In the last century, E. M. Forster, in A Passage to India, referred to “poor little talkative Christianity”.  Perhaps there was a day when all Christians did was gather to listen to the Bible read and preached, and to prayers.  But that day is long gone in most evangelical churches.  These days we gather more to watch than to listen.  And to sing.

But in all the noise of our choirs, and drums, and electic guitars, and organs, and praise bands, where is the solemnity?  Where is the dignity and majesty that is so often indicated in the Bible by a stupified silence, soaked in awe and covered with wonder?

[…] We silence ourselves exactly because God has not kept silent.  We silence ourselves in order to hear God speak in His Word (cf. Deut. 27:9)  We silence ourselves to show our assent to God’s charges against us (cf. Ps. 39:9).  We silence ourselves to show respect and obedience and humility and restraint (cf. Zeph. 1:7; I Cor. 14:34; I Tim. 2:12).  We silence ourselves to search our hearts (cf. Ps. 4:4).

Read the entire article by Mark Dever here.