Tag Archives: honor

YOUR NAME


You got it from your father,

’twas the best he had to give.

And right gladly he bestowed it.

It’s yours, the while you live.

You may lose the watch he gave you

and another you may claim,

But remember, when you’re tempted,

to be careful of his name.

It was fair the day you got it,

and a worthy name to bear,

When he took it from his father,

there was no dishonor there.

Through the years he proudly wore it,

to his father he was true,

And that name was clean and spotless,

when he passed it on to you.

Oh, there’s much that he has given,

that he values not at all.

He has watched you break your playthings,

in the days when you were small.

You have lost the knife he gave you,

and your’ve scattered many a game,

But you’ll never hurt your father

if you’re careful with his name.

It is yours to wear forever,

yours to wear the while you live.

Yours, perhaps, some distant morning,

another boy to give.

And you’ll smile as did your father –

with a smile that all can share,

If a clean name and a good name

you are giving him to wear.

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Why We Don’t Have Contemporary Music In our Church


Why We Don’t Have Contemporary Music In our Church

By IndependentBaptist.com –

May 15, 2014

by Paul Alexander

The above question is often voiced in various ways: “Why do we still sing the old songs? Why not exchange the hymnals for Power Point choruses, or sing more and shorten the sermons? The “Contemporary Church Movement” blossomed in the 1980’s in an attempt to make the church more appealing to unchurched people. Crosses came down, hymns were replaced with catchy choruses, organs and pianos moved over (or out) for the band, song leaders were replaced with worship teams, jeans replaced suits, pulpits were out and lecterns in, and the mention of “hell” and “sin” became taboo. There is nothing intrinsically Biblical about displaying crosses or singing from hymnals, and we are certainly in favor of reaching people with the gospel. We must always ask, however, “What are the Bible principles involved?”, and “Where does this path ultimately lead?”

Christ’s church (His bride) must never seek to become like the world. When the Bible speaks of “the world” it is referring to the lifestyles, priorities, attitudes and appetites that are characteristic of unsaved people, and uncharacteristic of God. The Bible has nothing positive to say about this world to which many churches and Christians are trying to appeal, appease and conform.

1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him….

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. (See also John 15:19; Galatians 6:14; Titus 2:12)

According to Rick Warren, the first step to starting a church is to survey the community to find out what people want in a church, then give it to them [The Purpose Driven Church, ch. 8]. It is insulting, however, for Christ’s bride to strive to become like and to be loved by the very world system that crucified Him. (James calls it “adultery”.) The core premise of the contemporary church and music movement is unBiblical because it promotes conformity of the church and Christians to the world rather than to the holy image of Christ.

The contemporary church movement is producing shallow, worldly Christians and churches. Bill Hybels, the father of the seeker sensitive movement, prominently confessed, “We made a mistake…. Our churches are a mile wide and an inch deep.” [2007 Leadership Summit, Willow Creek Community Church] If the movement’s own leaders do not like where their path has led, why should we travel it?

Attracting the lost to our church is not our Biblical purpose. The church is primarily for the building up of believers to go out into the world and reach lost people who are then brought in to be discipled and in turn sent out to win others. (Ephesians 4) Certainly there is no objection to inviting the unchurched, but we must not change the message or the music in order to be liked by lost people.

The kinds of music widely enjoyed by the world will not move our church (or children) toward godliness. Rick Warren wrote, “Once you have decided the style of music for your worship you have set the direction of your church in far more ways than you realize.” [The Purpose Driven Church, p. 280-281] This striking statement by the world’s foremost contemporary leader is absolutely true and should make us consider very carefully before changing our music. Do I want to direct our church toward the world, or away from it? According to Warren, the style of music we choose helps set the course. Romans 12:2 commands, “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Much of the world’s modern music is a counterfeit of the beautiful music God created and cannot be used to worship and honor Him (i.e. “Christian rock”). “Our music cannot be like the music of the world, because our God is not like their gods. Most of the world’s music reflects the world’s ways, the world’s standards, the world’s attitudes, the world’s gods…. The popular music of the Western world is the music of seduction and suggestiveness, a musical counterpart of the immoral, lustful society that produces, sings, and enjoys it.” [- J. MacArthur, Commentary on Ephesians; For more on Biblical music and worship, request our sermon CD dated September 25 AM, 2011]

We must not dilute our message, ignore Bible principles, employ worship music that is dissonant, harsh, sensual and suggestive, or seek to make the church appealing to the appetites of ungodly people, even to reach them. The true gospel will never be attractive to the unsaved in general, nor will it ever make them feel comfortable. Paul declared, “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness….” (1 Corinthians 1:18)

by Paul Alexander

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Music: What does God think


Music: What does God think

The charismatic infection of a Baptist church rarely occurs as a frontal assault. Usually charismatics are able to infiltrate a church one by one, and often hide their true beliefs, or at least some of them, until they are established within the congregation.
Sometimes, charismatics, and their principles, are hidden within a “Trojan Horse.” One of the most effective charismatic Trojan Horses is that of Christian contemporary music.
We should pause here to say that we are not against all Christian contemporary music. The term “contemporary music” refers to any music that is being written today. Some Christian contemporary music is well-composed, with words that are doctrinally correct and that lift the soul to a better understanding of God and Scriptural principles. Such music is quite suitable for worship.
However, much of what is called Christian contemporary music, while being quite contemporary, is not quite Christian, either in music or words, or if Christian in words, so trite as to be both useless in promoting Christian principles and annoying to the ear accustomed to good music. Much of Christian contemporary music is not suitable for worship in a Baptist church that honors the Lord and desires to do His will.
The problem many Baptist churches face is that some members, who either have no understanding of the place of music in our church services or who are simply carnal, want the wrong kind of contemporary music to be used in the church services. The music they favor lends itself to doctrinal laxness, an ecumenical spirit, and opens the door for charismatics, who thrive in such an atmosphere. Too many Baptists pastors, having little or no background in music, do not appreciate the dangers of the wrong kind of music in the church services.

While the author is primarily a theologian, he also has more training in music than the average pastor. In fact, for the first three years of his college experience he majored in music, currently plays four instruments, and has been involved in both symphony orchestras and bands. Further, he was music director of two churches of good size, so he feels qualified to write briefly on this subject.

The Definition and Composition of Music

The best definition this author has ever seen of music is this: Music is the tonal expression of emotion.
Through music, we express our many moods and feelings. Music can therefore be used to inspire patriotism, express love of God, build loyalty to the church, and express the true love between a man and a woman. It can also be used to inspire rebellion in youth, instill a desire for illicit drugs, incite to sexual promiscuity, and entice to a favorable view of false religions.
What a piece of music accomplishes depends on its composition. The composition of a piece of music shows the intent of the composer, for the elements of the composition are all designed to produce an emotional response in the listener. The elements of music composition are:
1. Melody – the personality of the piece by which it is identified.
2. Harmony – that which provides artistic interest by supporting the melody.
3. Rhythm – a servant to both melody and harmony, it enables the music to flow smoothly from one measure to another, and gives pulse to the music. Good rhythm is largely unnoticed and essentially regular.
4. Dynamics – the loudness and softness of the piece.
5. Resolution – this gives a sense of finality to the phrases and to the piece as a whole.
Some may ask, “What forms of music are legitimate forms of music?” We would have to answer: All forms, for all forms of music express emotion through the elements of their composition. Therefore, there is no form of music that is not legitimate music.
This does not mean, however, that all music is suitable for either Christian worship or even Christian consumption, for there is some music has a purpose that is contrary to Biblical truth.
“Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up.” – Daniel 3:4-5. Here we have music whose expressed purpose was to promote idolatry.
Take note of this: There is no such thing as “neutral” music. Music can express love, loyalty, compassion, mercy, faith, adoration, anger, jealousy, malice, lust, hatred, carelessness, and any other of the full range of human emotions. Further, music can be used to manipulate the emotions and express morality, or the lack thereof.
Let us spend a moment on what we said above about music being able to manipulate the emotions. Some people say, “Music doesn’t affect me.” However, such people are only self-deceived. Ever notice how that in finer restaurants the music is soft, slow, and relaxing? Such restaurants try to promote the relaxed enjoyment of the meal. On the other hand, in fast food restaurants the music is usually loud, fast, and jumpy. The whole idea of the music in those restaurants is for you to “gobble and go.” The Nazi soldiers of World War II Germany were single-minded in the dedication to their nation and formidable on the battlefield. Why was this? If you ever listened to a German march you would know.

Music in the Bible

In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to worship Him with both vocal and instrumental music, “Sing praises to the LORD.” – Psalm 9:11. “Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.”- Psalm 33:2.
In the New Testament, the churches were instructed to use music as part of their teaching ministry. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”- Colossians 3:16.
The God who instructed us to use music in our churches also told us what kind of music is suitable. Both in the passage above and in Ephesians we have three types of music that are approved of God. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”- Ephesians 5:19. Let us examine briefly the types of music God approves:
1. Psalms – these are Scriptures set to music. An example of this is the song, “Seek Ye First,” which is in the hymnal In Spirit and In Truth, published by the American Baptist Association:
Seek ye first the kingdom of God,
And His righteousness,
And all these things shall be added unto you!
Alleluia, alleluia!
2. Hymns – these are songs of praise and adoration. Songs like, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “The Spacious Firmament,” “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” and “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.” By the way, hymns are excellent vehicles for teaching doctrine, especially those in the above-mentioned hymnal, and children who are raised on them love to sing them when they are teenagers.
3. Spiritual Songs – these are gospel songs and songs of testimony and exhortation. “There is Power in the Blood,” “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place,” “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart,” and “Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus,” are examples of spiritual songs.

Forms of Music Not Suitable for Worship

Any of the forms of rock music are not suitable for worship in the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ. We say they are not suitable because of origin, composition, and effect on the listener.
Rock music has its origin in African tribal music designed to promote fertility rites and idol worship. When brought to America, it was mingled with jazz, blues, and swing music to produce what we now have as modern rock music. With such evil influences and evil associations, you would think that no Christian would want anything to do with it. Still, there are many who see nothing wrong with using rock music in church, especially to attract young people. What they don’t realize is that they are using the same music form that Satan uses to promote pre-marital sex, rebellion, and drug use among teens and pre-teens. And let us say something about using worldly music to attract young people to our churches. This author is old enough to remember when hippies were in style, and when their counter-culture was somewhat popular. Some Baptist churches, in order to reach the young people of their day, resorted to aping the hippie movement. It was thought that if we approached hippies using their language (“God can take care of your hang-ups”), music, and fashions, that we could reach them with the gospel and make good Baptist young people out of them. Christian coffee houses became numerous, and some churches even substituted “right on” for “amen” in their services. However, the results were, sadly, not what many wanted. Instead of winning the hippies to Christ, the hippies won many of the Baptist young people over to their philosophies and lifestyle. And why not? They were already half-way to the counter culture in their own churches. Have we learned anything from that experience of 40 years ago?
The composition of rock music is easy to spot. Rock music consists of a driving beat with the accent on the upbeat (backbeat) wedded with repetitive chord patterns in the harmony.
Remember that, earlier in this chapter, we said that the beat or rhythm is largely unnoticed in good music. Not so with rock music. The beat is upfront and in your face. It is designed to get people up and dancing, to move faster, drive faster, and eat faster. It produces a hyped-up, aggressive feeling in the listener. Good music has its accent on the downbeat. By accenting the upbeat, or backbeat, the effects of the driving beat are enhanced. Add to that the repetitive chord patterns, and you have a form of music that is both hypnotic and that jangles the nervous system. Rock music produces sensual feelings and an attitude of rebellion against authority.
When rock music is wedded to Christian words, the music contradicts the message. Having said that, much of the contemporary Christian rock music contains words that are contrary to sound doctrine and promote a self-centered, experience-oriented view. Because of its origin, composition, and effect, rock music is not suitable for Christian worship.
You will find that people who are regular listeners of contemporary Christian rock music are shallow in doctrine, rebellious to church authority, and interdenominational in view. These are not things we want to encourage in our churches. Yet these are exactly the characteristics of most charismatics. Contemporary Christian rock music prepares Baptist people to accept a charismatic mind-set, and sets the stage for charismatic infiltration into our churches.
Other forms of music that are not suitable for worship include jazz, blues, and swing, all of which promote a sensual mood. In our churches we want music that appeals, not to man’s base nature, but to the new nature that Christ provides.

Forms of Music Suitable for Worship

For the spiritual health of our churches we must have the following:
1. Music that is well-written, using all of its elements to create a suitable frame for the worship og God.
2. Music that matches, and bears out the mood of words that are theologically sound and spiritually uplifting.
3. Music that enhances the preaching ministry. Church music that does not prepare the people for the preaching of the Word of God is a waste of time. Music that prepares people for the ministry of the Word is most profitable, [NOTE: Too often I have heard this from Baptists: “The music service was so powerful, that we just kept on with the music and didn’t even get to the preaching.” What a tragedy! The Bible does not say “So then faith cometh by music,” but, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17. I would have a hard time believing that the Holy Ghost, who was the active agent in the inspiration of the Word of God, would lead us to leave off its preaching. God’s pastors need to strongly stand against anything that would downgrade the importance of the preaching of the Bible to God’s people and to those who are lost.]
Forms of music that accomplish the three items above are suitable for worship. Such music will promote doctrinal fidelity and spirituality in our churches.

The above: “The Trojan Horse at the door of your Baptist Church,” is chapter V of the book: “Wildfire, Tongues, Healings and the Charismatic Movement,” written by David E. Gonnella, (Pensacola: West Florida Baptist Institute Press, 2009).

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179 — June 27 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Living Sacrifices for God’s Honor

 

Roger Holland had come from the affluent family of Sir Robert Holland, and in the first year of the reign of Bloody Mary, Roger married Elizabeth, a Christian maid of Master Kempton to which Roger was an apprentice. Apparently, Roger Holland became a member of the Hill Cliffe Baptist Church about this time. “Two of the signatories to the letter of 1654 from Hill Cliffe are of the same name, Holland. This points to, at any rate, a probability of his having been a Hill Cliffe Baptist, perhaps minister there.”

 

On one occasion as forty people gathered for a service of prayer and the expounding of the Word, twenty-seven of them were carried before Sir Roger Cholmly. Some of the women made their escape, twenty-two were committed to Newgate, who continued in prison seven weeks. Previous to their examination, they were informed by the keeper, Alexander, that nothing more was requisite to procure their discharge, than to hear Mass. Easy as this condition may seem, these martyrs valued their purity of conscience more than loss of life or property; hence, thirteen were burnt, seven at Smithfield, and six at Brentford; two died in prison, and the other seven were providentially preserved…They were sent to Newgate, June 16, 1558, and were executed on the twenty-seventh.

 

As was so often the case, Roger Holland’s death at Smithfield instead of destroying the faith of the Baptists only made it stronger. His relatives and friends were afterward more determined than ever to uphold the principles for which he died! May we with these heroes of the faith and with the hymn writer state and mean, “Thou (my Lord) art more than life to me,” for then our lives shall be in a true sense “living sacrifices” for God’s honor.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.

 

 

 

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Glorify [God]


 

kāḇēḏ

 

In light of the wonder and weight of God’s names and titles, we are challenged to truly glorify Him and honor His names. David prayed in Psa_86:12, “I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.” Glorify is kāḇēḏ (H3513), which is also translated “honour” (e.g., Pro_3:9; Pro_4:8) and “heavy,” speaking of His judgment (e.g., Isa_30:27).

 

It is that last translation, in fact, that makes this word interesting. This verb literally means “to be heavy or weighty.” We have all heard the expression that someone’s opinion “carries a lot of weight,” indicating that the person is important or influential. Similarly, when we refer to someone as a “heavyweight,” we mean that they possess power, prominence, or stature. God, therefore, is “heavy,” that is, powerful, and is worthy of honor, glory, respect, and obedience. How, then, can we glorify and honor God?

 

First, by never taking His name in vain (Exo_20:7; Lev_19:12; Deu_5:11). So common is the expression, “Oh, my God!” in our day that we have lost sight of how truly blasphemous it is, and I have heard even many Christians using it. Any such flippant, frivolous, or false statements do not honor God’s holy name. Our speech is to be “seasoned with salt” (Col_4:6), which among other things means “wholesome and palatable.”

 

Second, we honor God by praising His name. Psa_50:23 declares, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me.” By recalling and speaking God’s names and attributes, we praise and honor Him. We can thank and praise Him for His sovereignty, providence, holiness, justice, mercy, grace, and so much more. I pray we will address Him using His various names to bring Him further glory.

 

Third, we honor God by living up to His name. To be a “Christian” (Christianos, G5546, “of the party of Christ”) means we bear His name and must live up to it and never do anything to dishonor it. All God’s names, therefore, come into view through Christ, and we are to live up to each as we reflect the Son’s character (cf. Gal_5:22-23).

 

Scriptures for Study: Read the verses mentioned in today’s study and meditate on how you can better honor and glorify God.

 

 

 

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Render to All Their Dues


Render to All Their Dues

Romans 13:1-7

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour,” Romans 13:7.

  

What would happen if I decided one day that I would stop paying my house payment, car payment or income taxes? Is that really a viable option for a responsible citizen, much less a Christian? Aside from the immediate consequences like losing my home, my car, paying fines or even imprisonment, there would be long-term consequences as well. There would not be a bank that would take a risk in giving me a loan and my credit scores would plummet. Why? Because when I default in paying what I owe, it says something about my character.

God reminded Christians to pay what they owed, whether it was taxes or revenue, honor or respect, because when we follow through on our commitments and obligations, it says much about our character. Our character speaks to the world about the character of the God we worship and serve. How can we expect our friends and neighbors to believe us when we tell them about the life-changing gospel of Christ if our own lives are not changed for the better, or if they cannot trust us to fulfill our obligations? Christians are obliged to be law-abiding citizens and represent God well. Our only purpose on this earth is to communicate the good news that Jesus paid a debt He did not owe so that we could be forgiven a debt we could not pay.

JUST A THOUGHT

Will you fulfill your obligations for God’s glory today?

Mark Clements

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263 – Sept. 20 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

A courage that honored God

 

1944 – According to Winston Churchill, was the day that the Nijmegen Bridge  over the Waal-Rhine River in Holland, the longest bridge in Europe, fell into American hands in World War II.  Baptist Chaplain Captain Delbert Kuehl tells of the heroism of Henry, a nineteen year old Baptist paratrooper. Because of his Christian witness Henry had been given the nickname of “chaplain” of “H” company, and some less honorable names as well. The Germans were caught by surprise, but as the Americans reached the water, they opened fire. Many of our soldiers were hit by machine gun and mortar fire including Henry. However Henry, ignoring his wounds ministered to the fallen soldiers. Chaplain Kuehl insisted on Henry leaving in one of the boats which he did but then the Chaplain was surprised to see him back again, head bandaged, to assist others to get across even in the midst of heavy fire. He helped load one more man into the boat, and then collapsed, being weakened by loss of blood. At that time Henry, who was semi-conscious, was loaded into the boat and taken back to the friendly side of the river. Chaplain Kuehl said, “I shall never forget the courage of this young Christian Paratrooper—a courage that caused every fighting man to marvel and a courage that honored God.” [Winston S. Churchill, Triumph and Tragedy (Cambridge: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1953), p 198. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 515-17]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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199 – July, 18 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

The importance of a godly wife

 

Only eternity can reward the wives of the great preachers of the past such as the godly wife of Benjamin Keach, who at 28 years of age, was called to pastor the Baptist church at Horsleydown London in 1668. This holy lady, who had borne him five children in ten years, died in 1670, and Keach wrote a poem in her memory entitled “A Pillar Set Up.” In this poem he gave her a very great and noble character, commending her for her zeal for the truth, sincerity in religion, uncommon love to the saints, and her content in whatsoever condition of life God was pleased to bring her to. He particularly observes, how great an help, and comfort, she was to him in his suffering for the cause of Christ, visiting, and taking all possible care of him while in prison, instead of tempting him to use any means for delivery out of his troubles, encouraging him to go on, and counting it an honor done them both, in that they were called to suffer for the sake of Christ. He also said that some acknowledged that, that their conversion to God was thro’ the conversation they had with her.” Two years after her death, he married a widow of extraordinary piety with whom he lived thirty-two years. Susanna Partridge bore him five daughters, the youngest of whom married Thomas Crosby, a renowned Baptist historian. After the death of Keach, she lived with her daughter and son-in-law, and Crosby wrote of her, “She lived with me…the last twenty years of her life. I must say, that she walked before God in truth, and with a perfect heart, and did that which was good in His sight. She lived in peace, without spot and blameless.” Many godly wives saw their husbands pilloried, imprisoned, and treated roughly, and the encouragement of these women provided the strength that kept them strong.  Keach died July 18, 1704.  Joseph Stennett preached from, “I know whom I have believed.

 

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 294-95.

 

 

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