Thought for the day-Believing What God has Said-Part 1
There is a difference between interpreting
figurative language used in the Bible in a figurative manner and refusing to
believe a direct statement given in the Bible in order to support a person’s
philosophy of a Theistic evolution.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Believing What God Has Said-Part 1
Genesis 1:11& 13 state, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the evening and the morning were the third day. The first chapter of the Book of Beginnings gives us a clear record of all the growing things created on the third day of creation. On the next day God created the sun and the moon so that his creation would have the lights to sustain photosynthesis which is essential to sustenance and growth of all the plant life He had created the day before.
Those who believe that each day was at least a thousand or perhaps a million years apart have a hard time explaining scientifically how all those plants lived at least a thousand years without light. I guess they have faith that God suspended his laws of nature so that all those green things could exist until a thousand years or a million years had passed.
Christian musicians often get sucked into this non-literal view of an inaccurate Genesis record which leaves them ripe for all kinds of exotic hypotheses about a theistic evolution. When one considers something in the Bible to be non-literal then he or she needs to have a concrete reason why it is non-literal.
Why should we care? One of the reasons we should care is that if one starts to consider, without concrete logical reasoning, that the Bible record does not mean what it says—then there is no stopping place in such faulty reasoning. We should remember that the Word clearly asserts that the evening and the morning consisted of one day. Those who purport that a day is as a thousand years with the Lord are forgetting that we have no reason to assert that when the Word states” the evening and the morning were the third day” that it is in any way referring to a thousand years. We will continue this discussion tomorrow
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Prayer for the Day
Heavenly Father, I approach Your throne today through our mediator Jesus Christ who is my Savior, Sanctifier, and elder brother. Thank you for giving Your Son to suffer and die on a cruel cross to pay the price for my awful sins. Thank You Jesus for declaring my name in the midst of the congregation and for musicing with me to my heavenly Father. I love You Lord and wish to serve you throughout this life and eternal life to come. These things I am praying in The name of the Father. Amen.
Song for the Day “I’ll Tell the World that I’m A Christian” by B.C. Fox
Thought for the Day
My two older brothers David Wolf and Nathan Wolf were always willing to defend me when I needed help. I think Jesus is like my two older brothers in that He is always willing to help me.
"I Will Declare Your Name”
Hebrews 2:12 states, “I will declare your name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” The Scripture in Paul’s letter to the Hebrews is a bit difficult to understand. Clarke, Whedon, and Barnes say that this direct quote of Psalm 22:22 is messianic and therefore referring to Christ in the Hebrew letter. If this is correct exegesis then Christ is not ashamed to call us brethren. With this exegesis in mind we can deduce that Christ is approving and participating in singing Gods praises in public worship. No wonder that the child of God claims Jesus as our elder brother. What an encouragement it is to the Christian musician to realize that Jesus, who sits at the right hand of the Father, owns us as His children and is not ashamed to call us “brethren”.
Next is the statement that in the midst of the church (ekklesia 1577) Jesus will sing God’s praises. I must admit that again this statement is very difficult to interpret. Either Christ is saying that he will sing the father’s praises or our praises. I choose to believe he is referring to praising the Father. If this is so, then Christ meets with us on Sunday morning and sings God’s praises in the midst of the ekklesia i.e. the congregation of saints.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Sacred and Profane Sounds—part 6
Although the topic of identifying the real audience of a Christian musician’s musicing is too large a discussion for these blog posts, let me say briefly that God is the ultimate audience and object of musical worship that is truly Christian. Ephesians 5:19 gives a very accurate explanation of who hears, who worships and who is worshiped. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” There is no doubt about it; both God and people hear our musicing. However, the music making of a Christian is “to the Lord”. The fact that some Christian musicians believe that musicing which is really Christian is ultimately directed to God in no way makes them un-sensitive, un-caring, inwardly focused, bigoted musician who is not in touch with reality, is not evangelistic in focus, and therefore does not care about the congregation who attends the worship service (i.e. is not seeker sensitive).
We recently viewed the results of some church surveys of what was called “inward reaching churches”. Supposedly, those who are inwardly reaching are those who have members who are divisive about “music preferences”. These church members who had these “music preferences” also presumably were not interested in evangelism. It was not conservative musicians who were against evangelistic services that utilized evangelistic preaching and the utilization of gospel songs and choruses. It was the more progressive churchmen who lobbied against evangelistic services, revivals, and evangelistic campaigns. This same mindset developed the faulty notions that hymns, gospel hymns, gospel songs and gospel choruses were outdated and representative of Christian beliefs and notions that were outdated and therefore of little or no use to the twenty-first century church.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Sacred and Profane Sounds—part 5
Jonathan Friedman believes that “…wile musical function seems as diverse as humanity itself, the major functions of music are essentially identical across the globe.” He went on to say that music’s perceived religious benefits were much the same in that setting [in biblical life] as they are today.” Music in Biblical Life, p. 19. If his assessment is correct, and I believe that it is, there is much justification for studying music in the Bible in the light of current Christian perspective. There can be little doubt that the Levite musicians who were I charge of all musicing in the ancient Jewish Temple as well as having the responsibility for the musical training did so in light of the understanding that music could either be sacred or profane (see: Psalm 89:15, 1 Chronicles 25:7, Amos 8:3, Amos 5:23, Isaiah 14:11 etc.)
Current liberal Christian thought in the twenty-first century purports that any Christian musician who is prescriptive in his or her approach to sacred music is an inward reaching caring musician. Conservative Christian musicians, for the most part, believe very strongly that there is truth in the belief that when it comes to religious musicing there is definitely music that is “sacred’ and “profane”. There is no reason to believe that merely because a Christian musician is careful in the process of prescribing which forms of music are appropriate to utilize in musicing unto a high and Holy God is bigoted or non-caring about the congregation who will hear and perform worship music.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Thought for the Day
When one reads after a liberal churchman, the impression is given that it is only out of touch conservative musicians who start or get involved in worship wars. Conservatives did not initiate worship wars but rather it was liberal church musicians who demanded that drastic changes be made in public worship.
Sacred and Profane Sounds—part 4
Conservative Christian musicians and music philosophers are being shamed into playing dead to music style, form, and meaning. They are being accused of being divisive, inward reaching, self-serving bigots who are not seeker sensitive. Those Christian musicians who display any degree of musical restraint or musical conservatism are pinpointed as ignorant and out of touch with reality. I am reminded of a passage of Scripture in1Peter 4:1-5, “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.”
Although these verses say nothing specifically about the battle for Christian music, the analogy can be justly made. Peter, whose writings were hovered over by the Holy Spirit, warns that if a Christian takes a stand for conscious sake he or she will suffer for taking that stand. So, it is of little wonder that Christian musicians who have a careful musical conscious are accused of being musical bigots. The fact that some Christian musicians have conservative views concerning sacred and profane music does not make them bigots or uncaring. They simply believe that when one sets a particular “music” in motion it will function in a predictable way.