“Worship in Spirit and Truth” by Fr Andrew Stephen Damick

“Someone outside the Orthodox Church who looks at what we do as pointless, “dead” religion, then true worship that is “in spirit and truth” will have nothing to do with liturgics. Instead, “true worship” “in spirit and truth” will probably be something made up sometime recently, using exciting, emotional music and a big spectacular show that will leave the congregation feeling charged up at the end. Using ancient rituals is fake, and they leave people feeling dead and perhaps even trapped in a mind-numbing sameness that doesn’t do anything for anyone…

And there it is in the Bible today: worship God in spirit and in truth. Doesn’t that mean that, as long as you’re a good person, as long as you really believe, that the rest just doesn’t matter? What matters is the “spirit,” right? Isn’t that the “truth”?”

These are the erroneous assumptions held by ostensibly Orthodox proponents of the introduction Evangelical Protestant so-called “praise and worship” into some Oriental Orthodox youth meetings and prayer meetings. This fails to take into account the fact that corporate (and even private) worship that is NOT LITURGICAL is NOT CHRISTIAN.

“After centuries of Jewish liturgical worship that had been directly instituted by God Himself, the first Christians did not immediately drop everything, pull out their guitars and drum sets, and start worshiping God by putting on a big theatrical spectacle while imitating first century pop songs.”

Sermon: http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/emmaus/sermon_june_2_2013_sunday_of_the_samaritan_woman [streaming and download]

See here for full transcript: http://saintpaulemmaus.org/fr-andrews-corner/worship-in-spirit-and-truth/