"Why would a benevolent God seek worship?"


#1

This question was aksed on another message board I belong to, and I couldn’t think of a way to answer him. Figured I’d throw it out here and see how you guys explain it:D

I am a cathholic & I truely believe in God, but I question the churchs stance on some issues. One of these issues being attendance in church. Why would an omnipotant being require or want to be worshiped? I understand that we need to thatk god for all that he has given us, but God can see insides mans hearts & minds to see their appreciation. Another aspect that is argued is that church is a community. Well wouldn’t our lord rather see us healping one another instead of spending our time in a church singing praises to him? I mean when you are in church, you are doing nothing to spread the word of god to others wo have turned away. Wouldn’t God prefer that we use that time to preform acts of kindness to one another?


#2

[quote=RichSpidizzy]This question was aksed on another message board I belong to, and I couldn’t think of a way to answer him. Figured I’d throw it out here and see how you guys explain it:D
[/quote]

Worship is a form of expression of thanks, and it is expected of all intelligent and sensient beings to be charitable to their Maker. It confirms God's authority over us and strengthens our bond with Him.

The fallen angels did not express this key and most simple of thanks, and were satisfied with their inward selfishness.

Andy


#3

Perfect, Andy. Thanks! Anybody else have anything to add to that?


#4

Hmmm…God “seeks” worship. Wouldn’t the phrasing, “He wants us to worship for our own betterment, because it is right to do so,” be more accurate?

He wants us to do what is right because it IS right, not for his own gratification. It’s pure Love on his part, for Him to want us to have appropriate love and gratitude for Him.

Lastly, doing good works without continuous focus on the source of those good works (Christ) and contemplation of Him, and worship for Him, is hard to imagine.

Peace.
John


#5

2093 Faith in God’s love encompasses the call and the obligation to respond with sincere love to divine charity. The first commandment enjoins us to love God above everything and all creatures for him and because of him.12

2094 One can sin against God’s love in various ways:

  • *indifference *neglects or refuses to reflect on divine charity; it fails to consider its prevenient goodness and denies its power.

  • *ingratitude *fails or refuses to acknowledge divine charity and to return him love for love.

  • *lukewarmness *is hesitation or negligence in responding to divine love; it can imply refusal to give oneself over to the prompting of charity.

  • *acedia *or spiritual sloth goes so far as to refuse the joy that comes from God and to be repelled by divine goodness.

  • hatred of God comes from pride. It is contrary to love of God, whose goodness it denies, and whom it presumes to curse as the one who forbids sins and inflicts punishments.

II. “HIM ONLY SHALL YOU SERVE”

2095 The theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity inform and give life to the moral virtues. Thus charity leads us to render to God what we as creatures owe him in all justice. The virtue of religion disposes us to have this attitude.

* Adoration

2096 Adoration is the first act of the virtue of religion. To adore God is to acknowledge him as God, as the Creator and Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful Love. “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve,” says Jesus, citing Deuteronomy.13

2097 To adore God is to acknowledge, in respect and absolute submission, the “nothingness of the creature” who would not exist but for God. To adore God is to praise and exalt him and to humble oneself, as Mary did in the Magnificat, confessing with gratitude that he has done great things and holy is his name.14 The worship of the one God sets man free from turning in on himself, from the slavery of sin and the idolatry of the world.

* Prayer

2098 The acts of faith, hope, and charity enjoined by the first commandment are accomplished in prayer. Lifting up the mind toward God is an expression of our adoration of God: prayer of praise and thanksgiving, intercession and petition. Prayer is an indispensable condition for being able to obey God’s commandments. "[We] ought always to pray and not lose heart."15

Sacrifice

2099 It is right to offer sacrifice to God as a sign of adoration and gratitude, supplication and communion: "Every action done so as to cling to God in communion of holiness, and thus achieve blessedness, is a true sacrifice."16

2100 Outward sacrifice, to be genuine, must be the expression of spiritual sacrifice: "The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit. . . . "17 The prophets of the Old Covenant often denounced sacrifices that were not from the heart or not coupled with love of neighbor.18 Jesus recalls the words of the prophet Hosea: "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice."19 The only perfect sacrifice is the one that Christ offered on the cross as a total offering to the Father’s love and for our salvation.20 By uniting ourselves with his sacrifice we can make our lives a sacrifice to God.

**2114 **Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man’s innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who “transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God.”

**2047 **The moral life is a spiritual worship. Christian activity finds its nourishment in the liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments.


#6

If someone does something really nice for you, common sense tells you that you should be appreciative. With God, he gave us life, happines, peace, etc… Shouldn’t we be appreciative to that? Praise, workship and also helping others are different ways of thanking God for everything He gave us.

Armando


#7

why would a benevolent God want to put a hard cross on someone like me who can’t handle it?


#8

Yes, God can see in our hearts. When we become aware of how much He loves us and how much He has given us, we just naturally worship him. I think it’s just a natural response that the more we truly get to know His character and just how holy God is that we worship and adore him. In other words, we worship him, not so much because he requires us to do so, but because we truly love him and are in awe of his greatness.

Jesus commanded us to love and help one another, and we’re also commanded by God and the Church to go to Mass on Sundays. It’s just not one thing or the other, it’s both.

:blessyou:


#9

Hello RichSpidizzy,

God created man and gave man the great command to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength and with all our mind. Free from the will of God obedience to the will of God is love for God. Love for God is accomplished by obeying all of God’s commandments. The first three of God’s commandments relate to worship for God. It is free willed love from man that God seeks.

NIV 1JO 5:3****This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.NIV JOH 14:15

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

NAB DEU 11:1
"Love the LORD, your God, therefore, and always heed his charge: his statutes, decrees and commandments."

NAB EXO 20:2

**I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me.**6: but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.7: **You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.**8: **Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.**12: Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you.13: You shall not kill.14: You shall not commit adultery.15: You shall not steal.16: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.17: You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ***, nor anything else that belongs to him.

NAB DEU 6:1
"These then are the commandments, the statutes and decrees which the LORD, your God, has ordered that you be taught to observe in the land into which you are crossing for conquest, so that you and your son and your grandson may fear the LORD, your God, and keep, throughout the days of your lives, all his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you, and thus have long life. Hear then, Israel, and be careful to observe them, that you may grow and prosper the more in keeping with the promise of the LORD, the God of your fathers, to give you a land flowing with milk and honey." The great commandment. Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest. Bind them at your wrist as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.
Peace in Christ, Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#10

The simple answer is because He loves us. We need to worship Him. Worshipping is a response to an inner desire of each person to commune with God. We need to acknowledge our Creator, give Him thanks for what He created and to obtain the graces we need to cope with the uncertainties life. He knows this and asks us to worship for our good and peace of mind. As He loves us, he asks for our love in return.

As Catholics, worship gives us the opportunity to touch the Divinity of God through the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the most intimate interaction with God that is possible this side of the grave. The Eucharist fills the void that no other experience in life can fill. There is a passage in the gospel where Jesus clearly states that the sabboth was created for humankind and that humankind was not created for the sabboth. I believe that part of the meaning of this scripture passage is what I have feably tried to explain above.

Sorry this took so long. Hope it helps.


#11

Good Post Steven, I completely agree. And I’d like to add to that. God loves us sooo much that he wants to give us eternal life. In order for that to happen we have to choose him. He made us to love, He shows us how to love by loving us. By returning the Love to Him and emptying ourselves of selfishness/pride/etc we allow Him to fill us more completely with Love. We get closer to Him, which is his desire for us and what we were made for! Hope this makes sense…

John


#12

I believe many of the posts on this thread have it backwards. We attend corporate worship/mass not because God demands that we do (as if it were to feed his ego). Rather, members of the church gather in order to receive his gifts (the Word and sacraments). We do praise God, but such praise is our response to receiving these gifts. (“Thanks be to God for what he has done for us”; “You are a wonderful God for giving us your Word”, etc.)

Yes, God wants us to help others. But he also wants us to receive his gifts: this is how we are saved.


#13

[quote=third_servant]why would a benevolent God want to put a hard cross on someone like me who can’t handle it?
[/quote]

He never gives you a cross you cannot carry.


#14

I mean when you are in church, you are doing nothing to spread the word of god to others wo have turned away. Wouldn’t God prefer that we use that time to preform acts of kindness to one another?

I look behind such objections for ulterior motives … such as that rather than our performing acts of kindness to one another, this person really wants to sleep in on Sunday mornings.


#15

[quote=Gilbert Keith]*I mean when you are in church, you are doing nothing to spread the word of god to others wo have turned away. *
[/quote]

Sure you are!


#16

[quote=buffalo]He never gives you a cross you cannot carry.
[/quote]

Amen to that, but He does challenge us. He knows what we can carry and sometimes He gives it to us!

John


#17

I am a cathholic & I truely believe in God, but I question the churchs stance on some issues. One of these issues being attendance in church. Why would an omnipotant being require or want to be worshiped? I understand that we need to thatk god for all that he has given us, but God can see insides mans hearts & minds to see their appreciation.

Yes, God can see into our hearts but He also gave us bodies. We should therefore return to him not just our hearts but our bodies as well. Also remember that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. God does not require us to gather together because He wants or needs worship, but because we need it. Human nature is such that, without the consistent practice of our faith, we will stop practicing it altogether. We do not just worship and praise at Mass. It is also where we hear the Word of God in Scripture preached to us and applied to our daily lives. It is where we receive our Passover Sacrifice – the Lamb of God. These things are for our benefit, not God’s. He needs nothing. We need Him.

Another aspect that is argued is that church is a community. Well wouldn’t our lord rather see us healping one another instead of spending our time in a church singing praises to him? I mean when you are in church, you are doing nothing to spread the word of god to others wo have turned away. Wouldn’t God prefer that we use that time to preform acts of kindness to one another?

The writer claims that we are doing nothing to spread the Word of God to others when we attend Church, but doesn’t explain why one act done out of love for God will spread God’s Word and another will not. If our going out an helping one another will help to spread God’s Word, then so will our gathering together in worship of Him. Why, because it is a public witness of our belief. Not just a general belief but a specific one.

To truly give witness to the fulness of the Gospel in our actions, we must do both. If we help another but do not publically worship God as a community, then how does that show that our action was a result of our love of God? If we only go to Church but never do anything to help others, then it does not show that our love of God extends beyond the Church door. However, when we both help others and also gather together in praise and worship, then it is a powerful witness that we believe in and love God and that this love extends beyond the bounds of our Church to those outside the fold.


#18

[quote=buffalo]Sure you are!
[/quote]

The Sunday Eucharist

2177 The Sunday celebration of the Lord’s Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church’s life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."110

"Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of Saint Joseph, the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints."111

2178 This practice of the Christian assembly dates from the beginnings of the apostolic age.112 The Letter to the Hebrews reminds the faithful "not to neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but to encourage one another."113

Tradition preserves the memory of an ever-timely exhortation: Come to Church early, approach the Lord, and confess your sins, repent in prayer. . . . Be present at the sacred and divine liturgy, conclude its prayer and do not leave before the dismissal. . . . We have often said: "This day is given to you for prayer and rest. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."114 2179 "A *parish *is a definite community of the Christian faithful established on a stable basis within a particular church; the pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under the authority of the diocesan bishop."115 It is the place where all the faithful can be gathered together for the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. The parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the liturgical life: it gathers them together in this celebration; it teaches Christ’s saving doctrine; it practices the charity of the Lord in good works and brotherly love:

You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests.116 The Sunday obligation

2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass."117 "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day."118

2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119 Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

2182 Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God’s holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

2183 "If because of lack of a sacred minister or for other grave cause participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible, it is specially recommended that the faithful take part in the Liturgy of the Word if it is celebrated in the parish church or in another sacred place according to the prescriptions of the diocesan bishop, or engage in prayer for an appropriate amount of time personally or in a family or, as occasion offers, in groups of families."120


#19

A day of grace and rest from work

2184 Just as God "rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done,"121 human life has a rhythm of work and rest. The institution of the Lord’s Day helps everyone enjoy adequate rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives.122

2185 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body.123 Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.

The charity of truth seeks holy leisure- the necessity of charity accepts just work.124 2186 Those Christians who have leisure should be mindful of their brethren who have the same needs and the same rights, yet cannot rest from work because of poverty and misery. Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. **Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week. **Sunday is a time for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation which furthers the growth of the Christian interior life.

2187 Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord’s Day. Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.), and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays, but everyone should still take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities. In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. Employers have a similar obligation toward their employees.

2188 In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church’s holy days as legal holidays. They have to give everyone a public example of prayer, respect, and joy and defend their traditions as a precious contribution to the spiritual life of society. If a country’s legislation or other reasons require work on Sunday, the day should nevertheless be lived as the day of our deliverance which lets us share in this “festal gathering,” this "assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven."125


#20

How on Earth is hearing God’s Word and receiving his sacraments a “burden” to a Christian?


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