H.B. Charles Jr., the pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, is highlighting the dangers of today's "idolatrous" celebrity pastor culture, warning that "in leaning over to reach the world, the Church is falling in.â€ť
â€śThere is the temptation for the Church to be influenced by the world and not the other way around,â€ť Charles told The Christian Post during a sit-down interview. â€śAs a result, entertainment-driven worship can infiltrate the local church. And entertainment-driven worship has a byproduct of producing celebrities in those who sing and those who teach and those who lead. The infiltration of wrong values can cause us to exalt people or things. This is idolatrous because they rival Christ in our affections.â€ť...
Just Saying wrote: John, I understand your concerns completely. And I share them. Ultimately I simply pray that Christ will keep and protect His church till He returns. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me about this.
Just Saying, it is very refreshing to have a peaceable convo, and I am also very glad that you have a concern for the church of Jesus Christ. The letters of Jesus to the churches of Asia in Revelation 2/3 show how responsible we must be, and the prayer of Jesus in John 17 shows ultimately how secure we are in him. ____________
Now then Christopher tell me, are you waiting for something from me? Or am I waiting for something from you? ____________
Oh, one other thing. Here is an unusual pioneering small house church, which is clearly using a stringed instrument, human voices with 2+ part harmonies, with spontaneous shouts of praise, and in the middle prayers and intercessions, also using a part of the body to make percussive sounds, and they are singing Psalm 46 from the Scottish Psalter, using the tune from "I heard the Voice of Jesus say..."
God is our refuge and our strength in straits a present aid; Therefore, although the earth remove, we will not be afraid:
John, I understand your concerns completely. And I share them. Ultimately I simply pray that Christ will keep and protect His church till He returns. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me about this.
Just Saying wrote: John, Thank you for the verse. Very helpful. By the way, I didnâ€™t say Godâ€™s blessing meant my church was right, just that he wonâ€™t stop using a church because they sing hymns.
You're welcome, Just Saying.
I will try to explain my concern as best I can. Of course, it is biblical that God can draw a straight line with a bent stick. If he couldn't do that, wherever should we be?
God can also save a multitude through the preaching of the Good News Bible or the NIV.
The Holy Spirit can presence himself in meetings where no psalms are sung, only emotive hymns and songs (witness the 1904/5 revival in Wales).
But what is happening in these churches over time? Changes occurring only slowly are hardly noticed, if the changes are made over fifty years. What will today's churches look like in fifty year's time? Will pastors be wearing a pair of shorts, women dressed immodestly, rock band on stage, ice machine for ambience, words of the CCM projected on every wall, no actual preaching from the Street Bible, just hyping it up and all the rest of it. It's happening already all over the world. How come? Simple. No regulation.
I must tell you that I was mighty blessed reading through your post and noting how observant you have been, and how you are prioritizing issues into important and less important and so on.
There will be occasions when one man will preach or teach a congregation who are all facing him (see Paul at Ephesus), but as I see it, this is not the norm for an assembly gathering, where it appears each one is to be involved in order to edify one another, and for this to happen, the pulpit/pew system will never work. The only churches I have seen who have this correct are the Brethren churches (of the George Mueller of Bristol fame).
One answer to your question is 1 Corinthians 14:26 ff which makes this very clear.
The only part of your post which I didn't agree with is your acceptance of pragmatism as a means of evaluation. This is never wise and can lead up the proverbial garden path. "God is blessing me, therefore I must be doing it right!" Or even worse, "God isn't blessing me, therefore I must be doing something wrong!" This method can cause us Christians a whole lot of difficulties.
Good points, 'Just Saying' but I think one problem with the story is in the very definitions--almost like a Slick Willy Clinton--it depends on what you mean by the word 'is.' Church means what? Bible says: body of Christ, not a 4-walls bldg. Some say, Constantine ruined it all by making Christianity legal, so the early church came out of the catacombs and worshiped in public. It would be interesting to read someone's Ph.D thesis on how the idea of church as building got started. I'm sure it would have some reference to the Catholic Church, since before Gutenberg and Luther came along, there was only them around. It also might have something to do with the Roman Empire and other temples were people went to worship pagan gods.
One aspect of the MOdern Church---Sunday school---I heard was started because children used to work every day of the week, so at Sunday School they were not only getting some religion but learning to read and write. In fact, you can probably find historical records of early Sunday school materials that were more focused on this than on teaching Bible doctrine.
Oh I see. I will pray about this and see what God would have me do. One final question. Where can I find the instructions on corporate worship in the scripture. Most of what I see in any Christian church, I havenâ€™t found yet in the Bible. Including a service where the pastor gets up and preaches to the congregation. Iâ€™ve seen where early Christians preached in public, to the lost. Not saying it isnâ€™t there, just havenâ€™t found it yet. the lost, but not to each other. What I do find is that together they helped the poor, fellowshiped, and exhorted each other. Not one man gets up and preaches at the rest for an hour, three times a week. Honestly, I want to please God but I think he looks more at our hearts. I donâ€™t think this topic is the most important thing and like I said at the beginning, I wish Christians would spend more time praying together and reaching the world than arguing. Also God is doing a mighty work in our church right now and many have been saved, prayers are being specifically answered and God is mightily blessing, so singing hymns apparently doesnâ€™t make God stop using a church.
Just Saying wrote: Iâ€™m not sure what exactly those principles are but my pastor uses traditional hymns that use major emphasis on melody (which stirs the soul) and harmony (which stirs the spirit) and little emphasis on rythym (which stirs the flesh) I do believe God had given instruction on how to worship him. God gave Moses directions on how to worship him, including singers, but I see no record of the songs he told them to sing. Or when they came out of Egypt, God had not given them any song to sing yet they did sing and God was very pleased by it. So much so that he references it later in Hosea 2:15. They made up music to praise God. So did Deborah and Barak. If God was pleased with it then, why not now?
Just Saying, so far I have only been talking about corporate worship in the assembly, for which we have instruction in the NT.
A harder question is regulative v normative and you can see the basic difference here:
I can assure you that if you were to time travel back to the early church assemblies, you would be amazed to hear only the psalms being sung in worship. Today, it is a rarity to ever hear a psalm sung in worship. Why is that?
John if you tell me what about my question is unclear Iâ€™ll do my best to clarify it. Iâ€™m not sure what exactly those principles are but my pastor uses traditional hymns that use major emphasis on melody (which stirs the soul) and harmony (which stirs the spirit) and little emphasis on rythym (which stirs the flesh) I do believe God had given instruction on how to worship him. God gave Moses directions on how to worship him, including singers, but I see no record of the songs he told them to sing. Or when they came out of Egypt, God had not given them any song to sing yet they did sing and God was very pleased by it. So much so that he references it later in Hosea 2:15. They made up music to praise God. So did Deborah and Barak. If God was pleased with it then, why not now?
Just Saying wrote: John UK 1. If we pray from our hearts with our own words is it wrong?
2. If not, is it wrong to put the same prayer to music?
1. It can be very wrong. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us what our heart is like. But we are to ask in accordance with his will. We are to pray in the Spirit on all occasions. "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss..."
It can also be very right, and I am a firm believer in both extempore praying and preaching, notwithstanding the taint of sin in both. There is biblical warrant for this, which is the main thing, as far as I am concerned.
2. What? Musical Prayers? Who have you been talking to?
2. at the time when Paul wrote about psalms and hymns, everyone knew what he meant ...
1. The biblical 'regulative' principle is found in the last verses of Rv.22
However, by making psalms-only a non existent biblical rule, adding to what God never specifically commanded, you might be in danger of this,
"Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee..."
2. NT Israelites used Aramaic, a close dialect to Hebrew. Besides Ephesus and Colossas, a mixed multitude were not to make connections with the Septuagint.
3. Any procuring a study of the words Psalm, (meaning a poem recited to the plucking of strings), hymns, songs of praise, Masquil, Neginoth, Shoshannim, Jeduthun, Mahalath, Aijeleth, Sheminith, Muthlabben, Gittith, will cerciorate not only the variety of instruments used in worship but the different keys and modes, some borrowing from songs chanted on that day.
4. In the day of Christ's glorification, see Jh 12, people erupted in spontaneous praise, not Psalms, declaring concrete facts related to the occassion: "Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest"
Just Saying wrote: I believe that singing psalms is wonderful and special but I still see no scripture that says to only sing psalms. Can you answer this one question for me please with a simple yes or no. Do you believe it is a sin to sing anything other than a psalm to praise God?
The answer to your first query has to first deal with the overriding question: has God given us instruction how his creatures are to worship him? If no, you may do exactly how you please. If yes, you have to decide whether the regulative principle or normative principle is the correct way to go. All churches use one of the three, including your own church. Do you know which one?
To the second vague question, you want a simple yes or no answer. So I will give you what you want - a vague "no". __________
Sister B, at the time when Paul wrote about psalms and hymns, everyone knew what he meant, because those terms were used regularly in his day.
I have heard some people say that "psalms" were Psalm 1-150, hymns were for example John Wesley's 'O for a thousand tongues to sing', and spiritual songs were singing in tongues - an unknown heavenly language.
I believe that singing psalms is wonderful and special but I still see no scripture that says to only sing psalms. Can you answer this one question for me please with a simple yes or no. Do you believe it is a sin to sing anything other than a psalm to praise God?
John UK wrote: http://www.prca.org/resources/publications/cr-news/item/773-psalms-hymns-and-spiritual-songs
John, sorry but this argument about the Septuagint cannot hold water. It should not be so complicated to make sense of such a plain practical issue in worship. If the matter cannot stand upfront for the mere ploughing lad or the average housemaid to identify it plainly from the scriptures by the simple reading of the word, there is something amiss.
That the singing of Psalms is blessed and especial no one would attempt to deny, but if one has to defend its exclusive use to such lengths of dishonest exegesis is quite pitiful.
Please, understand we all care about the ongoing misuses and abuses in worship, but temperance is useful to help see the grand picture.
E.g.this "...when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, And said unto him, Hear thou what these say? And Jesus said unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast *perfected* praise?"
1.Christ approved of children not singing psalms strictly
2. Babes hardly know psalms but spontaneous praise
It is a fact that when a young person sees an older person, they imagine that person has always been old. In the same way, when you see me standing for PO you imagine it has always been that way from my birth. Not at all.
Around 2005, when I was almost a KJV-onlyist but not quite, I had a huge argument in Oulton Broad Free Presbyterian Church with a Baptist who claimed that the 'psalms, hymns and spiritual songs' in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 actually all referred to psalms. I lifted up my voice and shouted at him (to my shame) and stormed out of the building, thinking him to be some Bible corrupter. This was due to my lack of knowledge, simple as that. I phoned him some years later to apologise, as I found that he was correct all along. But you will never find this out by the simple reading of the Bible, because there is nothing wrong with the translation.
The subject is massive, and takes much digging into, but if you wish to make a simple start, I've dug out for you a suitable very short article which will help you along the narrow road which leads to life.
The answer John has given over the years is that psalms, hymns and spiritual songs are all psalms, despite the fact that they are three different words both in English and in Greek. Others have shown from scripture that there is no such stricture as that which John believes and teaches on the subject of singing in church, but when one is glued firmly to the saddle of a hobby horse it is nigh impossible to gracefully dismount.