In many places, worship is changed to suit the fancies of men, to allure them to church services. The Bible tells us about this kind of mentality: it is called “will-worship” or “self-imposed religion.” Paul wrote:

“These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.” (Colossians 2:23)

Paul is here describing the teachings and practices of the Gnostics. Their religion included “self-imposed religion.”’ What does this mean?

“”‘will-worship’ (ethelo, ‘to will,’ threskeia, ‘worship’), occurs in Col. 2:23, voluntarily adopted ‘worship,’ whether unbidden or forbidden, not that which is imposed by others, but which one affects.” (W.E. Vine, Merrill Unger, William White, Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary Of Old And New Testament Words, 62662-62668 (Kindle Edition); Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson Publishers)

“Thayer-“1) voluntary, arbitrary worship; worship which one prescribes and devises for himself, contrary to the contents and nature of faith which ought to be directed to Christ.” (Joseph Henry Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, E-Sword edition)

There is another word for self-imposed religion: idolatry. When worship becomes about what entertains and pleases US, we have taken the focus off of God.

God is the Definer of true worship. When His Word teaches us the pattern for such, we have no right to alter it to please our fancies.

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