Sunday, May 25, 2014

Examining Your "Christian" Music Style

The late Gordon Sears, who had an evangelistic music ministry for many years and ministered with Rudy Atwood, was saddened before his death by the dramatic change that was occurring in many fundamental Baptist churches. He warned: “When the standard of music is lowered, then the standard of dress is also lowered. When the standard of dress is lowered, then the standard of conduct is also lowered. When the standard of conduct is lowered, then the sense of value in God’s truth is lowered.”

Frank Garlock of Majesty Music warns, “If a church starts using CCM it will eventually lose all other standards” (Garlock, Bob Jones University Chapel, March 12, 2001).

The late fundamentalist leader Ernest Pickering gave a similar warning: “Perhaps nothing precipitates a slide toward New Evangelicalism more than the introduction of Contemporary Christian Music. This inevitably leads toward a gradual slide in other areas as well until the entire church is infiltrated by ideas and programs alien to the original position of the church.”

The pastors who follow the contemporary church growth principles claim that they are not changing doctrine, only style. That is simply not true. Many of the so-called “style” changes are doctrinal. To allow church members to dress immodestly like the world without any reproof or correction is a doctrinal issue. To borrow the music that the world uses for sexual pleasure and to incorporate that very music into the church program is a doctrinal issue. To claim that music is neutral is a doctrinal issue. To yoke ecumenically with charismatics and such is a doctrinal issue. To say that preaching should focus on the positive is a doctrinal issue. To take Matthew 7:1 and Romans 14:4 out of context to approve a non-judgmental, doctrinally non-controversial approach to the Christian ministry is a doctrinal issue. To use community surveys for planning church policy is a doctrinal issue. To adopt a New Evangelical philosophy is a doctrinal issue.

When a church changes its “style” in these areas, it is undergoing a radical doctrinal change; and continual boasting to the contrary is mere noise without meaning and only deceives the willfully blind.

- From Way of Life

All it takes is a little leaven to leaven the whole lump (1 Cor 5:6). When the holy is mixed with the unholy the holy is defiled and we do well to remember that God utterly hates mixture (Hag 2:12; Rom 12:2; James 4:4; 1 Jn 2:15).

“Never had the Church so much influence over the world as when she had nothing to do with the world!” ―L.E. Maxwell

“Any spirit that permits compromise with the world is a false spirit. Any religious movement that imitates the world in any of its manifestations is false to the cross of Christ and on the side of the devil.” ―A.W. Tozer

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” ―1 John 4:1

Questioning Music

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” ―1 Thessalonians 5:21

Does God accept all music as worship? Are all musical styles accepted by God? How are we to distinguish between true and false “Christian” music today? Is it really just a matter of preference?

In light of these questions and others I propose the following guidelines in order to correctly judge music. For those who assume the manner of worship means little, remember that Nadab and Abihu were consumed by God’s fire for offering unfit worship (Lev 10:1-2).

1) Is the music in question an attempt to appeal to the world and/or emulate the world in order to gain acceptance with the world (Rom 12:2)?
2) Does the music in question contain sound doctrine, promote true holiness, confront sin/error and declare a clear witness of Jesus Christ (Col 3:16)?
3) Concerning the lives of the musicians: are they men of integrity and sound witness? Are they under spiritual authority? Are they living in victory over sin (1 Thess 5:12)?
4) Does the music promote an attitude or cultivate any rebellion (1 Cor 15:33)?

If “yes” could be answered to question 1 or 4, it is not fit to be used. If “no” could be answered to 2 or 3, it is not fit to be used.

- From Open Air Holiness Ministries

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Remain Faithful - God Always Provides!

We have lived our lives the past 5 years with the Biblical principles of being good stewards of the money that God has given us.  We pay our tithes, give in offerings and live as a lender, not a borrower (also known as debt-free; Proverbs 22:7).  Medical bills seem to be something that you just can't escape these days but as most turn to the government to pay their bills, we felt like God wanted us to pay what we owed.  I'm not saying it is wrong to take Medicaid, but I am saying that unless you are disabled or truly unable to pay for your own medical care, you shouldn't take others' money to pay your bills.  I know there are many that do this and they buy iPhones, new cars every few years and new clothes every month - they are stealing from others so they can have money to pay for their greed.  That shouldn't be named even once among Christians right?

We had almost completely paid off our medical bills from my c-section, when my son's health and mine racked up $53,846 in medical bills the past 4 months.  Sure we had insurance but it seemed like hope was gone as the costs to us was going to be past $10K.  I called my pastor and asked him for advice and to pray.  The talk came up about the possibility of having to put these bills on a credit card that was interest-free for 15 months.  However, we don't want to touch credit cards ever again.  The insurance company said that no one pre-certified my hospital stay and that under the new laws, it meant that my hospital stay would not be covered.  We were going to be responsible for $30-$40K!  It seemed like a hopeless situation.........but then God moved!

I started speaking faith instead of doom and gloom.  I started claiming our blessing.  I told God that I didn't want to turn to a credit card because He owned it all and could help us.  Things started working out.  Payment plans became available.  And the biggest one of all - the hospital decided to bill my 3-day hospital stay as an OUTPATIENT bill and that didn't need to be pre-certified and we only owe $400!  Yes, $400 not $40,000!!  All together, we only owe less than $5,000 out of $53,846 - God is a provider friends!

I'm sharing this to show you that if you remain faithful to God - He will always provide!  He can't lie:

Malachi 3:10

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

On Common Core Math Homework

It is all over the news, so you have probably heard about how so many parents are upset about the Common Core math homework.  For one, it is stupid and doesn't make sense and the wrong answer is the right answer in some cases.  However, I'm not here to bash it - we all know Common Core is faulty.  I'm here to say something to the parents who are complaining:

If you won't teach your own children at home, then don't whine when you send them to total strangers and get a taxpayer-paid education for your children!  I mean seriously - if you don't like it, do what a friend of mine is doing and pull your child out and teach them yourself!!  If you don't trust the people you leave your child with 8 hours a day - then, don't you think it is time to stop taking the stupid pills?  The blame only lies on the parent(s) as you are the one ultimately responsible before God for the "way" you let your children be taught.

Also, though this isn't related to Common Core - so many parents talk about how their child can't read, they can't do this or that and they let them continue to go on through each grade like this.  What I want to know is this.........why can't you, as a parent, teach your child these things?  I mean, you could even do it AFTER school - there are many parents who "after-school" just Google it!  There is no excuse for a child being left behind in education, there is only the parents to blame in the end.  

This isn't the popular thing to say but it is truth and we all know how well truth is accepted these days.  However, think about it for a while and let it really sink in and you will see what so many others see - God holds the parent responsible.  I said, God holds the parent responsible - not the teacher, preacher or nanny - YOU!

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Don't Let Your Friends Slip Away....

I've noticed that at the doctor's office and many other places that I've been to recently, seems like everyone is on their phone, usually a smartphone.  I'm longing to talk to others and meet new people but everyone else is shutting the world out.  The thing is, they are probably on "social" media but at the same time, they are so disconnected from REAL face-to-face conversation and the chance to meet someone new.  It really disgusts me, maybe because I'm not into the whole smartphone thing - I got rid of mine before it got too smart.

What I really enjoy is meeting people at the grocery store or shopping when they aren't on their phones.  Some think I'm weird for talking to them, others are refreshed that someone wants to talk to them.

The saddest part of all this is that so many are letting their friends just slip away.  I've had friends just let me go because I wasn't on Facebook and that is where they have chosen to have their "life."  Since I'm not on there, I'm not in their "life" anymore.  Sad.  God help us.  It is all part of Satan's plan to prevent us from having real, loving relationships and to promote the superficial ones and the fake person we share online in social media - the one we want others to think we are.  The one that makes us feel good about ourselves, boosts our ego and self esteem - the one that is destroying us because it is making us full of SELF.  Taking SELFies and posting pictures of our SELF all. the. time.  Self-glorification is now the norm.

Get off your stupid phones and get a real life!!!!!  Ok, there, I said it.  Don't let life pass you by and friends pass you by, forget your SELF and think about others - don't let Satan distract you all the way to hell.  

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