The fundamentalist will always claim rituals are essential and object people from worshipping God in other ways.
I see ritualism as a means to be close to God. as human are made of flesh, the objects used to symbolize spiritual equivalents are holy in that sense. I don't see that is negative. but I see the rituals area not the only means to get close to God. Just one of the fleshy means that God has mercy on people. sometimes I appreciate rituals coz that brought me closer to God especially when I am lost and weak.
Rituals made me feel God's presence.
But on the other hand, it's said in the scripture.
''God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.'' John 4:24
I think this is the most important thing that everyone has lost their focus on to. Whatever means that make people feel God's presence is a good way to worship.
Rituals are decided for this purpose. It attempts to use human senses to connect us to our hearts then to God. It's visual, audible, you can taste and smell.
While modern worships use mainly music as the medium to connect the us to God. Music is a valid form of worship from David's days. Coz it is of beauty and it has the ability to stir up emotions. So it's a gateway from the conscious to the subconscious.
People especially of the Logical world of western civilization are afraid of letting go their intelligence and logical senses. But truly, this is a trap that God has already lined out in the scripture again.
''Jesus said, I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden
these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to
infants'' Matthew 11:25
I guess that is a real paradigm shift in Christianity as the time goes by.
Just like the deeds vs grace. and right now is the seen vs unseen…..
I am not so theological trained. So
I can only make comments to this extent:)
But that's how I see ritualism.