Doctrine and Morals – Worship and Worldview

According to Scripture, Christian worship and Christian worldview are pop riveted together by the Holy Spirit. “But the hour cometh and now is when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).

Lex orandi est lex credenda et agenda. (The rule of prayer is the rule of belief and of action.) Worldview (i.e., beliefs, morals, actions, etc.) flows from worship. Worship determines worldview. This means you cannot have Christian morals (truth) without Christian worship (Spirit-led-doctrine-and-practices). A society that attempts to separate the two is doomed.

Consider this lengthy excerpt by John Piper (quoting William Wilberforce) on the relationship between Christian doctrine (worship) and Christian morals.


“William Wilberforce is famous for his lifelong, and finally successful, battle against the African slave trade. It stunned me, when I recently read his one major book, A Practical View of Christianity, that his diagnosis of the moral weakness of Britain was doctrinal.

The fatal habit of considering Christian morals as distinct from Christian doctrines insensibly gained strength. Thus the peculiar doctrines of Christianity went more and more out of sight, and as might naturally have been expected, the moral system itself also began to wither and decay, being robbed of that which should have supplied it with life and nutriment (A Practical View of Christianity, ed. Kevin Charles Belmonte (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996), p. 198).

“Even more stunning was the fact that Wilberforce made the doctrine of justification the linchpin in his plea for moral reform in the nation …

RESULT FROM THE MISTAKEN CONCEPTION ENTERTAINED OF THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIANITY. They consider not that Christianity is a scheme “for justifying the ungodly” [Romans 4:5], by Christ’s dying for them “when yet sinners” [Romans 5:6-8], a scheme “for reconciling us to God–when enemies” [Romans 5:10]; and for making the fruits of holiness the effects, not the cause, of our being justified and reconciled (Ibid., p. 64. The SMALL CAPS is his emphasis.).

“… Many public people say that changing society requires changing people, but few show the depth of understanding Wilberforce does concerning how that comes about. For him the right grasp of the central doctrine of justification and its relation to sanctification–an emerging Christlikeness in private and public–were essential for the reformation of the morals of England” (John Piper, Counted Righteous in Christ, 24-26).