cayowin, Eddie, Captain my Captain, Rodins Thinker, the contrarian, Derik.meyer, ratfink66, rowdy.riemer among others too. I may still be around reading the articles, but my comments will be absent. Farewell News24, you guys are Legends!
PS: CRACKER: You have an unhealthy obsession with bestiality! I’m concerned, Do you have pets?
Zaatheist: Calm down and earn the attention of the news24 congregation. Try this, try not insult or hit below the belt for the month of September, stay on topic and see what happens in October. Ya?
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