Wrong Worship

Wrong Worship

Wrong Worship

There is a kind of worship that is sensual, ungodly and corrupt. This kind of worship is wrong. What makes it wrong is that it is not done in accordance to God’s way. Wrong worship is coming to God on the basis and by means of man’s ways and not God’s. Scripture is filled with examples of wrong worship. I have only selected a few examples that illustrate the corrupt practice of wrong worship.

Both Cain and Abel worshiped the Lord by means of sacrifice (Gen. 4:3-4). Despite the fact that they both offered a sacrifice to God, only Abel’s was deemed acceptable (cf. Gen. 4:4). In the eyes of man, Cain’s offering would have appeared visually acceptable and sacrificial. However, that is not what makes sacrifice or worship acceptable to God. Abel’s was received and Cain’s was rejected (Gen. 4:5) because one worshiped God according to His ordained way and the other didn’t (cf. Heb. 11:4; 12:24). Because it is not revealed in Scripture the reason why Abel’s offering was acceptable, we can only assume that the Lord had revealed the method to them prior (cf. Gen. 3:21) and by faith Abel acted on that (cf. Heb. 11:4).

Nadab and Abihu
Leviticus 10:1-3 records a sobering account of Aaron’s two oldest sons – Nadab and Abihu. The Lord had been clear concerning the way in which offerings were to be made (Lev. 1:1-7:38). However, these two men approached the Lord in a manner that violated God’s standard. They flippantly and foolishly offered “strange fire” while possibly being drunk (cf. Lev. 10:8-11). The issue here was that these men ignored God’s standard and came to Him in their own style. Such conduct ended in sudden destruction (Lev. 10:2). To learn about an example and evaluation of a contemporary form of offering  “strange fire” click this excellent link.

By means of the prophet Samuel, the Lord instructed King Saul to destroy the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15:3). Saul defeated the Amalekites, however he spared their king Agag and selected goods (1 Sam. 15:9). Despite the fact that his act appeared to be virtuous and spiritual (1 Sam. 15:15), Samuel declared, “to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15:22). Sadly, many offer a kind of worship in their Christian life or in church that they deem worthy but it is not what God has required. They offer up words but they ignore what God’s word requires of them!

From these examples we learn that there is a kind of worship that is wrong. At the heart of it is the act of not coming to God on the basis of obedience. One can offer up the sincerest words and acts of sacrifice, but if it does not come from a life that lives in obedience to God it is wrong worship.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:1-2)


  1. Mike Bull

    Good stuff. What is interesting is that there was nothing wrong with Cain’s “kingly” offering. That was obviously his role. What was wrong was that the priestly blood was to be offered first. Priestly submission always comes before kingly authority. These are also the two trees in the Garden.

  2. jeff weddle

    Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn’t bow when the music played. They got persecuted for this. This reminds me of many modern church services. “Hey, when the music plays, this is what we do. Why are you not doing it? Do you not have the Spirit?”

    There is an odd mix of sensuality in modern worship combined with a rigid formulaic atmosphere that, quite frankly, gives me the creeps. The Devil is afoot.

    • Andrew Courtis (Author)

      Hi Jeff. Your example of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is an excellent one. This serves as an example of godly worship in the face of wrong worship – very good!

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