“I think it’s very important for us to be slow with the trigger. Very important for us to be slow to speak; quick to hear. And you know, If somebody’s got a heart against God, let God deal with that person. Let God deal with that. Our role, our job description does not include judging people who we feel are guilty. That is not our place to do that. God is the avenger of all such; God is the one who will sort it all out in the end. What He wants you to do is obey His Word. And when you make mistakes we can come back to God and ask Him for His mercy and say, ‘Lord forgive me for what I’ve done wrong, forgive me for what I’ve done in error. Lord forgive me for what I’ve done here. That’s not my heart. My heart is to get over this. My heart is to be an over-comer.” – my pastor
Trust And Obey
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
“I heard that the lead singer’s dad was a missionary….”
“I think the bass player has “Jesus” tattooed in Hebrew on his side.“
“I’m pretty sure they were a worship band for a church somewhere in Tennessee. Or maybe it was California?”
“Yeah, man. I’m positive. The band is Christian…. “
“Oh really,” you respond. Sitting a little taller in your coffee shop chair, excitedly playing with the idea along with the rims of your thick black-rimmed glasses. “This it it,” you think to yourself, we’ve got someone on the inside, someone successful, someone who can prove that someone can be Christian and talented.
The idea produces more goose bumps than the night you sang “Amazing Grace” holding hands around the campfire.
So you order some songs on iTunes and start listening. I mean really listening. For the Spirit-infused lyrics. For the biblical illusions. The love-songs-that-are-really-about-Jesus that you somehow missed before.
Oh yes, you hear it now. They’re not just talented. They’re anointed.
It’s high school all over again, and the cool senior with the tattoos just walked into Wednesday morning prayer. We Christians have finally made it.
Notable Secular-Christian, Christian Musicians.
Jon Acuff already wrote about arguing about the faith of U2, but the list of Secular-Christian, Christian musicians is longer than the Levitical laws. Such reputable artists include Collective Soul, OneRepublic, Justin Bieber, Jessica Simpson, Regina Spektor, The Fray, Miley Cyrus, Jewel – the list holds no prejudice to genre or style. If Google says they’re Christian, then it must be so.
Creed was driving the train for years with star-struck Christians climbing aboard — Five Iron Frenzy t-shirts quickly being replaced by Scott Stapp looking pensively towards the sky with arms wide open.
Mumford and Sons was the main addition to the list from 2011. Songs like “Awake My Soul” and “Sigh No More” leading countless people to the Lord, of this we are sure. Sure “Little Lion Man” and its chorus of F-bombs confused the equation a bit. But those F-bombs were nothing more than explosions of authentic-emotional-truth. Nothing more. And when in doubt, we’ll just turn that song down in the office. Problem solved.
But why? Why is it so tempting for us to throw the Christian label on musicians who have purposely tried to avoid it?
Three Reasons We Quickly Claim Secular Musicians as One of Us
1. Evangelism Made Easy
No longer do we have to coax friends to church or a Christian music festival to be touched by the spirit. No, now we can just slip on that Regina Spektor CD, sit back, and watch the conversion-magic happen.
“Do you hear it?”
“Oh, you’ll know.”
“Just keep listening…”
2. Guilt-Free Music
The days of giving away all our “secular” CDs after coming back convicted from camp are over. Now we can listen to our favorites, as they are merely undercover agents for the Lord. Buying a CD is like giving money to the ministry smuggling Bibles into a communist country. We can support their secret mission with every $9.95.
3. Cool Christianity
All the angry bearded men with megaphones and signs about hell. All the do’s and don’ts, lest you be judged. All the “Christian” music. All the strikes against us can be demolished with just one Mumford and Sons chorus at the proper volume.
It’s the best of both worlds: Good music and great God. The only thing that can throw a monkeywrench into the whole thing is when one of the bands we’ve claimed makes a point of saying, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. We are not Christian.” They go beyond the traditional faith disclaimer of “We’re not a Christian band. We’re a band of Christians” and actually say, “We are decidedly not down with the king.” At that point, well, we’ll take our albums and go home.
Content that we still haven’t found what we’re looking for.
This video illustrates some very important points about worship, and what we perceive worship to be. Someone could close their eyes, half-heartedly listen to the words and “feel” the “spirit”..
We must be very careful that our worship is not just some kind of feel-good manifestation of the flesh or even our human spirit, but rather our whole being yielded to Christ for His Glory.
Sometimes when we worship, we don’t really mean it. What would it look like if we were to sing what we really meant? This was an illustration from a sermon about worship at First Orlando Worship, and it struck a chord.
GOD WANTS TO BE EDIFIED HIMSELF. AND WE’RE TO NOT SEEK SELF-EDIFICATION, BUT TO EDIFY GOD WITH ALL WE DO. SO IF YOU SEE A PERSON WITH A GREAT GIFT, TRYING TO DO SOMETHING TO GLORIFY THEMSELVES, YOUR OWN DISCERNMENT OF THE SPIRIT TELLS YOU THAT’S WRONG. ~ WILLIAM BRANHAM
“Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God. It is the quickening of the conscience by his holiness; the nourishment of mind with his truth; the purifying of imagination by his beauty; the opening of the heart to his love; the surrender of will to his purpose—all this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable.” – William Temple
“Let me go into a person’s house, and let me see what kind of music they listen to; let me see what kind of books they read and what kind of songs they sing and what kind of pictures they have in their house. I can just about tell you what the nature of that person is.” 59
We live in a vibrating universe. Each individual voice and instrument produces tones, which vibrate at an established frequency. As these frequencies reach our ears, they cause our eardrums to vibrate in the same pattern as the source of the sound, thus allowing us to identify it.
This acoustical principle is referred to as sympathetic vibration – the ability of one body to cause another body to vibrate in sympathy with it.60 We can apply the principle of sympathetic vibration to our musical natures as well. In order for music to ‘speak’ to us, it must respond sympathetically to something that is within our being. It must vibrate to the same frequency as our emotions. In other words, a person responds to the music to which he is attuned, and conversely, the kind of music he produces reveals what he is.
So, let’s get personal. What does your music say about you? Does the water around you feel a little warmer now than it did at the beginning of this article? If so, then maybe it’s time for you to change your tune.
Did you know that the Bible makes more references to a ‘new song’ than it does to a ‘new man,’ ‘new heavens,’ ‘new earth,’ or ‘new creature?’61 And that means new in kind, not just in sequence. A new song can only be sung by those who have been redeemed through the Blood of Jesus Christ.
In the past, the Devil may have tried to trick you into believing that music is neither moral nor immoral. He may even have misled you into thinking that the Message of Christ can be preached effectively through rock music. Don’t yield to Satan’s deceptions any longer. May your testimony be like that of the Psalmist David:
“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God; many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.”
Taken from the magazine ONLY BELIEVE (no longer in publication). The regression of music amongst our churches is a cancer which, if not properly dealt with, will suck the true Life out of The Church. This downward spiral is caused by a lack of discernment and a general lowering of standards by a generation wanting something new and different rather than stand fast, and hold to what is tried and true, proven, and right. Many have failed to heed the warning expressed in this article. Innumerable groups, bands, and various musical artists spawned forth since Brother and Sister Smith published this article in December 1991, [Vol. 4, No 3]. No doubt the Christian artists she named [here] gave birth to groups like: MercyMe, Kutless, NewSong, Sidewalk prophets , The David Crowder band, Casting Crowns, Jeremy Camp, and Third Day to name only a few. If Brother Branham called people like Pat Boone, modern day Judases, obviously these are too. What kind of person feeds off these groups, and promotes their demonic inspired lyrics and music within our churches? I pray this article will help someone. – [DM – discerningMusic]
“A human has to worship. You have to worship something. It’s just in you to worship.” 6
The Bible tells us that the Lord finds pleasure in the praises of His people. There are over 500 specific references in the Bible to music and musical instruments7 – evidence that this is not a subject that God treats lightly. As a matter of fact, the lengthiest book in the Bible is a song book, and it is here that God demonstrates His concern for the kind of music that His children enjoy and perform by providing this example for us to follow: The Book of Psalms.
The collection of 150 poems that make up the Book of Psalms mirrors the ideals of religious piety and communion with God. They were written by David, Moses (Psalm 90), Solomon,Asaph (David’s choir leader), the sons of Korah (a family of official musicians), and others, for the express purpose of being set to music for worship. They even include musical notations to indicate when key changes are to be made. For example, the instruction selah, meaning “to modulate to the next key,” appears 71 times in the Book of Psalms and is not normally articulated when Scripture is being read aloud.
From the Hebrew language, Psalms translates as “Book of Praise.” This was the prayer book that our Lord Jesus used in the synagogue service, and it was His hymn book at the Temple festival. He used it in His teaching, met temptation with it, sang the Hallel (Psalms 115-118) from it after the Last Supper, quoted from it as He hung on the cross, and died with it on His lips.8 The Book of Psalms remains the national hymn book of Israel today.
Far from advocating a single style, Psalms range from the classical presentations, written for the temple musicians, to the simple but expressive ballads, which David composed while tending his sheep. In the Book of Psalms you will find rally songs, marching songs, victory songs, and teaching songs; there are songs of repentance, lamentation, petition, praise, renewal, and thanksgiving; there are songs for saints and songs for sinners.
The Book of Psalms has been called the door into the temple of praise and prayer, and in all ages and in more than a thousand languages, the church has found through the Psalter a means of access to God.
The Bible also shows us that man has long been aware of the effect of music upon our daily existence and its power to influence people both physically and emotionally.
In I Samuel 16:14-23, Scriptures relate an example of how a man was made well – body, soul, and spirit – through the music of a young shepherd boy.
“And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed[physical], and was well[mental], and the evil spirit departed from him[spiritual].”
In II Kings 3:15 we learn that the prophet Elisha once used music to create an atmosphere so that he could “inquire of the Lord” for the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom.
“But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him.”
As the tribes of Israel were set to war against their enemies, II Chronicles 20:21-22tells us that they put a choir and musical instruments in front of the army.
“…he[Jehoshaphat] appointed singers unto the Lord, that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.
And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.”
In the New Testament Book of Acts, chapter 16, we find the account of two early Christian leaders, Paul and Silas, who were cast into prison for preaching the Gospel. They used the opportunity to minister, through song, and glorify God.
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed,and sang praises unto God: the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. ”
Now, let’s review what we have just learned from these Biblical passages:
In both the Old and the New Testament, music was vital to the life of the believer, both as an expression of joy and as an act of obedience unto God;
God has given us instruction (by way of examples) as to the kinds of music that He wants His people to have;
Far from being merely a neutral recreation, music has the power to influence us mentally, physically, and spiritually;
There are certain types of music which can make demons feel very uncomfortable; and
Music can create an atmosphere wherein God can work miracles.
Taken from the magazine ONLY BELIEVE (no longer in publication).The regression of music amongst our churches is a cancer which, if not properly dealt with, will suck the true Life out of The Church. This downward spiral is caused by a lack of discernment and a general lowering of standards by a generation wanting something new and different rather than stand fast, and hold to what is tried and true, proven, and right. Many have failed to heed the warning expressed in this article. Innumerable groups, bands, and various musical artists spawned forth since Brother and Sister Smith published this article in December 1991, [Vol. 4, No 3]. No doubt the Christian artists she names here gave birth to groups like: MercyMe,Kutless, NewSong, Sidewalk prophets , The David Crowder band,Casting Crowns, Jeremy Camp, and Third Day to name a few. If Brother Branham called people like Pat Boone, modern day Judases, obviously these are too. What kind of person feeds off these groups, and promotes their demonic inspired lyrics and music within our churches? I pray this article will help someone. (the pictures are mine) – [DM- Editor discerningMusic]
My friends over at Not For Itching Ears have some very interesting posts and discussions about worship in the church today. Below is an excerpt from one recent article. I am curious to know your thoughts about the linked song. It speaks in its simplicity. We could take example from it! – DM
We have noticed a disturbing trend in the corporate worship songs of the church. Perhaps you have too? It seems that we sing very little about the main point of Christianity. This is largely because the church wants to be more “sensitive” to those who are not Christians. With the best research in hand, we are told that non-Christians don’t really want to hear about sin and guilt and being accountable to a holy God. They also don’t want to hear about a Savior dying on a bloody cross for their sins. To reach them, we are confidently told, we must eliminate these topics from our sermons and our songs. Sadly, much of the Evangelical church has mistakenly signed on to this approach.
We could not disagree more strongly! The message of a crucified and risen Savior and the reconciliation that this can bring is the only message the church has! It is the one and only message the church has been entrusted with and that the lost so desperately needs to hear.
As one who has been responsible for leading corporate singing for years, I can attest to how frustrating it has become to find songs that are worth singing! There are many out there, but it takes time to find them. Today, we are starting a new feature at Not For Itching Ears. Each week, we will post one worthy (at least in our opinion) worship song for you to listen to. We will post the lyrics as well as the Mp3 along with a chord chart when possible.
We will start off with a song I discovered a few years ago. It is called “The Gospel Song”, written by Drew Jones and Bob Kauflin of Sovereign Grace Ministries. It is one of the simplest, most concise wording of the gospel in song form that I know of. Let us know if you like it by taking the poll or leaving a comment.
The Gospel Song
Holy God, in love became Perfect man to bear my blame On the cross He took my sin By His death I live again
DiscerningMusic is linking this article as food for thought. The direction of the church today is one reason music and more importantly true worship has degraded to such a sad state. While the author of this article might not be in total agreement or have revelation of the truth of the message of the hour, he nevertheless makes some thought-provoking points. It is time for Christians to Mature in the Presence of the Son.
No longer is the world ashamed of, or threatened by, the church. We have adopted their ways as superior to our own. We entertain like them, teach like them, party like them, celebrate like them, gyrate like them, dress like them, sing like them. We even use their shows and books to, supposedly, teach “deep, life-changing spiritual truths” (as opposed to the “Truth that sets you free”). This is not the true church of Christ. What often passes as the church in contemporary society is the devil himself in disguise: an angel of light offering us a better way, a new enlightened way, a way leading us straight into the jaws of hell itself.
As Martin Luther brought about a reformation that has resonated through the centuries, when he, sickened by what he saw in the church of his day, took a stand for Truth, so we, too, must take a stand for Truth in our day. We are out of options. God’s church will prevail. Christ promised that the gates of hell themselves will not be able to stop it. It isn’t God’s true church that lies in such a low-estate; however, His people are, at times, mixed into it. We must seek them out and bring them out. We must go into the “churches” and teach the Truth of God’s Word.
God’s people must once again boldly take a stand for the Truth of His Word. As in Luther’s day, armed with fervent, effective prayer, guided by the Father, fueled by love for the One Who died for us, and directed by the Holy Spirit of God, God’s people must go forth towards a new Reformation that guides His people back to Him. Christ’s Truth and His church will prevail and we, by the grace of God, can have a part in it.
I heard them other day
on the radio, singing,
"When the Saint's Go Marching In," in ragtime,
"When I See the Blood," in boogie woogie.
What a disgrace!
Do you think a holy God can listen to that and be just,
and not judge it?
~ William Branham
- THE.HANDWRITING.ON.THE.WALL_ JEFF.IN SUNDAY_ 58-0309M