—2 Chronicles 26:5, 16 (NASB)
One of the things we can learn by studying the 20 individuals who sat on the throne of the southern kingdom of Judah is what they tell us about various kinds of spiritual leaders we may encounter within the church. A few seem hopelessly bad from beginning to end, a few lead God’s people into legitimate revival, but most of them seem to struggle in their personal lives much the same way every believer struggles. What causes a good leader to fall who has built a great movement or organization to the Lord and whose overall track record was (at one time) listening to the Word of God through those sent by Him? Pride. Even in our time there have been many a good leader who began right but ended badly because of personal pride.
Notice how once again that the gateway to Uzziah’s downfall was the corruption of right worship. There seems to be a general consensus today that the “worship” time in a church service can be made more relevant, more appealing by the world’s standards of production values, more “friendly” to the casual visitor. We don’t have to return to drafty stone cathedrals invoking Gregorian chants, but I would argue that we have certainly lost the priority of worshiping a holy God in all the ways that count. When looking back at the pattern of events which eventually betrayed a public downfall of most of spectacles within the church over the years it is worth noting how often an early step was their adoption of new worship methods.
As a revered man of God has so eloquently stated, “There is no doxology without theology”. In other words, when worship is corrupted, teaching of God’s Word (doctrine) follows not long after, and eventually the hidden pride and problems of their heart is flushed to the surface for everyone to see. This is the quintessential character flaw of Satan himself and is the number one repeated characteristic of every type of Antichrist which teaches about the final one to come. “They worshiped the beast“. :”(Revelation 13:4)”: Corrupt one’s approach to the presence of God and everyone eventually winds up at the foot of the completely wrong throne.
When we are allowed to think much more of our self than is warranted the greatest temptation is to elevate our self above everything else, even the right way to approach and revere Christ Himself. Because internally something has changed in the treatment of God, one of the first ways it often shows itself is a change in the way we approach and worship Him. Eventually the unchecked cancer of the sin of pride corrupts everything. We live at a time where so many churches are striving to prove their relevance to the world through the adoption of “modern” worship techniques that they can’t see that in the end all their pride is doing is lifting up themselves in the place of priority once occupied by Christ.†††