No Experience Required 

“More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my heart and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” —Psalm 29:10-14 

We’re all aware of textless sermons, feel-good messages, and the exploitation of the Word of God as a means for gaining wealth and prosperity, which, interestingly, works . . . for those who preach it! But there is another issue that needs to be addressed today, and let me first say this: Nothing is worse than making the Word of God dry and boring, because it is not. It is living and powerful, and the Bible is emotional and experiential. But let me ask you this: Have you ever said or heard said, after returning from a Christian concert or event, a statement like, “That really blessed me.” It’s not that I’m against Christian concerts, but isn’t the purpose of our praise and worship to bless God and not necessarily ourselves? 

The reason that experientialism is so rampant in our day is because of the lack of preaching of the Word, which leaves Christians looking for other things to create the experiential aspect that is lacking from the hearing and then doing of the Word. 

Have you ever heard or said the phrase “creating an atmosphere of worship”? Since worship means to prostrate oneself and submit to God, there is no “atmosphere” that needs to be created. Worship is a way of life, not just songs and “feelings” that bless you and give you an “experience.” Many today are wanting to “feel’” God’s power and will go to an event hoping to find it and experience it there, when in fact it is available to them all the time in the specific revelation of God called the Holy Scripture! Yet some are incorporating the Scripture through the practice of Lectio Divina today in an attempt to create a “God encounter” by focusing on a single word or verse in Scripture and asking God, “What does this mean to me?” 

The fact is that isolating verses or words and asking for meaning outside of the context is how cults are born, and although this Benedictine practice may sound good, it’s dangerous at its core. 

You may come to church and not “feel” anything, but if you heard or learned more about God and what is acceptable to Him, even if you didn’t get any goose bumps or “have a moment,” you have benefited greatly no matter how you feel, because there is no experience required in order for the Word of God to be profitable to you! 

Some of us need to change our thinking regarding what we’re looking for in a church. We need to have our “heresy” filters on, but the real test is if the Word of God in its purity was brought forth or not. You may not like the music or style of preaching, but all that matters is if the truth of the Bible was proclaimed and Christ was held up as King and Lord over all. If so, then God was glorified, and that’s the most important thing. Let’s all take another inward look and offer our hearts to the Lord once more. 

Excerpt from “Beside Still Waters” now available on Amazon.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Barry-Stagner-Headshot-Round-Small.png


1 thought on No Experience Required 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *