….. they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who would walk after their own ungodly lusts. These are they who separate themselves, sensual, not having the Spirit.
(Jude 1:18-19 )
The dictionary defines sensuality this way: sen•su•al adj.
1. Relating to or affecting any of the senses or a sense organ; sensory.
2. a. Of, relating to, given to, or providing gratification of the physical and especially the sexual appetites.
b. Suggesting sexuality; voluptuous.
c. Physical rather than spiritual or intellectual. (Emphasis mine)
d. Lacking in moral or spiritual interests; worldly.
The Holy Spirit here warns us through Jude concerning the Last Times when people would be Sensual not having the Spirit. These are people who would enter the churches not as visitors from outside the churches, but from within the churches; else we would not need to be warned against them.
It is commonly felt that “Sensual” is always synonymous with sexuality; however the context here is with regards to the physical “senses”—“Feelings” and “sensations”.
We have five senses; Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste and Scent.
We are told that we “walk by faith”, as opposed to walking “by sight”.
2Co 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. This is simply a reminder that our lives must not be governed by our feelings, our senses.
Back in the sixties one of the philosophies of the world was always, “If it feels good, it IS good”.
Another question often asked is, “Is this so wrong if it feels so right?”
The paradigm shift:
In the 1980’s a major change in thinking began to affect the churches, and continues until now; “The need for a paradigm shift in the Church (we must change our Western world view to that which integrates reliance upon supernatural influences)”. Basically this teaching suggests that that which promotes the “Fruits of the Spirit” is of primary importance. On the surface most would agree. According to Paul the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. (Ga 5:22-23). Therefore if the Holy Spirit is moving amongst a congregation these are the things that will be manifested.
According to John Wimber, “A result of our worshipping and blessing God is being blessed by him. We don’t worship God in order to get blessed, but we are blessed as we worship him. He visits his people with manifestations of the Holy Spirit.” (Equipping the Saints, Vol. 1, No. 1. Renewal Journal #6 (1995:2), Brisbane, Australia, pp. 3-7).
It was common in a number of churches, particularly the Charismatic churches, for the preaching of the Word to be set aside if the leadership felt that the Holy Spirit was “moving”. It was felt that it would be wrong to disturb these manifestations (thus “Quench the Spirit”), as the working of the Holy Spirit is more important than listening to teaching. “Doctrine” was seen as being too divisive and, as a result, demoted in the thinking of the average church member. The reasoning being that; “God is above His Word”; and, “God is not limited by His Word.”
John Wimber again, “This was an exciting revelation. After learning about the central place of worship in our meetings, there were many instances in which all we did was worship God for an hour or two.” (Equipping the Saints, Vol. 1, No. 1. Renewal Journal #6 (1995:2), Brisbane, Australia, pp. 3-7).
This is a dangerous precedent because there was no longer a need for a Scriptural basis for anything. It is true that scripture would be quoted in order to back up this idea, however this would generally be based on scriptures taken out of context being spliced together in order to give the appearance of being scriptural.
Sensuality as Worship
Worship is seen as “Intimacy with God”. The thing that stands out and attracts people to many church meetings is the “depth and richness of worship”. This usually refers to a well-orchestrated time of singing commonly called, “Praise and Worship”.
I was a member of a Charismatic Church for several years and became involved in the “Praise and Worship”. “Worship” leaders were taught “principles” of worship, techniques that can be used to create an “atmosphere for worship”. Generally these were techniques commonly taught to musicians about how to stir up emotions in the hearers, feelings of awe, love, joy and above all a sense of being so overwhelmed that tears would come to the eyes and there would be an over spilling of emotionalism. This was equated with becoming intimate with God.
John Wimber, ‘After we started to meet in our home gathering, I noticed times during the meeting – usually when we sang – in which I experienced God deeply. We sang many songs, but mostly songs about worship or testimonies from one Christian to another. But occasionally we sang a song personally and intimately to Jesus, with lyrics like “Jesus I love you”. Those types of songs both stirred and fed the hunger for God within me.” (Equipping the Saints, Vol. 1, No. 1. Renewal Journal #6 (1995:2), Brisbane, Australia, pp. 3-7).
The majority of people would enter a state of what can only be described as an “altered state”, with eyes closed and being almost unconscious of what was happening around. However the person leading would remain alert, eyes open and looking around to see the reactions of the congregation. Depending upon the reaction he/she would then continue to play similar music, or change the music, basically manipulating the mood.
“Healing and Deliverance” are also a major factor in churches today. I attended a conference on healing where we were being taught a “Healing Methodology”, or what were described as “Techniques of Healing”. We were taught certain “signs” to look out for that often accompanied healings. These were listed as “heat”, “tingling”. So we were taught to “look out for these things”.
Several weeks later I was listening to a local radio show in which a Spiritualist medium was being interviewed. I was shocked and amazed to hear this man stating the very same “Healing methodology” and describing the exact same things to look out for; the “heat” and “tingling”. I soon realised that what was being taught in the churches was simply mediumship in “Christian language”.
All this makes a mockery of true Biblical Christianity, replacing Spirituality with sensuality and carnality.
What is true worship?
What constitutes Worship? Is worship “intimacy with God?
The Hebrew word translated as “Worship” is שָׁחָה (shaw-khaw’), it means:
to depress, i.e. prostrate (especially reflexive, in homage to royalty or God):–bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.
The Greek word translated “Worship” is: προσκυνέω (pros-koo-neh’-o). It means:
To kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore):–worship.
It simply refers to our being in submission to God, particularly in the sense of our being obedient.
Jesus, in speaking with the Samaritan woman, stated: Joh 4:23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.
Was He referring to our singing? I think not.
Throughout the history of God’s people he was always reproving them for false worship. The idea that God was simply satisfied with them singing and keeping their religious meetings and feasts without obedience to His commands.
Isa 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
Jesus Himself repeats this:
Mr 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
They would sing and declare their love for Him, however:
Ps 78:36 Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.
The heart of Worship is NOT intimacy—the heart of worship is OBEDIENCE!
Mt 21:28-32 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
Music has its place; it is a vehicle through which we offer praise to God: Psalms 145-150 show us this; however this should not be confused with worship. We offer God praise with our mouths, but worship is living an obedient life!
Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.