God Honouring Worship

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by DanielFive, Jun 22, 2003.

  1. DanielFive

    DanielFive
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    A Scriptural answer to Scott Emerson and those who support his desire for pagan-friendly worship.


    In the last thirty years we have seen a drastic change in many churches in America. Has this change been bad or good? The only way we can properly discern is by examining what God says about the Church in the Bible.

    First of all, we need to understand what God means when He says the “Church.” In Matthew 16:18 our LORD says…

    "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

    Jesus Christ is the Builder of the Church and the “gates of hell shall not prevail” against His Church. He called it “His Church,“ not the people’s, not the pastor’s and certainly not the denomination’s. Jesus is not only the Builder of the Church, but the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:9-11

    "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

    The LORD Jesus Christ is the Foundation of the “true church.” God, through the apostle Paul, warns us to guard how we build on this foundation! When our Lord says “church,” He does not mean a building that Christians meet in, but rather an assembly of called-out (out of the world) believers: the redeemed of the LORD! We are to guard how we build on Christ so as not to dishonor our LORD. Those people who are in what our LORD calls His Church are the “saved”, not the “lost.” Acts 2:47 says,…

    “…And the LORD added to the church daily..”

    Jesus is the Foundation, the Owner and the Builder of the church of called-out believers. Colossians 1:18 says,

    “And He is the head of the body, the church..”

    Since Christ is the head of the Church, we are simply called to follow His leadership.

    The problem we have today is that we do not understand what the Church is and God’s purpose for the Church. We therefore end up building on the foundation things that are foreign to God’s Word. God says in Psalms 133:1

    "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

    A church service is when we as brethren (born-again believers) gather together to worship the LORD in Jesus’ name and our LORD is in our midst!

    "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)

    God brings us out of the world to be His people. God wants a holy people to seek Him and worship Him in the “beauty of holiness” …

    O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.

    "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:"

    God does not want the church filled with carnal people who influence the way we worship! Modern-day leaven is when we want entertainment rather than holiness. Purge out the evil influence so that the body of Christ can be holy! In the eyes of God, it would be better to have ten saved, holy people rather than fifty thousand “lukewarm” people!

    Entertainment will not be able to produce true godliness.

    "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." (Revelation 3:15-16)

    True worship is when our fellowship, meetings and every part of our service is permeated with God’s presence, holiness, love, wisdom and joy of the LORD! Worship is all about God; only when our minds are off our past, problems, differences, selfish desires and ambitions will our minds be “stayed upon Him.” When what we want at a church service is the presence of the LORD and eternal truth, not sensual excitement, then and only then are we worshipping God!

    "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23-24)

    We should not go to church to find friends and seek our type of entertainment, but rather, to seek the LORD! When we truly seek the LORD, God will give us good friends and His joy. If we go to church for help on a problem or addiction, we may seek the answers and miss the LORD. But if we really seek the LORD, He will take care of our problems and deliver us from our addictions! Worship the LORD!

    No true pastor, teacher, musician, singer or worship team should want to become the center of worship. That is what Lucifer did to become Satan! Worship God, not the church, not the pastor and not the music team! Do not make “superstars” out of singers and musicians. Don’t think as a pastor that you are an entertainer! God forbid.

    If you cannot preach the Bible to your congregation, you are attracting the wrong crowd!

    "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." (1 Peter 1:23)

    The corruptible seed is human wisdom, programs and what man has to say. The incorruptible seed is God’s Word. It takes God’s Word to be born-again spiritually into God’s Kingdom! No human message can give the new birth.

    "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32)

    "He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." (John 8:47)

    Remember, the Sower goes forth to sow the seed and our LORD said

    "The sower soweth the word." (Mark 4:14)

    God told Joshua,

    "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." (Joshua 1:8)

    What God is doing in the world, He is doing by His Word! People who are of God want to hear God’s Word.

    God has given gifted men to minister to the body.

    In Ephesians 4:11-12 Paul says

    " And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"

    When we worship God for His Glory, we are spiritually perfected and edified! This is what equips us to live in this world in a manner that glorifies Christ seven days a week and enables us to witness for Him in our daily lives. God’s purpose for the church meeting is for the spiritual growth of the body, not for the evangelism of the ‘lost.”

    A “God-Driven Church” perfects the saints in true worship so they can have a godly testimony and be a witness to their family, neighbors and co-workers. Through the godly saints, God does the work of saving the lost and adding them to the church daily; not through a Las Vegas production or a carnival atmosphere! If you compromise God’s worship to “earn the right” to witness, you have forfeited your opportunity to witness instead. These kinds of churches are not perfecting the saints and sending them into the world; rather, they are bringing the world into the church! God chose the foolishness of preaching to save the lost.

    “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:21)

    Then, our LORD says that the Church must,

    “ Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

    Our LORD did not say “Bring the lost world into the Church.” But, rather, we are to go outside the “Church” to preach the gospel to the lost and when they accept Christ as their Savior, we are to bring them in to worship the LORD in Spirit and in truth. We are doing things backwards from our LORD’S command. Jesus said in Luke 6:46,

    "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

    I’m not saying that we shouldn’t invite lost people to church, but when we make the church the place for lost people, we do everything in our power to bring in the unregenerate. We cease to worship God and end up worshipping man.

    "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen." (Romans 1:25)

    Let me show you how we serve the creature more than our God: we cater to the fleshly desires of the unregenerate because we want them to come to church! In 2 Timothy 3:1,3,4,

    "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be… lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

    Because we are trying to entice lost people (who are lovers of pleasures) to attend our church, we have had to make “church” fun and entertaining! Churches today actually go out into the community to ask the “unregenerate” what they want in a “church”! These poor PR men (do not call them “men of God”) do not know that God has warned us to be careful how we build on “Christ the Foundation!” A God-called man wants to please God! In Galatians 1:10, God says,

    "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."

    God’s Word says that if I please men, I am not the servant of God!

    Our LORD said in John 5:44,

    "How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?"

    You cannot please man and call it worship of God! You cannot as a God-called man ask unregenerate men what “worship” should consist of and what they want.

    "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit." (Romans 8:5)

    The things the world are interested in and their methods are contrary to the Spirit!

    "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:7)

    How can a “God-called man” ask a carnally minded person what he wants the church to be when a carnal-minded person is the enemy of God?

    "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." (James 4:4)

    The very reason why you cannot make the church the place to reach lost people is because you will have to compromise in order to keep them coming and to (in your own mind) reach them! Go to the church to worship God and edify the saints, but go into the world to reach the lost.

    Do you really think that your desire to reach the lost is God-given when you refuse to do it God’s way? You compromise in one area to reach the lost. It seems right, so you continue until, ultimately, you cannot preach the full counsel of the Word of God because you do not want to offend them!

    “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (Galatians 6:9)

    All of this is a result of deciding to reach the lost in the church instead of worshipping God!

    The work of God is one area where the end does not ever justify the means. King David was bringing the ark of God to Jerusalem; but rather than carrying it on staves with the Levites doing the transporting, David used a cart imitating the world. David and all the people were singing unto the LORD and shouting for joy when God in his anger struck Uzzah dead! When David finally brought the ark to Jerusalem, he had the Levites sanctify themselves and then carry it on staves. In the same respect, when Joshua sent his army out to battle a little city called Ai, God’s people lost because there was sin in the camp. Mighty Israel ran from Ai because God did not fight for them! Israel thought that they could win and not deal with sin.

    When “the people of the world” were asked by churches what they want in the church, “the people of the world” responded, “We do not want so much preaching and Bible.” They want CCM and shallow Praise and Worship choruses. In 2 Timothy 4:3-4 Paul says

    "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

    Pastors, who in times past, when it was fashionable to preach and be conservative, have now left the old paths behind because they have “itching ears.” They want to know what people want, not what God wants! Hence, they “worship and serve the creature more than the Creator.” God says in Jeremiah 6:16,

    Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein."

    The love of crowds and success will not let them turn back. Many of these pastors used to use this verse when it was popular, but now they have turned from the “old paths.” They are not following the scriptures, but the desires of men. If you are fundamental when it is fashionable to be fundamental and compromise when it becomes fashionable to compromise, then who are you following?

    In the Old Testament, God tells us of a man called Balaam. Balaam wanted to “die the death of the righteous.” Balaam was called a prophet and even actually gave some incredible prophecies, but don’t expect to see Balaam in Heaven! Balaam was not in the ministry because God called him, nor was he in the ministry for righteousness’ sake, but for what he could “get out of the ministry.” If a man feels called to the ministry because he has seen a famous pastor with a large audience and wants to be just like him, that is not God’s “call” to the ministry! God calls men who do not use the things of God for personal fame, but who solely want to glorify God and who will not compromise God’s plan or Word.

    What if we get to Heaven and find out that some of these famous pastors were not called to the ministry and were not even “saved.?” In John 2:23-24 God shows us,

    "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,"

    Though they “believed”, our LORD knew that it was not “saving faith.”

    Sometimes people like what they see and go along with the crowd, but have no true conviction of sin and therefore never embrace Christ as their only salvation. Simon the sorcerer in Acts chapter 8 saw Philip doing the ministry and said he believed, but Peter knew he was not saved. Acts 8: 20,

    "But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee…”

    What if we make “the Church” pleasing to the carnal minds with worldly music, entertainment, contests and big events so that we become bigger and “our church” becomes the largest or fastest growing; yet none or few of our members go to Heaven? Show me one time where Jesus, His apostles or any New Testament Church ever performed a “play” to reach the lost! If we run the Church the way God’s Word says and not by our own imaginations, then God will manifest His presence! The result will be true conviction as in Isaiah 6:5,

    "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

    True conviction will lead to true conversion! It is God’s Word and power that will produce true conversions, not a carnival atmosphere! The more you use the methods of the world, the less of the power of God you will have in the ministry. You might get people who are loyal to the pastor and the church, but they will still not be saved!

    The world wants “their music”. So is it alright for us to put some “Christian lyrics” to their melodies?! They say this will draw a crowd. God says He is not the author of confusion. Worldly beats and melodies with godly lyrics: how confusing is that?! King David had a tremendous orchestra and singers to praise the LORD, but he required them to be sanctified for the LORD. Christian music is not to entice a crowd, but to worship God! It is not to keep the carnal coming, but to praise the LORD. Why does our “worship music” have to please man? Isn’t the sole purpose to glorify God?!

    "O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day." (Psalm 96:1-2)

    What does God mean when He says a “new song”? Does He want you to write new lyrics every time you sing? I don’t think so. Rather, God wants you to sing (now that you are a new creature in Christ), not the old song of the world, but a new song with the words, the melody and the heart directed to the LORD?

    Churches are no longer directing their music solely to God, but are trying to make it palatable to the unregenerate mind. We know this because when the Church was filled with people who loved God, our music was only for the LORD! We have people rocking and rapping for Jesus simply because we are trying to please men, not Christ. Worship means that God is “worthy” for us to separate ourselves from the world to praise Him, pray to Him and learn of Him.

    In John chapter 6, our LORD feeds the 5000 and then enters into a discourse on the “Bread of Life.” The response was,

    "Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." (John 6:60-66)

    Jesus knew they did not believe and were offended at His Word, so He told them the very thing that drove them away! He did not lighten up on preaching to keep those carnally minded people holding on (though He could have had better attendance if HE did).

    He could have had the apostles break out in a worldly tune with some Christian lyrics; then the five thousand, who only followed Him because their flesh was satisfied, might have continued coming to church! Or perhaps our LORD could have had a couple of apostles do skits to keep them from leaving. This almost sounds blasphemous to suggest! But, no, our LORD knows who the true “believers” are; thus, His doctrine and His methods drive away those who do not truly believe!

    How then can we use entertainment to keep those whom the LORD drives away. Know you not that

    “the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:18a)

    "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;" (1 Corinthians 1:22-23)

    You can see from these scriptures that being “all things to all men ”(1 Corinthians 9:22) is not making the ministry palatable to the unregenerate! In 1 Corinthians 9:22, Paul says

    "To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak; I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."

    Does this passage indicate that becoming “all things to all men” is to sing popular music, put on plays and not preach the whole counsel of God? Have you read the ministry of Paul in the New Testament lately? Nowhere in the New Testament nor in the Old Testament does any man of God do those things!

    "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." (Acts 20:26-27)

    Paul preached all the Word boldly, because he knew that real believers know that it is God’s Word.

    "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." (Deuteronomy 4:2)

    God have mercy on us if we are afraid to preach God’s Word because we are afraid that we are going to lose our crowd!

    Worship is for true believers! Our LORD knew who would be offended, but did not use entertainment to keep them coming. We convince ourselves that we use entertainment just because we want people to come and find the LORD. Christ told them the very truth that caused the unbelievers to leave. God’s church is to be holy. We are never more loving or kind than our LORD. Salvation is of the LORD. Only God can save, and He does not need worldly entertainment to save them. We worship God in the beauty of His Holiness (separate from the world).
    Why do these people need a worldly tune to worship? Because carnal people do not have the true “joy of the LORD” so they have to manufacture worldly joy. Carnal minds do not want to be fed the Word of God! True worship to them is boring. In true worship, Jesus said one must

    “…deny himself, and take up his cross…” (Matthew 16:24).

    But today we go to church to have our “needs met,” rather than to meet with God. Only when people die to self and go to church to seek the LORD will they truly have their needs met by God Himself! Carnal people will come if we offer them fun and games and if we don’t make worship too long. By the way, they want to stay home on Sunday nights, so we better cancel the evening services! They love pleasure more than God and your ministry is not changing that!


    Why are men who were once conservative now susceptible to these influences? It is because one of America’s “golden calves” is the idol of success! When churches court the world and have large crowds, pastors runs to them to learn how to have large crowds for themselves. We buy every book they have on the subject, attend every conference they give and finally attend their services; all the while, focusing on the crowd, not on God. We say we will not compromise the message like they do, but eventually we will because we have already compromised God’s methods! We are drunk with the wine of success. But God warns us in 2 Corinthians 10:13,

    "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."

    If indeed “numbers” equates to success in God’s sight, then Noah, Jeremiah and even the Lord Jesus were all failures! But our LORD said in Matthew 7:14,

    "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

    In Luke 6:26 Christ said,

    "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets."

    Do not comfort yourselves in your popularity and success because God never said that any of that is evidence of being right!

    We need to see what we are really following. Where are the holy prayers for godliness, for the will of God, for mercy and for grace? Today, the whole church might pray all night for weeks; all but for a large crowd and a big event! Our prayers for revival today really are for more people to come on Sunday, not for God to purify the church and help people to repent! Because church is the place for evangelism, the Christians are being neglected and therefore do not live godly lives. Because Christians are not living godly lives at home, at work or in their community, they will not have the boldness to witness to people anywhere, anytime! Proverbs 28:1 says
    “…the righteous are bold as a lion.”

    If our lives are not right because we do not worship correctly, then we cannot be bold witnesses in the world. We will be told (since we do not have true Christian character) that we must earn the right to talk to the lost.

    “Friendship evangelism” is a scourge to our nation. Throughout the whole Bible God’s people did confrontational evangelism! They were hated, persecuted and imprisoned for their bold proclamation of the Word. If “friendship evangelism” was the practice in the early church, they certainly would never have said of the apostles,

    " These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;" (Acts 17:6)

    Christians ought to do acts of kindness every day, but

    "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences." (2 Corinthians 5:11)

    Jesus did not say, “Go into the church and preach the gospel.” But since our ungodly testimony gives us no boldness to witness and since we‘re only into “friendship evangelism”, we’re left to a futile and faltering attempt to somehow carnally lure the lost into the church that they might hear the gospel. This was never God’s way of evangelism!

    Success is important to the vain. But all the great men have something in common: they all want to humble themselves and glorify God. They are not in the ministry to promote themselves, but to promote the LORD! They do not “use God” for their glory. John the Baptist said in John 3:30,

    "He must increase, but I must decrease."

    God said of Saul, in 1 Samuel 15:17,

    "And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?"

    But, Saul became “big” in his own sight and did not obey God, but did that which was right in his own eyes. 1 Samuel 15:22,

    "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams."

    When you are little in your own sight, you do not operate out of your own opinions, but you obey God. 1 Samuel 13:13 says,

    "And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever."

    God cannot establish someone that does things his own way and not the LORD’S way.

    In the Old Testament, God had both the Tabernacle and the Temple of God built by a pattern from God! God told Moses when he was going to build the tabernacle of witness,

    "And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount." (Exodus 25:40)

    Moses was not to serve God after his own imagination, but by a God-given pattern! David gave to his son who was to build the temple

    ".. the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:" (1 Chronicles 28:12)

    God, the Holy Spirit, directed the building of God’s Temple. Look at the New Testament Temple of God,

    "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:20-22)

    Notice how we are a “holy (set apart from the world) temple” in which God dwells! Why don’t we follow God’s pattern in letting our LORD build His Church? Let’s get the “world” out of the church, and let’s get the church out into the world to “preach the gospel to every creature”! Then we will not have to base our worship on the desires of the unregenerate!

    In Amos 5:21,23, God says of Israel’s worship

    "I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies…Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols."

    Human-oriented worship is an abomination to God. God does not want people who are not consecrated to the LORD to lead in worship! Get your heart out of the world and focus on worshipping the LORD. Many of the worship leaders’ favorite singers or groups are secular entertainers! So they copy their styles and sounds with Christian words!

    Romans 14 is often used to justify “gray areas.” Read the whole chapter in context and you will “rightly divide the Word of truth.” Please, the whole chapter has to do with meats offered to idols! In verse 14 when Paul says

    "I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean." (Romans 14:14)

    Paul is certainly not saying that there is no behavior that is unclean. He is talking about foods as he makes clear in the very next verse (as a matter of fact, the whole chapter). Besides, why would we ever feel that the methods of our ministry should be “gray areas” when we have the Bible to guide us? And never call a gray area something that all the Bible teaches is wrong.

    "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15)

    According to Ephesians 1:5, God

    "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will," (Ephesians 1:5)

    Do you think in eternity past, that God thought “the only way I will be able to save them is by bringing a “Rock musician” (God be merciful to us) or a P&W band sporting a vast array of instruments to testify to the people?

    It is not the gray areas that cause people to get saved, but rather the ridding ourselves of these things! God did not predestinate them to be saved on the basis of music they will like! God is a Holy God.

    "And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." (Mark 10:26-27)

    Finally, this way of reaching people cannot produce holiness. They might love the church, but the leaders will not be able to keep the church pure. Instead of the whole church coming together to worship God and the LORD giving grace for all the body to have victory over sin, the entertainment and small groups take the preeminence. God says,

    "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:"
    (1 Corinthians 5:6-7)

    For the glory of God and the good of your people, don’t become drunk on success. Return unto the “old paths” and your worship can be acceptable to our God for His glory!

    "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it." (Mark 8:35)

    "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me." (John 15:19-21)

    Recognize that there are two kinds of people: the chosen of God who are not of this world and those still in the world that hate us because we are the LORD’S. Do not try to fill the church with the world.

    (Based on an article by Pastor Rick Wilder)

    I only pray that those who are guilty of pagan-friendly worship will apply themselves to the Word of God and make their calling and election sure.

    God Bless

    Enda

    [ June 22, 2003, 10:21 PM: Message edited by: enda ]
     
  2. John Gilmore

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    God serves us through the preaching of His word and the offering of His gifts. Our worship is really divine service to us.
     
  3. Molly

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    Enda,

    I agree whole heartedly! What a great,thorough,and biblical explanation to Scott's article!

    Molly [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. JonathanDT

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    Didn't bother reading the whole thing, maybe sometime when I have 12 hours to blow...but basically what I read said we should be driving the nonbelievers out of our church so that it is only Christians left. :rolleyes: And to think I was taught the church should be a hospital for sinners instead of a museum for saints. So much for inviting friends to church, turns out it's actually a vile and evil thing.
     
  5. Deacon

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    Enda, are you against change? I agree with Johnathan, churches are a place for healing and growth. In nearby Lancaster County, PA the Amish have held fast to their "old" ways, the only way to enter their church is by birth. Now that's purity!

    Pagan friendly worship doesn't mean accepting corruption, it means allowing change and adapting to the cultural norms of a society or generation so as not to become a stumbling block to them.

    There will still be no Monte Carlo nights at the ye ol' Baptist Church. :rolleyes:

    Rob

    edited ot correct name, os sorry enda!

    [ June 23, 2003, 09:44 PM: Message edited by: Deacon ]
     
  6. DanielFive

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    /Deacon,

    Firstly, the name is Enda, not Edna.

    If you've read the post in full and chosen to reject it there is nothing I can say that would change your mind.

    Thanks for taking the time to read it anyway.

    God Bless

    Enda
     
  7. DanielFive

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    Jonathon,

    Whilst I appreciate the fact that you are concerned enough about honouring God in your worship to at least start reading the post, I think you haven't truly grasped the meaning of it.

    It's certainly not about driving unbelievers out of the church, its just about not pandering to them (by compromising) in order to keep them there.

    It's commendable that you invite your friends to church that is not a vile or evil thing. The point is, if you take an unbeliever into church you are not doing them any favours by entertaining them or giving them what they can get outside of church. If they feel at home whilst still in their sin then you are wasting your time taking them there. If they decide to 'get saved' because they enjoy the music/entertainment then they are not coming to Christ in the right way.

    If they witness us offering praise to our Saviour and hear the gospel preached with power in an atmosphere of reverence then they are more likely to realise that they are lacking something which we possess. This sense of 'feeling out of place' should help to highlight their sinfulness and need of salvation, encouraging them to come to Christ in the right way.

    That's what we want to see.

    God Bless

    Enda
     
  8. Joshua Rhodes

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    Isn't 'honor' a matter of the heart? If I choose to honor God by telling Him I love Him, by singing "Be the Centre", or by reading Scripture, this is a matter of my intent, and the condition of my heart. God can see it, and I pray that others can as well. But the most important audience, and the only one worthy, is God.
     
  9. Molly

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    Right Joshua!

    The purpose of the church is to honor God,and everything we do should bring honor and glory to Him...everything has to be under the umbrella of glorifying God...not *will this draw more people* or*will this make people come to church*.

    The focus is on man in a seeker sensitive church....Some think glorifying God is just a given,but it is not.
     
  10. Joshua Rhodes

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    I agree mostly, Molly.

    I do believe it's possible to focus on God in a "Seeker" environment, but I'm not entirely sure. I wouldn't characterize my church as "seeker-sensitive," but we have many coming to Christ and the Spirit moves. As long as God is the focus, the lost are the concern of our hearts, and the edification of the saints is a priority... I think that's great. When God is glorified, His people are blessed and attended to. When we seek first His Kingdom... well, you know. [​IMG]
     
  11. Deacon

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    Molly, I agree:
    We go further at the church I attend and say the purpose is to make disciples and bring them into a loving and living relationship with Jesus...which essentially brings glory to God.

    I did read the article, and after meditating a bit on it I think there is a flaw in its idea.

    Church is not a place or a time of worship; church is a people. Church is not 8:30 to 1 PM on Sunday. Church is a fellowship of believers. It can happen at any time. We can still be 'in' the world but not 'of' the world. We can stand pure before God and still not become a stumbling block to those who are searching for truth.

    There can be diversity. I'm not saying that you are weak or wrong. I'm saying that people are attracted to different things and that in our diversity Christians are strongest.

    Rob
     
  12. ScottEmerson

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    Enda,

    I will begin an answer to your post tonight. I have things that I must attend to at the moment, but I will be more than happy to answer your original assertion.

    SEC, who somehow had his password changed and hasn't been able to log on for 4 days!
     
  13. DanielFive

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    Thats fine Scott, get back to me when you have time. [​IMG]
     
  14. ScottEmerson

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    I agree with much of it... so here we go...

    Agreed. Church here is ekklesia, which literally means "a gathering of people."

    This is true, to a point. We must note that the gospel is what the building is really all about (4:15)

    \

    Agreed. The Church is the same as the Chtistians.

    Now we run into a problem here. We're mixing church (with a lowercase c) and Church (with an uppercase C). Christ's final command for the church is to make disciples of other believers. He commanded us to preach the word to the world. We must not foget that is also a command for the church.

    Okay, we have a verse on separation. Let us look closely, shall we? If we take a close look at the verses immediately preceeding, the passage in Isaiah to which the verse refers, and the verse immediately following, we can quickly and easily see that Paul is talking about believers who are worshipping as the heathens did. We know from other passages in the letters to the COrinthians that these included sexual worship. This makes sense from phrases such as "unequally yoked" (which sounds an awful lot like a passege in Deuteronomy forbidding mixed marriages) and "believeth with an infidel,." If this verse means what you say it does, then we must conclude that Jesus, who indeed had fellowship with a bevvy of sinners did indeed sin himself. This is why we cannot take this verse as the author states.

    First of all, God does want us to be holy vessels. That is what these verses say. They refer to the individuals.

    This is where we have our next disagreement. God doesn't want the Church (the believers) to be filled with Carnal people - in fact, this cannot happen! TO be a member of the Church, you must be made a new creation (II Cor. 5:17). However, these verses do not talk about the church (lowercase c). Why should carnal people not be exposed to the gospel message?

    Agreed, but the burden of proof is on you to show that praise and worship doesn't bring about a holy attitude.

    The body of Christ is indeed holy, as it is, by definition, filled with those who have been bought by the blood of the Lamb, and, thus, redeemed. What it sounds like you are saying is that you don't want to let anyone who is not saved in your church. Is this true?

    Are lukewarm people saved? I don't know - I've heard arguments both ways. Either way, where is your scripture to support this.

    Non sequitur.

    And the burden of proof continues to fall on you. How is what is happening at so-called "seeker-sensitive services" or churches who use contemporary music not having a service permeated with the Spirit?

    Agreed to a point. See, the burden of proof is to show that somehow using praise and worship is somehow sensual excitement. Just because it is said over and over does not make it true. I would add that it is helpful to remember one's past when worshipping - it gives a sense of just how amazing redemption is.

    Christians should not. But this does not speak to the unbeliever.

    But we also know that the sinner does not seek after God. How then do we reach out to them? By smacking them over the head with a Bible? Or by building relationships with them? What do we see Paul and Christ do?

    Agreed wholeheartedly. One of the reasons I don't care for Michael W. Smith.

    When Jesus spoke the gospel to the woman at the well, He talked of water. WHen He dialogued with fishermen, He spoke of fishing. When He shared the gospel with tax collectors, He spoke of money. Paul, when confronted with Greek philosophers on Mars HIll, responded likewise with a conversation rooted in Greek philosophy. His driving passion was to become all things to all men in order that he may save some (I Cor. 9:22)

    Effective churches will convey the message of the Gospel in a manner that is understandable to contemporary culture. The key to conveying this truth and the claims of Christ is building effective bridges of communication and understanding between believers and non-believers.

    This has been down throughout history, from Luther translated the Bible into the common lamnguage of his people and using "drinking" songs for hymns; Ira Sankey using contemporary music (waltzes) to draw crowds for Dwight L. Moody's crusades, and Billy Graham who bravely went forth with his New York City crusade in the 1950's that crossed Protestant/Catholic lines.

    The Gospel has always been contextualized. IN our modern world, method and style must be brought into the 21st century or else we will lose our full potential for reaching the postmodern Generation X and beyond for Christ. Whiel the message is timeless, the method is not; and we've confused traditionalism for orthodoxy for too long.

    Too many churches operate on a 1950's American middle-class methodology and mindset. But the culture of the 1950's has obviously long since passed, and we can't use yesterday's toold in today's world and expect to build a church for tomorrow (White, 2001).
     
  15. ScottEmerson

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    Why not? If people are being saved at churches, why is this a bad thing?

    Again, are you saying that you turn sinners away from your door? How are these saints winning souls for Christ? That's a step that is missing here.

    And still there is not a specific order of preaching here. Why can this preaching not be done within the walls of the church? The argument here is an argument from silence.

    Non sequitur. A big one.

    What seeker-sensitive churches have found is that true, contemporary worship can be completely permeated by the Spirit and STILL have something that draws the unchurched. You construct an either-or fallacy, when both can be (and are) possible. It's a logical fallacy here.

    Question: DO you enjoy going to church? If so, why do you enjoy it? If not, why do you still go? I haven't heard of a church who goes to non-Christians and asks what they want in a church. I've heard several times of church planters who identify those who are saved but do not go to church any longer about what they would like in a church.

    A God whose desire is that all men are saved.

    Paul is specifically talking about preaching the True Gospel. You are taking out of context to apply it in a manner that it was not intended.

    We’re not disagreeing here. I said it before just earlier.

    This is also a non-sequitur. The James 4:4 has been addressed earlier in a different post..

    You’ve yet to prove or disprove what God’s way is. You’ve instead merely provided non-sequiturs and logical fallacies to stretch the Scripture to show what you want it to show.

    Again, talking about the individual. Don’t believe me? Count in the previous 8 verses the number of times Paul uses the singular noun.

    This is a pretty bold statement. “Why is it not backed up by any kind of documentation?” one wonders. The challenge is to show some proof here. I doubt you or the original author would be able to do so.

    Again, examine how Christ spoke to the people he preached to. He knew what their deal was, and he used appropriate speech and analogies. I would hope that people do not go around spouting King James language to witness. I really don’t.

    Again, this has nothing to do with the subject. The good way (the old path Jeremiah speaks of) is devotion to God. You’re using it to support a claim that it was never meant to support.

    Now the author is just going off track.

    I’m not at liberty to question people’s salvation. That’s for God to handle. I suppose the question could also be posed, “what if we get to Heaven and find out that Aaron and Enda were not even saved?” That sounds somewhat offensive, no?

    And why wouldn’t they? Where is the proof that these people are not really “saved,” while those who go to different churches are?

    Read the story of Lazarus and the rich man. Plays are modern-day parables.

    So if the Spirit manifests His presence, then can we not also say that we are running the church the way God desires?
     
  16. ScottEmerson

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    Wow! You’d be surprised at how many people truly become broken – who understand their uncleanliness… and they go to the same churches that the author is lambasting. How can that be? Hmmm….

    Luther did it.

    Show me one non-Christian in our time who says that this is confusing. The only people that this is confusing to are people who do not want to leave their 1950’s mentality.

    How about the Generation Y’s and N’s who find the lyrics of hymns completely baffling? Could we not use this same argument and conclude that hymns are ungodly?

    It doesn’t have to please men. But if worship is truly done well, a significant by-product may be that the Spirit works in the lives of the unsaved.

    Interesting story: I had the blessing of sharing the gospel of Christ to one of my 8th graders who had been a church-goer all of her life. Her name is Sarah. She is in Ohio for the summer, so we carried on a long conversation through instant messenger. While we were “talking,” and the Spirit was definitely moving in her life, I began calling some of my Christian friends asking them to begin praying. To make a long story short, she got saved! She asked, “What now?” I told her to read Psalms 100 out loud as a praise to God. She did and wrote me, “That’s amazing!! I understand what worship is now! How cool is that?” Sarah understood what the new song is.

    Another huge non-sequitur.

    The gospel by nature is offensive. It says that “I’m broken, and the only thing that can fix it is God.”

    Take a closer look at the Bible! Jesus chose to meet 5,000 men (plus the women and children) and meet their physical needs. Did all of them believe? Absolutely not! What was he doing then? Well, they didn’t leave. AND they hung around to hear the message! The position that the author takes does not jive with what we see Jesus Christ doing. And isn’t that the bottom line? Is Christ not our example here?

    Of course, nowhere do we see these people using microphones, organs, the English language and on and on and on, but most churches will use these. Why are these okay, while other methods to share the Gospel not okay? Where is the Biblical proof here?

    Any pastor who is afraid to preach the gospel should be disbarred.

    Actually, God has invited man to have a part in the salvation of others. Sometimes Christ said things that caused unbelievers to leave. Sometimes, he did things that caused the unbelievers to stay and listen some more.
     
  17. ScottEmerson

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    Too often churches do play the numbers game. I’ve seen several churches who pad their rolls by recruiting members from other churches. Quite sad, really.

    Success for most churches is found in the people experiencing God. When we experience God in worship, we’ll see the lives of ourselves and others truly changed.

    Christians not living godly lives has nothing to do with churches evangelizing. Non-sequitur. In fact, the opposite is true. You show me a church that is having people saved, and I’ll show you a church filled with believers who are sharing their faith and inviting people to church. Period.

    See my above comment.

    How does he define friendship evangelism? Surely it is nothing like Jesus having supper with some new pals such as Matthew or Zaccheus.

    Argument from silence. Logical fallacy.

    The largest and most dynamic churches in America do not have pastors who are promoting themselves – they are promoting Jesus Christ. (Benny Hinn not included)

    You said yourself that God has set apart certain people for different jobs. One of there is preaching.

    So? True worship is done in Spirit and in Truth. What does it matter what beat or chords or instrumentation is behind it. Where is the Scripture?

    Prove that God didn’t plan from the beginning, “Steve is going to come into a church one day because his buddy Mike invited him. The worship at the church will be incredible and the Spirit of God is going to descend upon them. Steve will then be convicted by the Spirit while the pastor speaks a message from John. He will then be saved.” If you can’t prove this, then it should be clear that this is an unprovable point.

    This passage here is specifically talking about sexual sins that were found in the church. Again, you cannot make Scripture fit into a box in which it wasn’t meant to fit.

    Again, what do you do to those who come into your service? “Sorry, guys – you’re not allowed. Wait outside until after we are done worshipping and then we’ll cram the gospel down your throat?”

    As Christians, we should love our neighbors. There are a few times in the last few months where I’ve felt like Paul when he wished that he himself were accursed if his brethren could be saved. It is my desire that all people come to know God, just as it is God’s. Our church doors should always be open for sinners. Our worship should not be compromised; neither should our preaching. However, our message should be relevant to all people. The gospel of Jesus Christ should be proclaimed both on the street and in our churches.

    The article that was posted is laden with non-sequiturs and arguments from silence. The position, as developed by the author is logically flawed. Even worse, he takes Scripture out of context to prove his point. Perhaps the biggest flaw in the argument is the presupposition that if a church is attracting a bunch of lost souls, then they must, ipso facto, not be truly worshipping. This is an unattainable position.

    Perhaps it is true worship that is both corporate and personal, ancient and contemporary, that the Spirit uses to draw people closer to Him. From my experience, and from the experience of innumerable pastors, ministers, church members, and those who have accepted Christ, this is undoubtedly true.

    I apologize for the length. It is 16 pages of 12 point Times New Roman font on Microsoft Word. But I did try to answer every point that the author made. If you’d like, you can separate this to different threads.

    Basically, the author makes a claim that he cannot back up: that God-honoring worship is exactly like this, and if it deviates, it is not honoring God. He did not logically nor Scripturally back the claim up; therefore, his argument fails.
     
  18. DanielFive

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    Scott,

    I thank you for the time you have spent in your response to my post.

    However, your reply shows nothing other than personal opinion. My original post contains 88 verses of Scripture , your reply as far as I can see contains 0 verses of Scripture.

    I'll be happy to consider a scriptural response to the original post if you can come up with anything to back up your opinion.

    God Bless

    Enda
     
  19. Joshua Rhodes

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    Very interesting... Scott and Enda. I'm very intrigued by both your arguments.
     
  20. ScottEmerson

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    Please read again. There are Scriptures that you use that I agree with. There are those Scriptures that are taken completely out of context that I address by showing the "rest of the story." There are passages of Scripture that I clearly allude to in which I do not include chapter and verse, because I assume that the people here will know from whence they come (Such as Jesus and the woman at the well.) I say statements like, "We know that the sinner cannot seek after God." Is this not Scripture?

    I also show that a good many of the verses posted are non-sequitur - the argument does not follow from the evidence posted. A good many of the verses are already ripped out of context - in one example, I point to the earlier 8 verses to show that the verse isn't applicable to what the author says it is.

    There's enough for you to deal with already. There is plenty of Biblical evidence found in my post. Don't dismiss it so easily.
     

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