Monday, August 25, 2014

The 24-7 Repetitive Worship of the Four Living Creatures & the 24 Elders

Don't blame worship-loving Azuza Street charismatics for inventing repetitive, physical, emotional worship. Look at Revelation 4 and behold the "beyond-7-11 worship" of the four living creatures and the copycat 24 elders.

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“‘Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’
who was, and is, and is to come.”
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”

These amazing "four living creatures" are doing nothing but worshiping God, 24-7. We are told that they are singing the same words over and over and over and over...  non-stop. Does anyone want to accuse these holy creatures of mindless, repetitive worship?

Then there are the "24 elders." They respond, over and over and over and over and... over again and again, 24-7, by falling down before God and singing the words we read in v. 11. These elders are the fallingest people in the entire Bible. Anyone want to accuse them of being over-emotional as they are laying there with their faces pressed to the ground in love with the God of all heaven and earth?

All this makes sense in Hebrew culture which is:

  1. tribal (therefore repetition is not only not a threat but desired and expected)
  2. physically expressive; and
  3. emotional (therefore unafraid of expressing emotion)
The idea that this worship is "unthinking" comes from the influence of the likes of Plato and Descartes, and the resultant philosophical-Western bifurcation of "feeling" vs. "thinking," of "Kirk" vs. "Spock."

The Cartesian Spock (right) could not understand the
emotion of the Hebraic Kirk (left).