January 31, 2012
Bringing greetings to OBU students from the “Republic of Texas,” Dr. Voddie Baucham discussed the sinful nature of humans as it relates to a person’s ability to worship Wednesday, Jan. 25, explaining that unless people are instructed properly, the sinful nature prevents true worship.
The pastor of preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas, Baucham spoke during a weekly chapel service at OBU. His message, “The Tragedy of Human Depravity,” follows OBU’s current chapel theme, “The Purpose of Man: Designed to Worship,” based on the book by author A.W. Tozer.
Baucham has served as an adjunct professor at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston, Texas, and at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Houston Baptist University in Christianity and sociology, a master’s of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctorate from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Baucham and his wife, Bridget, have seven children.
According to Baucham’s message, the fallen nature of man will always rebel against worshiping God because the chief desire of a person is to worship himself or herself. People are selfish and sinful, Baucham said. One way selfishness manifests itself is through disagreements about how to worship within churches. Most arguments come down to two approaches of worship: normative, which essentially means, “If it is not forbidden in Scripture, it is fair game in worship,” and regulative, meaning, “We may only worship God in the specific ways He outlines for us in Scripture.”
Baucham presented numerous examples of historical architecture, highlighting the elements of utmost importance for different worshipers. For example, in Roman Catholic settings, the table with the Eucharist was central to worship, and during the Reformation, the massive pulpit symbolized the reverence people held for the Bible. In modern settings, though, the emphasis typically falls on the stage.
“The Roman Catholic architecture says, ‘We’re here to feed you the body of Christ,’” Baucham said. “Protestant architecture of the Reformation screams, ‘We are here to feed you the Word of God.’ Modern architecture says, ‘We are here to entertain you, in hopes that you will come back.’”
The first four Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 serve as a guide for worship, Baucham explained. The first commandment teaches people to worship God only. The second commandment teaches people to worship God the right way, providing “guardrails” for worship. The third commandment teaches people to reverence the Name and works of God to give more meaning to worship. The fourth commandment teaches when to meet together to worship.
Baucham warned students against assuming responsiveness of an audience proves the presence of God. Ultimately, he said, the question should not be, “Did people respond to it?” but instead, “Is this biblical worship?”