While it is true that Christians will suffer, and our temporal happiness is not God's first priority, I am convinced that Christians should be the most joyful people in the world.
for the most part, our church gatherings feel more like a warm, friendly family gathering at Cracker Barrel than a battle rally. The most dangerous threat the church senses is the leaning tower of communion trays.
It had been a drizzly day, but the rain held out long enough for us to sing. It was completely dark except for the soft illumination of the glow sticks we used to light our hymnals. We did not want to detract from the lights of heaven.
When it comes to baseball, we know the player is practicing hitting, even when he strikes out. But when it comes to faith, we sometimes think a slipup is a sign that his heart isn't in it at all.
No, it's not a performance; worship is far more significant than a performance – it's an offering to God.
While CENI alone results in a primitive and immature form of rote religion that may well miss the main point of all scripture and life itself, to eliminate CENI is to adopt a form of lawlessness that leads away from a holy God who has always given instruction, expected diligent study, application of reason, and yes, obedience.
If our goal is merely to stop sinning, we will find that we cannot achieve it. Likely, we will slip deeper and deeper as though mired in quicksand.