“And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.” -Exodus 34:8
Speaking to a friend recently, I was told that while she saw much value in the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship as a place for those seeking a spiritual home, rejected by the world and the worldly, she didn’t understand many of the things we allow for or do. She called our observance of the Holy Days as found in the Torah to be “moon worship,” and called the tallit, robes of the priesthood, etc, “silly costumes.” She didn’t understand why we needed to do much more beyond accepting one another. She saw worship, classes, services, and the rest, as something silly from a long ago and forgotten time.
It should be first noted that we are not a Church, but a movement. As such, those wishing to be a part of the movement are not required to agree on everything. No one must wear any special clothing, or observe holy days, classes, services, or anything else we offer. We merely ask that we respect one another in our differences. This is a restorational movement, and it is a restoration of all things, not some things.
This means, for example, that there will be some that observe the food restrictions found in the Torah. Some will accept the idea that these restrictions were removed by a revelation given to Peter. Others will be vegetarians or vegans, moving beyond the scope of either of these, perhaps even citing the Word of Wisdom as their reasoning. Others still will not even think about or worry about food at all. This is fine. Again, we are a nondenominational movement. As such we reject the dogmatism of the past and leave the door open for God to speak to each of us individually.
Food is merely one aspect of this idea. In truth, personal revelation permeates our movement. By accepting one another and sharing our stories we can all learn and grow. Dogmatism causes eventual stagnation. It leads to ill will towards our fellow Saints as we “duke it out” over differing opinions. We aren’t in some sort of political arena, but a spiritual one. We are wiser by far to love and respect and learn from one another than to attempt to force conformity.
Worship is Personal
We all have different ideas of worship. A simple prayer or a communion service with a scripture reading might be enough. Others may desire a sermon, or testimonies. Others find all of this tedious and would rather have intellectual stimulation that drives greater spiritual awareness.
Even in group settings, worship is personal. We should be open to the needs of all, and whatever the meeting type we should seek spiritual oneness in Christ. We are all capable of worshiping alone, yet God has told us to meet together (Avahr 17:39, DoS 6b:2, Matthew 18:20). Why? Because nothing grows in a vacuum.
Worshiping in Community
The scriptures are full of examples of communities worshiping together in a variety of forms. The one thing these all have in common is the idea of the oneness with God in community. This is what God calls us to be. As the Lord said to Steve Veazey of Community of Christ:
“If you truly would be community of Christ, then embody and live the concerns and passion of Christ.” -CoC DaC 164:9d
This is not merely a call to their individual denomination, but to the world! This is what it means to be a Christian. Life, and this includes spirituality, is not a journey to take alone. We must work to build the community of Saints that God has called us to be, His Zion.