CHRISTIAN Sunday worship is one of the most visible aspects of our faith. However, are Christians guided more by the Bible or by the market-place?
The Rev Dr Ben Witherington, III, the keynote speaker for Aldersgate Convention 2008, will offer a uniquely biblical response to this question when he preaches on the topic “A Vision of Worship”, based on Revelation 4, at the Aldersgate Service at Wesley Methodist Church on Saturday, May 24, at 7.30 pm.
The Rev Dr Witherington is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in the United States. He has written a commentary on Revelation, which has also been translated into Chinese.
Revelation, commonly considered a book that talks only about the end times, offers valuable teaching on how Christians can worship the Lord, with its many outbursts of praise.
The Rev Dr Witherington is an international speaker and prolific writer. Many of his books will be available for sale during the convention. He offers a critique of the increasingly professional efforts of churches to attract religious consumers. “We live in a world of consumers and so it is not surprising that many people approach worship as consumers,” he said. “This is exactly the opposite of what we should do – we are supposed to be producers of worship, all of us. Worship should not be the performance of the few for the consumption of the many who are couch potatoes for Jesus!”
In contrast, he says, Revelation offers “a proper vision of worship and how it ought to be practised today”.
The Aldersgate Service marks the day in 1738 when John Wesley, attending a society meeting on Aldersgate Street in London, experienced assurance of salvation.
Every year, The Methodist Church in Singapore organises the Aldersgate Convention during the week of May 24. This year the Rev Dr Witherington and the Rev Dr Ezra Kok, Principal of Seminari Theoloji Malaysia, will speak on the theme “The Road to Glory: The Future in Wesleyan Perspective.”
The Rev Dr Kok will give two evening talks in Mandarin on the fi rst two nights,
May 19 and 20. In addition to the Aldersgate Service on Saturday night, the Rev Dr
Witherington will give three evening talks from May 21 to May 23, as well as conduct two morning seminars. All the events will be held at Wesley Methodist Church.
Registration is required for the seminars. Registration forms can be found at any Methodist church or online at www.methodist.org.sg
You may also use the registration form printed on this page.
For more information please call the Bishop’s Offi ce at 6478-4780, 6478-4781, or 6478-4782.
– REV GEORGE MARTZEN.