Counterfeit worship is not new. In the early church, the Gnostics undermined Biblical worship by introducing angel worship, denying the deity of Christ, and other ungodly inventions. In the centuries that followed, Roman Catholicism borrowed heavily from the paganism of the Roman Empire; today, syncretism remains the basis of its worship. Postmodern Evangelicalism says that the worship service must be a well-planned stage production designed to impress the unchurched, and manufacture desired results based on appeals to the lusts of the flesh while disregarding the lordship of Christ.
In contrast to these past and present abuses, what does Scripture say about the nature of genuine, God-honoring worship? How can Christians recognize the roots and fruits of counterfeit worship in our time, and how must we respond?
What was this first-century worship perversion, and why should it concern us today?
The heart of the heresy of counterfeit worship is the false teaching that man in his pride, not God in Scripture, determines whom to worship and how.
In two thousand years of church history, one entity stands out as the principal purveyor of un-Biblical worship.
Through the centuries, counterfeit worship has been justified by suppressing the commandment against idolatry.
Sainthood is a status conferred not by officials of the church, but by God. Those who are truly His saints are worshippers, not the worshipped.
Scripture specifically condemns these two forms of counterfeit worship long commanded by Roman Catholicism.
Contrary to the teachings of Rome, even Peter himself - whom it claims as the first pope - denied the papacy and the worship of popes. So must we.
Scripture declares that those who persist in promoting counterfeit worship are dangerous spiritual imposters.
Counterfeit worship has become so widespread that it now supports a multi-billion-dollar "worship industry."
The worship industry's message to present-day churches is clear: Forget the Bible, except as a stage prop. Forget holiness, because you must attract the world.