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?