What is the point of worshipping God?


#1

If one were to believe God existed, what purpose would it serve to worship him? I don’t see the need to go to church, or pray, or put hope in anything related to religion, people live life fine without God, and certainly many people have different Gods and they seem to live life fine too. One does not need to be Christian to be moral, in fact many Buddhists and Hindus have very similar ideologies in certain sects regarding abortion, contraception, violence etc.

I used to live a pretty ****** life when I used to be religious, it was more in the fact that whatever I hoped or prayed for never really came true, people might say God works in mysterious ways bla bla, but when I stopped going to church, stopped praying, that’s when I started to do things the way I saw fit, instead of thinking what would God do, or praying about it, and I got what I wanted, I got results, I’m no longer worrying as much, I still feel sad, unhappy, etc. at times like everyone else does, but I feel different, more in control of my own life.

I see people crying and praying for jobs, for health, for spouses, bla bla and it’s one of the things that I used to pray for, no sooner did I stop all that religious stuff did I really manage to reason out what to do. This is not to suggest all religious people are like this, but to demonstrate that you really don’t need God or religion to help yourself, or others.

People say praying to God helped me achieve a certain thing, well guess waht there are millions who didn’t believe in God and also achieved that same thing, people say God led me to my perfect spouse, oh well guess what there are millions who met their soulmate without having to pray and hope, in a sense, what you achieve is up to you purely, if God exists, he has nothing to do with it, if you claim that God had a hand in it, then it would have to be such an incredibly independent example that has happened to no such other person.

And no I’m not worried about hell, so I won’t be praying and being religious just in case I die and hey…hell pops up.

The worst reasoning in the world is where people say believe in Jesus and pray for it, and nothing will be impossible for you, and quoting some random segment of the Bible, then someone comes here and cries about how it all didn’t happen to them, and the responses are don’t worry God has a better plan for you, go figure :rolleyes:


#2

Good questions. If their were purely factual answers that would satisfy you, then everybody would probably be religious and we wouldn’t be having this conversation. It really just comes down to this: either there is a God, and you have or haven’t been given the gift of faith, or there is no God. I personally am trying to sort through all of this, but am sticking with Catholicism until I become more firm in my faith (or lack of). To me, there is just something too beautiful about the core message of Catholicism to turn my back on it totally - even when I am in doubt.

Peace and good!


#3

Same here to an extent man, you are possibly more into it than I am, I still keep some Catholic ideals such as no abortion, and I agree that contraception is dumb, though I still do it since I’m weak, but I don’t know, it seems like for every answer, there are a million questions.

Hope you find what you’re looking for too mate, good luck!


#4

There is a God, the point of worshiping him is that we are the only beings on this planet which can choose of our own free will to glorify God or not. This is why we are the only ones on this planet who have to make the choice between eternal seperation from God, or eternal Union with God. We make our choice now. So I’m curious what it is you’re really struggling with River.


#5

The reason for worshiping God is that we were made to do it. God created us out of love, so that we would have the chance to share in His glory. If that isn’t a good enough reason I don’t know what is.

A life focused on myself, on worldly, temporal things and matters that will pass away like dust? Or a life focused on God, the eternal, almighty, glorious King of the universe, whom with I can share eternal life and happiness in the beatific vision.

Easy choice.


#6

Eternity doesn’t seem longer than a week from tuesday at this point to me, so you can probably understand why a lot of others too don’t really decide to worship God hearing about eternal union and eternal separation.

I’m not struggling, I just want to know what kind of answers people here give.


#7

Think of it this way. Has there ever been a time in your life when you wanted to be close friends with someone and you did whatever you could to try to get to know them, and they either ignored you or shunned you entirely? Now amplify that by some unknown exponent and you know how much it hurts God when His people don’t want to get to know Him, when they don’t want to share their dreams and feelings with Him or take a few minutes each day to think about how much He cares about them. He not only wants to be our God, He wants to be our best friend.


#8

You seem to be separating prayer from action, or at least, perhaps this is how people have been portraying things to you with their pithy sayings (which i too find annoying sometimes I admit). To say that one can pray and God, like some sort of divine slot machine (insert prayer, receive “x”) will simply give you what you ask for is not how it always works, or usually works. I have always received what I have prayed for (correctly) because I did also what was necessary to do receive “x” while trusting God. You can’t pray and just think something magical is going to happen (though I can attest it does at some times…) without also planning yourself. Prayer is always tied into actions.

Do others without God live good lives? Yes, except you make a mistake when you say without God. Without God, there is no standard of real, objective “good” by which we can measure, nor by which we can be enabled to do good. Those people who are doing good, living good, moral lives are doing so in spite of their faith in gods we don’t recognize or no God at all. Their goodness depends entirely on our God, and whether they know it or not, God is in fact the reason they live good lives.

But you want proof, hard proof that God is worth worshiping, worth believing in. That’s tough, because it requires a relationship with God to even begin. The problem is you can’t arrive at knowing and loving a Person in a real relationshop when you only seek to care about them based on their usefulness, their practicality. Did you love God, do you still in some ways? I don’t know, I am simply answering based on your own words.

If he didn’t give you want you wanted before, maybe it was because he wanted you to want Him more than want those other things.


#9

I am going to ask you a very serious question, I don’t want you to answer with the first thing that pops in your head but would ask you to think about it before answering…

what does “Worship” mean to you?


#10

I don’t want a life focused on something I’m not sure exists, I want a life focused on myself and the people I care about. What “glory” is this you speak of, if it’s what the Bible states, then I’m sorry it sounds as impressive as my dad trying to convince me to be good so he’ll get me some candy, it just doesn’t work at this stage.

Hmm…to me worship means praying to God, doing what I believe he would want me to do, taking part in what the church wants its members to do, unconditional devotion in times of worry, happiness, etc.


#11

I think if one understands exactly what God is and what He has done for His creation then the answer to why we ought to worship Him becomes apparent. On a much larger scale, of course, it might be comparable to thanking someone for doing something kind to you. Say, you’re lost in some strange city and you stop to ask a woman for directions and she helps you out. Is not some sort of kind gesture in return due back to her, a simple “thank you” maybe?

God is the reason for everything good in our lives, and without blame for anything negative we may go through. It is because of Him that we experience happiness, that we can fall in love with someone or have someone love us, that we can enjoy a breath of fresh air, or enjoy the sun on our face. Now give pause and think about that one moment, what if that is true? Would you not feel as though you ought to return some sort of gratefulness? Maybe even take some joy out of worshiping Him? Maybe.

As for your example on how your life has changed since you gave up religion what about those who have gone through exactly the opposite. None of this is a mathematical formula and if you do such and such this will happen. Some may lose their faith and their lives may turn for the worse. Others may turn to a life of faith and their life could change for the better, or worse…who knows. In the end it’s not how this life turns out anyway, it’s where we end up and how we lived the life we were given.


#12

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” - Saint Augustine


#13

Well then that’s what you need to work on. If God doesn’t exist, you are correct that there is no reason to worship Him. But if He does, then there is every reason to.

There are plenty of reasons to believe that He does in fact exist. I encourage you, if you are really interested in an answer to this question, to look into some of the philosophical proofs behind belief in the existence of God, mainly from St. Aquinas.


#14

Why worship? Simple answer: God commanded it.

You are making a fundamental error if you attempt to equate either the quality of one’s worship or their personal holiness with prosperity or “'getting what they want.” Neither of those things are the purpose of one’s faith or religion. The only purpose of religious faith is to grow in relationship to God and to achieve an eternal life with Him. It has absolutely nothing to do with what happens to a person in this life.

When a man who, the Gospel tells us, kept all the commandments asked Jesus if he would merit salvation, Jesus told him to go and sell everything he had and give it to the poor, then come and follow him. He didn’t. The whole point of that encounter was to demonstrate that what we “have” in this life is apart from what will “have” in eternity.

In other instances, Jesus made it very clear that following the path He set for us will not always be a pleasant one. He told us the world will hate us because it hated Him first. What’s easy to do is just cruise through life, if it’s going fairly well, and think we don’t need him. The Old Testament tells us what happened over and over and over to the Israelites every time they did this same thing. They learned the hard way and came crawling back, begging for forgiveness each time, 12 times in fact. When they continued, you can read for yourself in the Book of Malachi, Ch 1 what happened. God had enough. No longer would He accept their sacrifices because they had profaned them (through disbelief and unfaithfulness) and the day was going to come when He would accept the pure sacrifices of the Gentiles. 70AD the Temple is destroyed and there hasn’t been a sacrifice offered by them since.

whatever I hoped or prayed for never really came true, people might say God works in mysterious ways bla bla, but when I stopped going to church, stopped praying, that’s when I started to do things the way I saw fit, instead of thinking what would God do, or praying about it, and I got what I wanted, I got results…

There were times the Jesus could not do miracles because the people lacked faith. Many times, before performing a miracle, raising Lazarus from the dead for example, He would ask “Do you believe?” Miracles or even granting of things prayed for are not automatic. Also, sometimes people ask for one thing and don’t think they get anything, but later they realize they did get something, only it was different than what they asked for and they discover it was even better.

I see people crying and praying for jobs, for health, for spouses, bla bla and it’s one of the things that I used to pray for, no sooner did I stop all that religious stuff did I really manage to reason out what to do.

It doesn’t demonstrate that at all. It sounds as if your prayer was not attached in any way to your own action, as if God was going to send you a newspaper with a classified ad circled in red or something. Even with prayer you still have to do the legwork. Where do you imagine that ability to “reason on what to do” came from?

People say praying to God helped me achieve a certain thing, well guess waht there are millions who didn’t believe in God and also achieved that same thing, people say God led me to my perfect spouse, oh well guess what there are millions who met their soulmate without having to pray and hope, in a sense, what you achieve is up to you purely, if God exists, he has nothing to do with it,

That isn’t any kind of reasonable argument, it sounds like only opinion to me. What you seem to be saying is the God only exists IF people acknowledge His hand in something in their lives, and if they don’t acknowledge Him, He doesn’t exist and that’s just fine. No, it isn’t. God works in everyone’s life whether they believe in Him or not. If someone told you they didn’t believe in gravity, they got along just fine without it, would you accept that reasoning?

And no I’m not worried about hell, so I won’t be praying and being religious just in case I die and hey…hell pops up.

Well, it is for eternity, so I hope for your sake it’s as worry-free as you imagine. I don’t believe that, however. There certainly is nothing in Jesus’ message to us about it being anything but a horrible place to be.

The worst reasoning in the world is where people say believe in Jesus and pray for it, and nothing will be impossible for you, and quoting some random segment of the Bible, then someone comes here and cries about how it all didn’t happen to them,

I’m not sure if you know what reasoning is, and I mean that in an academic sense not to diminish you personally in any way. Faith and prayer are not the results of reasoning. Jesus didn’t philosophize about it, He commanded them. He said to do these things, not go get an education and hopefully concluded them based on human reason. In fact every time people tried to tie Him in a knot with human reason, He made them look like fools. Perhaps the lesson in that is that human reason isn’t going to get you where God wants you to go.

In the end, it is your choice. Same choice as Israel had.

Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live:


#15

God commands, therefore we must? :rolleyes: Great argument, especially to those who don’t believe. If I were to ask, how we know what he commands, most would claim the Bible as their main authority, and if I ask how do we know it’s correct, they will either cite faith, or because the Bible says so, in either case it’s some weird form of circular reasoning, that just doesn’t cut it.

You are making a fundamental error if you attempt to equate either the quality of one’s worship or their personal holiness with prosperity or “'getting what they want.”

It’s not my fault that examples of holiness and prayer seem to indicate that certain people do indeed get what they want, with Mary being the prime example according to the Bible, Jesus didn’t deny her anything, and with the examples of saints, especially in recent times such as Padre Pio who was claimed to have done extraordinary things for others, by their request, so I strongly suggest you make sure you know what you’re talking about.

Neither of those things are the purpose of one’s faith or religion. The only purpose of religious faith is to grow in relationship to God and to achieve an eternal life with Him. It has absolutely nothing to do with what happens to a person in this life.

Then I don’t want to live that kind of life, I might as well have a better relationship with my clothes rack, at least I can see it and know it exists.

When a man who, the Gospel tells us, kept all the commandments asked Jesus if he would merit salvation, Jesus told him to go and sell everything he had and give it to the poor, then come and follow him. He didn’t. The whole point of that encounter was to demonstrate that what we “have” in this life is apart from what will “have” in eternity.

What evidence can you grant me for this eternal happiness and heaven? No, the Bible isn’t evidence, if I don’t have evidence then I can’t accept it, fair enough if all these things are true, but the biggest problem here is evidence. I can’t walk into the Royal Institute of Physics and claim extraodinary things without evidence. So far the only kind of evidence based reasoning I’ve seen are the results of prayer, which is also tied into verses of the Bible, I haven’t seen it happen for me, so your argument is null and void.

In other instances, Jesus made it very clear that following the path He set for us will not always be a pleasant one. He told us the world will hate us because it hated Him first. What’s easy to do is just cruise through life, if it’s going fairly well, and think we don’t need him. The Old Testament tells us what happened over and over and over to the Israelites every time they did this same thing. They learned the hard way and came crawling back, begging for forgiveness each time, 12 times in fact. When they continued, you can read for yourself in the Book of Malachi, Ch 1 what happened. God had enough. No longer would He accept their sacrifices because they had profaned them (through disbelief and unfaithfulness) and the day was going to come when He would accept the pure sacrifices of the Gentiles. 70AD the Temple is destroyed and there hasn’t been a sacrifice offered by them since.

I don’t really care? You forget I don’t accept the Bible as proof, Jesus says this, Jesus says that, The OT says this, the book of Malachi says that, I don’t care? Before I accept the Bible as proof of anything, I need other kinds of proof, of course none of which you are able to provide. I have yet to see in an atheist vs christian debate ( a serious one) a Christian pulling out the Bible as proof of anything, learn your debating skills.

There were times the Jesus could not do miracles because the people lacked faith. Many times, before performing a miracle, raising Lazarus from the dead for example, He would ask “Do you believe?” Miracles or even granting of things prayed for are not automatic. Also, sometimes people ask for one thing and don’t think they get anything, but later they realize they did get something, only it was different than what they asked for and they discover it was even better.

As above.

It doesn’t demonstrate that at all. It sounds as if your prayer was not attached in any way to your own action, as if God was going to send you a newspaper with a classified ad circled in red or something. Even with prayer you still have to do the legwork. Where do you imagine that ability to “reason on what to do” came from?

Then why should I bother praying :rolleyes: If I can do the legwork regardless of prayer, if you can pray and achieve, great news, but others like me seem to get by without prayer. I trusted in myself alone, and had confidence in myself to get what I wanted, or most anyways.

continued…


#16

That isn’t any kind of reasonable argument, it sounds like only opinion to me. What you seem to be saying is the God only exists IF people acknowledge His hand in something in their lives, and if they don’t acknowledge Him, He doesn’t exist and that’s just fine. No, it isn’t. God works in everyone’s life whether they believe in Him or not. If someone told you they didn’t believe in gravity, they got along just fine without it, would you accept that reasoning?

You talk about me not having reasonable arguments, and then you make a premise stating God works in everyone’s life whether they believe or not, but missed the evidence? It sounds largely like an opinion to me too, where’s the evidence? If someone didn’t believe in gravity then you’d have to sit them down, look at the scientifical definition and provide examples and experiments, all of which have been done. The only difference is gravity can proved over and over again through constantly predictable results, praying to God can’t be, this is a horrible example. One is an example of empirical evidence and inductive reasoning, and the other is deductive. I don’t want deductive reasoning since I disagree with most of your premises, on that account you might want to brush up on some basic philosophy if you have trouble coming to grips with scientific arguments.

Well, it is for eternity, so I hope for your sake it’s as worry-free as you imagine. I don’t believe that, however. There certainly is nothing in Jesus’ message to us about it being anything but a horrible place to be.

Shiver me timbers.

I’m not sure if you know what reasoning is, and I mean that in an academic sense not to diminish you personally in any way.

This coming from the same person who bungled two different types of reasoning above when it came to the proof of gravity and the proof of God?

Faith and prayer are not the results of reasoning. Jesus didn’t philosophize about it, He commanded them. He said to do these things, not go get an education and hopefully concluded them based on human reason. In fact every time people tried to tie Him in a knot with human reason, He made them look like fools. Perhaps the lesson in that is that human reason isn’t going to get you where God wants you to go.

How thick must you be to engage in an argument with someone who doesn’t believe with examples from the Bible? What if you argued with some Muslim or something? He’d be citing the Quran and you’d no doubt be citing the Bible, great debate, it’d be a hit on youtube.


#17

I don’t know why you wrote this question, I can’t know where it is in life at this point that you are but what I can tell you is simply this…

Worship is not just a “thing” that one does but rather a love that one has. a constant need to be ever closer to the one that you love, It is kind of like being in love with somebody at he hight of your passion. You do everything to make yourself desirable to the one that you love.

I take it from your previouse posts that you feel that you have accomplished more with out prayer and with out love to the one that created you but I would still ask the question, is what you worked for, what you have gained taken with you when you leave?
If you can not own it, or take it with you then what have you realy gained?

When you did pray for what you wanted did you work for it or sit on your butt and expect it to be handed to you? Was it this that made you lose faith? Once you stopped believing did you also stop believing in the one that created all that you are, all that you could be? Once you got what your heart desired did you not stop and wonder if God did not answer your prayers though in ways that you could never imagine could happen?

All the good things in world such as love, faith, kindness do not happen in of themselves, it takes action by us to make it happen. I cant just sit on my tush and say “well I prayed didn’t I?” But nothing will happen unless I put that prayer into action.

I can not give you proof, I can not give you the miracles you so obviously want. I just ask you to think about if God himself did not bless you with that ability in the first place? What is it you expected?


#18

I did indeed work at what I prayed for, which was for myself, I also prayed a lot to heal for broken friendships with people from the past, there are certain things I couldn’t do much about but prayed, so mostly it was affirmative action, and other times it was just wait.

I started to abstain from certain things for months on end, I also struggled with pornography and masturbation the usual stuff you hear on this board from most males and I’d worry about it, I’d be in confession every week for sure, to the point that the priest asked me to stop coming and confessing the same sin every week, not because he didn’t want me there but because I was just being too scrupulous, largely picked up by the sayings of certain people here, mortal sin, mortal sin - go confess, that was on another account, before I got banned, anyways, getting side tracked.

Then all these priestly scandals kept coming, why should I as a regular person have to do all this when a lot of priests can’t keep their package in their pants? And even worse it’s with kids! I wonder how many priests are actually sexually active with adults, far too many, and you know it. And now recently, some bishop caught with child porn, me and other members are in confession weekly over masturbation and we have the high ranking clergy in court over extremely immoral and illegal activities, and I’m supposed to be holy?:rolleyes:

This is like parents telling their kids not to do drugs or smoke, and doing the same thing themselves and then wondering why they’re doing it. You get the analogy, it’s reflective of the current situation.

If you can’t give me proof, then at best it’s opinion, I appreciate the sentiment though, and the post, don’t get me wrong there are certain things about Catholicism I love, and I still hold on to, but for the most part, not really. I’d love to come back, it’s nice to be a part of something bigger, but when there’s no real reason to, it just doesn’t make sense to.


#19

So let me ask, TheRiver, what do you make of the many people out there like me whose stories are the total opposite of yours?

I spent 12 years out of the Church, lurching from one unplanned, disorganised disaster to another. I had no motivation to do anything meaningful, not even to work for a crust when I could sponge off other people instead (and I did it shamefully often). No interest in anyone much beyond selfish considerations of what they could do for me or what I could get out of them, especially if it consisted in making fun of them or feeling snobbish and superior to them.

No motivation even to look after my own physical health, which was on a serious downhill slide. Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die - that was my motto. Needless to say, my life was aimless to the point where I wasn’t truly living.

Then I came back to the Church. Suddenly I was seriously accountable to Someone other than myself - for EVERYthing! Without anywhere to run or hide when I slacked off. Suddenly I was also motivated, by gratitude and love for all that God had given me and done for me (as well as a little bit of wholesome rather than slavish fear) to use the resources I had to the utmost - and for the benefit of others.

I had to grow up fast. And best of all, no matter what I might achieve I will always be inspired to go one better, after all there’s no such thing as ‘near enough is good enough’ with God.


#20

My understanding of that is similar to the placebo effect, you believe a certain thing to be true and you worked at it, the main point is, you worked to get where you are today. It’s not the religion or God that helped you, but you did it for yourself, why there are people that become muslims and also experience the same thing you do, or perhaps hindu, or perhaps a monk from a distant tribe in some faraway place on the mountain top.

So who’s religion is right in that case, yours or theirs? The answer is in your own words " had to grow up fast, i will always be inspired to go one better" - whatever the inspiration for people is, it’s they themselves that actually do it.


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