“When too many of us think about worship, we ask the wrong questions. We think: What do I like? Or what would non-Christians like? Or what do the people in my church like? And we’re missing the central question: How does God want to be worshiped?”
― Kevin DeYoung, Spirit & Truth: A Film About Worship
John Calvin (1509–1564), a preeminent theologian, a renowned teacher, and a valiant Reformer, is seen by many as the greatest influence on the church since the first century.
“Those who set up a fictitious worship, merely worship and adore their own delirious fancies; indeed, they would never dare so to trifle with God, had they not previously fashioned him after their own childish conceits.”
― John Calvin, The Institutes Of The Christian Religion
[God] calls himself jealous because he cannot bear a partner. He declares that he will vindicate his majesty and glory, if any transfer it either to the creatures or to graven images; and that not by a simple punishment of brief duration, but one exceeding to the third and fourth generation of such as imitate the impiety of their progenitors. In like manner, he declares his constant mercy and kindness to remote posterity to those who love him, and keep his Law. The Lord very frequently addresses us in the character of a husband; the union by which he connects us with himself, when he receives us into the bosom of the Church, having some resemblance to that of holy wedlock, because founded on mutual faith.
As he performs all of the offices of a true and faithful husband, so he stipulates for love and conjugal chastity from us; that is, that we do not prostitute our souls to Satan, to be defiled with carnal lusts. Hence, when he rebukes the Jews for their apostasy, he complains they have cast off chastity, and polluted themselves with adultery.
Therefore, as the purer and chaster the husband is, the more grievously he is offended when he sees his wife inclining to a rival; so the Lord, who has bethrothed us to himself in truth, declares that he burns with the hottest jealousy whenever, neglecting the purity of his holy marriage, we defile ourselves with abominable lusts, and especially when the worship of his Deity, which ought to have been most carefully kept unimpaired, is transferred to another.