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Labore est Adorate

"Work is worship."

It's the often heard (although usually indirectly and generally not in Latin) clarion call of Protestant Evangelicals.  Doing good hard work is simply another way to worship.  Living a good life is worship.  Heck, let's just go ahead and say it, everything is worship.

With all due respect, and in all kindness, and fully mindful of the noble intentions resting behind such idiotic thinking: Hogwash!

Jesus never says that "good deeds" glorify God. In fact, He draws a clear (and, to me, reasonable, distinction). When we do our good deeds before others, one result will be that they will "glorify God." He does not say the aim is that they will also join us in doing good deeds in front of others, who would then also join those doing good deeds in front of others, and so on. The good deeds can lead to, but are not the same as, glorifying God. My atheist relatives also do "good deeds." Muslims do good deeds. Many live admirable and ethical lives. Living ethically, even supremely ethically, is not, in and of itself, worship.

If everything is made worship, however noble to intention, the result is that worship diminishes, fades, and is eventually swallowed in our growing sea of secularity. The person who sleeps in, catches a few minutes of Joel Osteen, and then plays golf without cheating is able to happily tell himself he is spending the Lord's Day in Christian worship. If there is not a categorical and important difference between Texas Roadhouse and Eucharist, we have not just lost the battle, we have refused to admit there was ever a war in the first place.

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