Is Dead Worship a Baptist Doctrine?

As a worship leader and pastor, I have often heard comments that would make one believe that the answer to the above title is “Yes!” Some ultra conservative Baptist friends believe that anything that evokes emotion is from the devil and should be avoided. Such thoughts are rooted in unbiblical thought!

What disturbs me more is that some of my Baptist friends say that expressive worship is reserved for Pentecostals. Where is that in the Bible? NOWHERE!!! In fact, Scripture commands worshippers to clap, shout, dance, etc. So where did this crazy idea that dead worship is part of Baptist doctrine originate? Extremists!

People who mean well and have seen unbiblical things take place in worship services (extremists on one side) responded by going to the other extreme and became cold and inexpressive in their worship. Both are wrong!

God wants biblical balance. What I have discovered in my experience as a worship leader and pastor is that when you are balanced, you have people shooting at you from both sides. When ultra conservatives and liberals are both mad at me, I sit back with great joy in knowing that I’m right in the middle where God wants me. I’m not straddling the fence and compromising. I’m just standing in a God-honoring place.

Maybe you are reading this article and wishing you could lift your hands in church, clap, or shout. The Bible tells you to do it, so why don’t you? Are you self-conscious? Is pride standing in your way? If you read a Baptist statement of faith, I promise you that there is no commandment to be a member of the frozen chosen. The joy of the Lord is your strength! Cultivate a life of worship, meaning worship daily in practice for what you do with others on Sunday. So what if someone has something to say about how you worship! Let them talk about you! If they’re talking about you, they’re leaving someone else alone!

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