Reformed Reflections

Jesus is Not a Cool Cat

A university chaplain danced with a student down the aisle as a part of a worship service designed to help relate youth to religion. Paper stoles were given to the congregation celebrating Advent, the first coming of Christ.

After the closing hymn in a church service somewhere in California, helium filled balloons were passed to the congregation. The minister instructed his congregation to gather on the patio for the benediction after that the balloons were to be released to "symbolize the freedom we experience through Jesus Christ."

At a youth service, an evangelist prayed "God, we dig You." He urged the young people "You should know this `cat' Jesus."

Is this the way to worship? Where is our reverence for a high and holy God? Do we have to resort to slang to communicate with youth, to make the gospel relevant? Is God our pal? The sense, of God's holiness has been lost. We have come on a too familiar footing with Christ, the spotless, sinless Son of the Holy God. The Lord is. worthy of honour and adoration. When we meet Him, we stand on holy ground. When we address" Him, we don't use buddy-buddy language. "But," someone objects, "Jesus is my Friend. God is my heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit, the Comforter. Can't I be casual with Him?" But must our Divine Friend be shown undue familiarity?

The Bible calls upon us to "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." The word worship implies prostration with forehead touching the ground. The wise men who came to Bethlehem fell down and "worshipped Him." And that attitude of the sinner before a Holy God is common to the whole of the Bible. Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, Peter, James and John all find that the only proper place for them is low at the Saviour's feet.

In the early days of the handwritten, sacred manuscripts, the name of God was so revered that the writer would first wash and cleanse his quill, then wash his own hands, before venturing to write the name of his God.

During this past Christmas season, I had the privilege of hearing once again Handel's oratorio "Messiah." It was a spiritual feast and an experience that led to worship and praise. The sense of awe, reverence and adoration should again become part of the evangelical worship services. We don't "dig" God; but worship the One, Who is the Lord God Almighty. Jesus Christ is not a "cool cat" but the Son of the Most High God. With joy and gratitude the church proclaims: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever."

Johan D. Tangelder
January, 1972