Do Christians put too much focus on man’s faults while boosting God’s ego with unmerited praise? The answer is no. Tim Barnett explains why.
Original Video: Listen. As a former Christian and a pastor’s daughter turned spiritual consultant and religious deconstruction advocate, I am not here to challenge the beliefs of anybody. I’m simply here to tell y’all why this never made sense to me. I could never understand how we spent so much time in church, Sunday after Sunday, Wednesday after Wednesday, service after service, dissecting and condemning our egos while completely ignoring God’s. Hear me out. God is supposed to be a perfect being. What would be the point in a perfect being creating imperfection? Because a perfect being is not going to create imperfection or an accident, otherwise they are not perfect, meaning they had to create, as a perfect being, imperfection on purpose. Some of the scholars I’ve had this conversation with have said maybe God wanted to study imperfection. Why would God need to study imperfection if he’s perfect and all-knowing? If you were all-knowing, you would know what imperfection is without ever having to create it. You wouldn’t even need to experience it. Which leads us down the same pathway of how did he create a whole bunch of angels and not know that they were going to rebel against him in his own house? He did, and then he continued to create them anyways, waited until they rebelled, cast his enemy down into the same place he was going to put his new creation. Did he want us to have a fighting chance or not? If that wasn’t bad enough, then he commanded and demanded that creation be subservient to him. You’re all powerful. What do you need me to do for you? I’m giving you all the praise, all the glory, all the honor, all the worship to make you feel good because you have an ego.
Tim: Why does God demand worship? Is it because God has a big ego? Well, here are two things to think about.
First, God didn’t need our worship, because God doesn’t need anything. God is the self-existent one. He is not dependent on anyone or anything. The command to worship God is for our benefit, not God’s. We are all prone to worship a god of our own making, so God reminds us not to worship any other god, but only him.
Second, worshiping God is right because God is worthy of worship. He deserves it, and we ought to give him what is deserved. Psalm 147:1 says, “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is becoming.”
But it’s not merely a duty; it’s also a delight. As C.S Lewis says, we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not only expresses but completes the enjoyment. Think of it this way. It’s like seeing your beautiful wife and needing to express it, or discovering an amazing author and wanting to tell everyone, or hearing a good joke and needing to share it. Therefore, in commanding us to glorify God, God is inviting us to enjoy him. To fully enjoy is to glorify.
Bottom line, the command to worship God is for our good, not God’s. It’s because God loves us and wants what’s best for us.