Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Friday, August 1, 2008

WG08 Session #2 – Thabiti Anyabwile

Great worship this morning! What a way to start the day!

Thabiti (author and Pastor of a Baptist church on Grand Cayman Island) began the second session, "Expressing Emotion With the Psalmist" by asking the question, "What is Happiness?" The world will tell us it is tied to owning things, he maintains. He goes on to explains that we, as humans are really bad at predicting the source of our joy. Even Christians have a rough time with this.

Using Psalm 73 as his text, Dr. Anyabwile made two points: (1) in verses 1-16, we see man centered emotion which leads to despair (2) in verses17 and following, we see God centered emotion which leads to love for Christ and eternal joy. Aspah's attitude changes completely when his focus turns to who God is.

In our corporate worship there are a number of applications:

  • Avoid false ways of getting an emotional response

Let's avoid "Don't Worry Be Happy" or "Lion King" theology, theology that tells us everything is all right all the time.

Let's not fall victim to emotionalism and manipulation

  • We should address the full range of emotions. We should not be afraid of expressing emotion. The Psalms exhibit the full gamut of them.
  • We should demonstrate the true character of God, moving away from self-centered emotion and emerging into God-centered truth.
  • All emotional focus should be centered on the truth.
  • Both Christians and non-Christians should be addressed in their present emotional state, which can be joyful or in despair.
  • As worship leaders, we should pay close attention to our own emotions.

In summary, Thabiti encouraged us to embrace emotion in worship only as long as it leads to the truth of God and His Word and never merely for emotion's sake.

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