Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pictures of "worship"?

Yesterday, I posted an expression of my love for my wife along with a picture that, I think, shows the heartbeat of Jeanna and I's relationship. We exist to magnify the Lord together. Our gratefulness to God for how He has saved us and called us to be His own is reflected in that photo.
An anonymous commenter (if you've got something to say, please attach your name) mentioned that he/she thinks it is "weird" to have pics of people "worshiping." This got me thinking.

Reasons some people are uncomfortable with pictures of "worshipers":
1. Whoever is taking the picture is obviously not "worshiping."
2. Worship is percieved as a private act, not to be shared with others.
3. It could be percieved as "worshiping" to be seen by men ("I better look like I'm worshiping in case she takes my picture").

If you have other reasons, please let me know.

However, here are some of my thoughts:
1. All of life is worship (1 Cor. 10:31). If we cannot take pictures of worshipers, we cannot take pictures of Christians. We have a tendency to think of worship only as singing worship songs or hymns. If you don't like pictures of worshipers, don't take a picture of two Christians hanging out at the coffee shop. This really is the main argument against the first reason above: that the person taking a picture is not "worshiping." My understanding of the Scripture is that taking a picture of a Christian gathering for the glory of God is just as much an act of worship as raising your hand and singing, "no power of Hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand..." with all your heart.

2. Worship is not mainly a private act. Worship cannot be complete totally apart from the gathering of God's people. If you simply shut your door and "worship" God with no relationship to His body, you are not a true worshiper. Thus, we should never gather and "shut everyone else out." God desires worshipers together, with one voice, to praise the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 15:6). We should be aware of each other when we gather.

3. I abominate the pride and hypocricy of the third reason above. Shame on us if we simply want to be seen and praised by man. However, Jesus said, "Let your light shine before man, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven" (Matt. 5:16). So, there is a sense in which we should want others to see our good deeds in order that God may be praised. The issue is motive.


The Taras Family said...

Good post. I was thinking though really- all people are worshippers. Maybe not God worshippers, but all worship technically, you wouldnt be able to take pictures of anyone or anything. Because even rocks, trees, animals- all point to their Maker....there goes the film industry then!

(I know, thats "knit-picky" but I was just furthering your point...LOL!)

Anonymous said...

I wasn't looking for bible verses but thanks. Indeed, motive is the issue. I have to question the motive of that picture being taken, of you worshipping God, you posting it on your website, you going on about your love for your wife on the net when you live with her. The world doesnt need to know about your holiness or your love for your wife. She does though. Spare the rest of us. Just seems like a display of well, you. But hey it is your blogspot and I was just browsing. Sorry to offend, but I's just expressing my opinion. Good day.

The Taras Family said...

Justin, I hope you guys realize that none of the rest of us (who are not "just browsing" do not think that is your heart at all. Thank you for posting the scriptures and for sharing your love for Jeanna with the rest of us. We all love you guys and are spured on in our love for our spouses every time we see your love for each other.

Its just like the world to down marriage- I just finished a post on that very subject- and anonymous just proved my point.

Anonymous said...

HI! Justin and Jeanna,

It's a beautiful picture of both you. This does remind me of John 4:23-24 as I think about worshipper for the Lord.

Don't worry what the other said about both of you. Just keep your focus on Him and not on what other said badly about you two.

I am for both of you in every way as you two are Eating His word and sharing His word with us, CBCW's family.

Thank you for being who you are in Christ.

Eating His Word,
BoldLion (I know that you know who I am)

Anonymous said...


I just came across this blogpost. I don't know anything about you and I have never met you, but I wanted to say that I think it is wonderful that you are using YOUR blog post to show all things concerning you. And if worshipping our God and adoring your wife is how you choose to do it, then God bless you. I have taken many photos of people worshipping God, and have been in many photos worshipping God myself and even though someone may be flashing a camera in my face, despite the fact that I am in a "public" place (church) trust me it is a private moment. Only God truly knows why we cry the tears we do when we enter into his presence and for anyone to attack that should go back and have a "true" worshipping experience!

God bless you, continue to show EVERYONE how to love and treat their wife, and your personal experice with worship.