An Antidote to Formation

“One way to inoculate ourselves against part of worship’s power is to think of going to church in superstitious terms, as if we are hedging our bets with God. If we participate in worship and simply hope that our being there will cause God to bless us, what we are doing in church really amounts to practicing something other than Christianity. We are practicing superstition, or hypocrisy- in which we sometimes even intentionally learn to say things to God that we do not mean. Spiritually speaking, the sin of hypocrisy is one of the most vexing antidotes to formation. In hypocrisy, our external actions are cut off from internal attitudes. We may even become well practiced at not meaning what we say or do.”
– John D. Witvliet

“The Cumulative Power of Transformation in Public Worship: Cultivating Gratitude and Expectancy for the Holy Spirit’s Work,” in Worship That Changes Lives: Multidisciplinary and Congregational Perspectives on Spiritual Transformation, ed. Alexis Abernathy (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008), 52.

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