There is at least one ABA preacher I know who has boldly declared - and even preached from the pulpit - that the only way a person can worship God is - during a church service - while the preacher is preaching!
(In no way whatsoever am I suggesting that this stance is common to all ABA preachers, nor the members of the churches of the ABA in general.)
In other words - according to this preacher, it is impossible-by-definition to worship God:
My reaction and response is:
"That is the most absurdly ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life..."
Did all of these people worship the Lord "in a church service while a preacher was preaching"... ? :
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
I am inclined to believe that the scriptures in no way indicate that the worship of God is confined to a specific exactingly-particular event-based circumstance of human existence.
This severe misunderstanding of the true meaning of the phrase 'in spirit and in truth' has prompted me to write this discussion concerning what it actually means to worship the Lord 'in spirit and in truth'.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Here is the Strongs definition for the Greek root word of 'worship' in these verses:
from 4314 and a probable derivative of 2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore):--worship.
The essential meaning of this word rests in a combination of love, humility, and acquiescence.
The core essence of the worship of God is an exhibition of love, humility, and acquiescence to God.
The manifestations that may spring forth from this core essence may be described by words such as 'glorify', 'honour', 'magnify', and 'praise'.
What it means to worship God 'in spirit'...
Worship of God 'in spirit' occurs at the center of our being, where our spirit communes with His Spirit.
Any visible part of this worship is simply the "surface-level" outward expression of the real worship that is at the center of our being.
The "going through the motions of worship in a church service" is merely "an organized means of opportunity for the active outward expression of worship" in an environment of a collective group; it does not in any way define what constitutes worship.
This is worship in an 'active' sense. It is based on willful expression.
What it means to worship God 'in truth'...
Worship of God 'in truth' occurs in the "living out" (pursuing of, upholding of, abiding in) of the Truth of God, according to His character, His ways, and His will.
And, by "living in the Truth", we give honor and glory to God by virtue of His righteousness.
This is worship in a 'passive' sense. It is based on willful decision.
To worship God "in spirit and in truth" means to exhibit love, humility, and acquiescence to God through willful 'expression' in our spirit, and by willful 'decision' in our minds and hearts.
We can worship God anytime, anywhere.
We are not restricted by our physical or circumstantial environment - because the source of it is internal - and, it is initiated by our will.
Some preachers seem to try to change the meaning of this and other passages of scripture in order to validate the "you need to be in church" dictum. However, aside from the fact that it is wrong to do so, it is not even necessary. No passage of scripture needs to have its meaning modified in order to support this idea; it is sufficiently indicated in other passages of scripture.
Can someone worship God while standing alone on a mountain top? Yes.
Does this in any way take away from the responsibility of fellowship with other Christians? No.
Yet, many preachers "twist" the scriptures in an effort to convince people that they need to be in church.
And, it is at that point when-and-where severe and abominable error comes in.
But, that is a topic that "deserves its own separate discussion"...
Bible: KING JAMES VERSION OF THE HOLY BIBLE
Strongs: STRONG'S EXHAUSTIVE CONCORDANCE OF THE BIBLE