Talking to a friend tonight and I don’t believe I’m remotely close to answering his question, and found myself asking similar questions. The question really leads to others as well, so I’m coming here in hopes that someone can answer this as if answering an atheist or agnostic. Quoting Scripture will not be an effectively persuasive starting point.
I myself have always had trouble with this question as I’ve asked it myself. I’ve gotten the answer before of “He wants it for our benefit.” etc., but have found that genre of answers unsatisfactory. I pray often, ‘thanking’ God, but honestly wouldn’t know ‘how’ to ‘worship’ correctly, or more importantly why God would desire worship. I guess I fully understand why He’d like to be thanked for all the gifts he’s given me, and if He wants worship for it as well, I know I should, but don’t understand why He’d want it.
I like Scott Hahn’s explanation of God, as our Father, Jesus our Brother, Mary our Mother, and how the entire Catholic Faith is the ‘family of God’. As a father myself, I would desire respect, honor, obedience, love and some graciousness from my children. I wouldn’t want ‘worship’, nor can explain why our God would want worship. Other than our happiness and being with Him, I can’t imagine why God would ‘want’ anything. Otherwise, why bother to create us? And to say that to ‘worship’ Him is part of how we can be happy, as my friend stated, seems ‘arrogant’. I’m not sure I agree with that statement, but understand the confusion as to why would a diety create a being (humans) whereby a main ingredient of how they can reunite with said diety would be to worship it.
Maybe I misunderstand the concept of worship. Thankfulness, I understand. Recognition, I understand. Worship? I guess one could argue that we should WANT to worship (due to our thankfulness), but that doesn’t answer the question as to if God ‘desires’ it, and if He does, even more importantly “why” would he desire it. Why would a diety ‘want’.
Obviously, I can’t say that I know the Bible, or probably from the answers I’ll get, our Catholic Faith; but when speaking with someone who is agnostic at best, I have trouble explaining this concept, and when I did tonight, found myself begging for answers as well.
He described his difficulty as one with “arrogance”. I believe he meant that he couldn’t understand why a diety would bother to create something so that it’s main purpose would be to thank it for being created, or that it would involve any element of worship. Kind of like, ‘what’s the point’? It was the basis for his questioning about whether there was a God at all. I started to tell him about how He wanted to share His love with us… then I quickly fell apart to “I really don’t know, but I’ll get you an answer soon.”. So, again, I came here…
Sorry if I offended people reading this. I can imagine my mother being in shock, crying out “Just believe!!!” hoping that’d end the discussion. It IS due to her faith that I’m Catholic, but obviously, it doesn’t mean I fully understand the logic behind everything we’re suppose to believe. Maybe we’re not required to worship? Is being very, very, very thankful enough? (I remember learning about the five levels of prayer - think I’m stuck on level 2)
Anyway, Thank you in advance!