Time to boycott worship industry?
David Jeremiah gaming the best seller lists…
Noah’s Ark park nearing completion…
Brian McClaren rewrites “offensive” hymns…
Nine Christian myths about suffering…
Denominational cross breeding…
How “Spotlight” missed the story…
What “evangelical” means in the South…
Nagging questions about observing Lent…
Reading the Bible on a tablet or on paper…does it matter?
The SGM mess gets wider and deeper…
Another stupid article on the “sheep”…
Is non violence an historic Christian value?
What is a “Spirit filled” church?
U.S. religious groups and their political leanings…
Secularization and the sexual revolution…
On the balance between caution and compassion…
God is big enough for our hardest questions…
Thanks again to EricL for the link help…support him at top right.
The problem with the March Madness (one problem at least) as to the Koufax reference. Koufax was a starting pitcher who sat out game one and let his hall of fame teammate pitch the game instead. Then Koufax pitched game two – knowing that (as he did) he could and would still pitch 3 games that series if needed whether he started game one or two.
I am not saying he was not sincere in his convictions, but in terms of some sort of sacrifice to try and compare it to college kids being asked to not play in their postseason tourney if they happen to make it to the sweet 16 because of Good Friday and Easter is quite a leap
It’s not like Holy Week matters to most evangelicals anyway, so what’s the big deal?
time to boycott the worship industry… seems right to me… if i’m worshipping it’s me that’s singing 🙂
Do this for fun: Read the Maclaren re-writing of Onward Christian Soldiers. Then read about Polycarp. I see a huge gulf between those two. Call me judgmental if you must.
Brian McLaren has made a career of poking evangelicals in the eye; they have yet to disappoint him in their predictable responses. He is not the first to recommend ‘fixing’ some of the old hymns–he just has some different ideas of ‘fix.’
It’s not like Holy Week matters to most evangelicals anyway, so what’s the big deal?
The article is written by a Lutheran professor and focuses largely on Catholic basketball programs
I’ve been boycotting not just the ‘worship industry’ but all of Christian music for years…not as a part of any organized effort, but as a personal decision of conscience. I haven’t asked anyone else to join with me, but will share my opinion when opportunity is presented. In my opinion, organized boycotts are overused by Christians who come off looking like whiners who have nothing better to do. March Madness has nothing to do with the Church. The Church has no dogs in that hunt. Individual players have personal decisions to make and it’s not my place to tell them what their consciences should dictate.
onward christian soldiers… Polycarp would say ‘amen’ IMHO … the original hymn is beautiful and McLaren’s new hymn is a nice one, but the original didn’t need his rewrite – McLaren is a silly man in this instance – IMNSHO
Thank you London for posting that link. Depression and other mental illnesses are a very important subject and this article treated it rather well, I thought.
The worship-boycotting article was pretty good. My son makes his living as a leader of the worship team of a mega church and he is also a member of a successful Christian band. We’ve talked a lot about this and I think he would agree 100 percent with the article. But he, his friends, and his church are so heavily invested in this type of music. That church probably has a million dollars invested in sound equipment, probably more. (I don’t know how much this stuff costs.) It would take a lot for them to change, especially when it seems to draw the crowds.
What could evangelical* churches do instead? Revert to hymns? I like hymns and I still listen to them on Pandora even though they are not part of my current church culture. But I never listen to CCM music unless it’s my son’s band and I listen to that in the same spirit of gladness with which I receive my little granddaughter’s art projects. It’s as a fond mother, not as a fan of CCM.
If churches were to give up the electric guitars, drums, power point, etc., how would this change the atmosphere at church? Orthodox churches use no instruments at all, it’s all acappella. I do enjoy the sound of an Anglican pipe organ, though. Can your church continue its morning service if the electricity goes out? Does everything come to a crashing halt and you have to send the people home? Many modern sanctuaries don’t even have windows.
I remember my last few months at my (very nice) CC, one particular song that just about drove me up the wall. I felt the song was chosen because it had a good part for the drums. It was theologically vapid. I won’t say what song it was because it might be one of your favorites. For my swan song farewell chat with my CC pastor, he said it was his fave. God bless him, he has labored hard all his adult life for the cause of Christ.
Just rambling, sorry.
* Evangelical: Choose your own definition.
The article about Lent was dumb.
For starters, the only group that still observes a strict version of Lent are the Orthodox and the article never mentions them. We are vegans the entire 40 days plus Holy Week and are not allowed oil most days. (Fish for Palm Sunday, though.) We are to attend many church services, increase our prayers, avoid things like parties, read the Scriptures and other Christian books, etc. Some turn of the TV and won’t listen to secular music. By the time Pascha (Easter Sunday) rolls around we are worn out and at the end of ourselves are are ready for the Resurrection! We could not do this as lone-ranger Christians, we do it as a community. We do it with our own parish and with our Orthodox brothers and sisters across the globe. It starts in a few weeks, Lord have mercy.
Most Protestant churches* don’t have the centuries of experience, the church services, the literature, the hymns, the camaraderie and most especially the proper theology to support a 40 day (plus Holy Week) Lenten fast. It is hard enough without the support system.
But it is worth it.
* Anglicans and Lutherans excepted
I enjoy a lot of what might be defined as contemporary praise and worship and certain contemporary artists. I have also come to love the hymns of old. I also enjoy a lot of secular music.
When it comes to what would be defined as Christian music what’s most important is how does God see/receive it? I think of artist who put everything they have into a song(s) that might be widely ridiculed. As God looks at the heart He very well may receive that feeble effort above some of the classic hymns. Who am I to say?
Our opinions are subjective and we don’t know the hearts of people like Chris Tomlin or Kari Jobe. There’s enough music out there for everyone.
Finally I’ve seen folks rail against CCM and then I learn what they enjoy and in my subjective opnion it stinks! 🙂
Thanks for the link London!
“Can your church continue its morning service if the electricity goes out?” there’s some food for thot
#14 – food for thot there, too
Why does anyone want to control how another worships? Do we seek to control the liturgy of another? The dispensing of communion elements? The lihgting in the sanctuary? If you like accopella, fine. If you like hymns- fine. If you like a solo acoustic guitar- fine. If you like a bouncing bubbly booming black choir- great. If you like a full electric band- fine. When the music starts it should be your own personal experience with the Creator- regardless of the genre of music. We have diversity of churches so folks can find where they fit- as long as they all agree on the few basic essentails of the faith- who cares what kind of worship?
The article on forgiveness was a good one. I like how he said forgiveness is a process. It’s not necessarily a one time decision to forgive. We may have to forgive and forgive and forgive again and keep forgiving the same person for the same trespass. I think that’s partly what Jesus meant when He said “seventy times seven.” And His description of the man who forgave a debt only to have the debtor go and be so unmerciful to a fellow servant makes me shudder. God wants us to forgive because it’s the best thing for us, NOT for the other person. That person is going to go his way and maybe never even repent for their sin against us. It’s about the freedom forgiveness brings to us.
Michael et al,
I really liked the article on denominational cross-breeding. It is true that all believers have a place in the body of Christ, whether you are Lutheran, Catholic, Baptist, Pentacostal, Calvinist, Orthodox, etc etc. I know some people will bristle at this comment, and I bet some of us will be surprised at who gets to sit next to us at the wedding table and feast in heaven.
“We aren’t standing before Allah. We are standing before Jesus. Don’t be afraid of your sins. His death loves your sins, gobbles them all up, and buries them.”
From the article Jean posted – powerful stuff preached to the Christian.
“Frequently preachers kindly describe sin as “missing the mark.” This is far from the truth. Instead, sin is turning around and shooting our instructor in the head, and then dancing on his body. The same hearts and minds that put God on the cross lie under your bones. The same desire to spit on the one who loves you causes you to throw a nasty eye at the driver who just cut you off. Jesus did not die for your parking tickets; He died for murderers, anarchists, porn addicts, and assholes. I hope you are one of those, because if so, Christ has a gift for you!”
That’s me and I accept the free gift.!! 🙂
I’m looking forward to when people rewrite McClaren’s offensive books
I read the Lent article. I didn’t think it was dumb. I like the concept of Lent and even though I don’t go to a liturgical church that does it, I find it fascinating. I don’t like making it mandatory with so many restrictions though. To me its a personal choice but I like the idea of following the historic liturgical calendar. When its centered around Christ it makes so much sense. I think the cheap imitation of it is the 30 Daniel fast that my old CC did not even stopping to celebrate Easter. The entire point of that Fast was missed in my humble opinion
Boycotting the Worship Industry sounds like a good idea, even if I don’t agree with all of his points. Quick responses:
1) Agreed 100%. If the Christian Top 40/CCLI and big-named churches with millions are the main reasons songs are getting sung, rethink your music.
2) On one hand, I don’t think Tomlin raises to the level of “Idol.” Over-hyped, way too influential? Yes. True, some factions of the church have appointed themselves prophets and apostles and their kids run the music band that gets them publicity and money. Red Flags. Compared to that Tomlin seems pretty tame.
On the other, I know of one blogger who had made an innocent comment about Chris Tomlin on his site and included the word “girlfriend.” Instantly he had tons of hits from people asking if he was single and available. If we’re singing music mainly because the writer is sexy, we got a problem.
3) Agreed. If I can always hear the guy with a fauxhawk on the stage never the persons next to me, there’s a problem.
4) Er… Yes, if you mean a BIG EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE isn’t the goal of worship. Still, emotions and rational thought aren’t meant to be totally divorced in worship.
5) True. I feel like there’s a rather large number of people sick of singing the hits because they’re the hits. They can be shamed into being silent.
Still, I don’t know what “Boycotting” the industry looks like. No more Sandra McCracken, who is a genuine light? No occasional Tomlin or Redman that are good, if a little overhyped? My church is all over the map musically: old hymns, ancient prayers, new CCM, 70s folk, etc. I’d rather pick what’s good and not listen to what CCLI, celebrity bands, and KLOVE tell me to play.
And still, anything on KLOVE has got to be better than that sanctimonious Brian McLaren re-write.
Xenia – what band?
I think even the term “worship industry” is a misnomer in that most of these songs aren’t really worship – they focus on self. How I feel, how God feels about me, my needs, my thoughts, etc etc. The glory of God continues to fade as the performance-driven entertainers nudge out Spirit-filled true worshipers in the name of marketing.
I haven’t read all the articles yet but I would have to say the dumbest one so far is “the pope and Donald Trump”. This really just belongs on Saturday Night Live!
Uhhh…Xenia’s son is fairly famous. Wow. 🙂
I’ve used some of their songs for years.
Good to see the Lawsuit Trend vs Evangelical Churches, “Missionary Orgs” and Churches continue. It will keep expanding.
Gothard, SGM, KP Yohannon/Calvary Chapels corrupt mess of Gospel For Asia and some other Lawsuits coming.
Saw the piece on the supposed “good guy” Dr. David Jeremiah. What a greedy corrupt jerk. Making MILLIONS from using ministry money to tweak his book sales and get on best seller lists. Typical. The bigger they are, the more greedy, prideful and corrupt they become.
NONE is good, no not one. Stop following these a-holes. Stop giving them your money. They are frauds.
Ironically, Hibbs and the conservative CCSPs will LOVE my Crowder political stuff LOL.
Though, I’m not a Cruz guy. I’m a Ron Paul / Rand Paul guy….more libertarian leaning than a Cruz or Rubio or Trump.
MLD you stand against Strong’s description of the Greek word Hamartia?
Although you do make a very strong point!
It indeed is my sin that put Christ in the position to have to bear the consequences of that sinning.
I agree strongly with the article about the Christian music machine.
I attended a church where there was no music perse, only the occasional piano accompaniment.
The worship was phenomenal, you felt like taking your shoes off because it became holy sacred ground.
It has been said that a meeting where the gifts of the Holy Spirit are allowed to be freely exercised is a balancing act.
Think of it as if a circle of people are carefully passing around a tray with glasses of water upon it. They are trying very carefully not to spill the water as they pass the tray from one to another.
One speaks out in tongues, another gives an interpretation, while another sings out in an inspirational spiritual song. Another gives a word of knowledge while another gives a prophecy in song.
This is what it is like.
Each and every member of the meeting being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s direction and orchestration.
The meeting moves forward and accomplishes God’s goals when it is conducted decently and in order.
Things run along smoothly with no crash and burns.
I have been in large meetings where everyone was singing in the Spirit (singing in tongues) altogether at the same time.
When suddenly, without anyone other than the Holy Spirit giving direction, everyone stops singing except for one person.
Then just as suddenly someone else joins them in a sort of a duet.
And then the whole room full of people gently joins in a chorus.
And then an absolutely amazing thing would take place.
I would hear gentle rain pouring upon the roof when it is a very dry evening with no rain outside, and yet rain could be heard coming down on the roof.
Angelic voices could be faintly heard singing a counter part harmony along with the whole congregation.
And finally every voice would go silent as if a conductor had given a hand signal to taper off to silence.
It was at this point that there would be manifested the most powerful spiritual atmosphere where you felt as if you should be taking off your shoes because it was Holy ground that you were standing upon.
The Shekinah glory was being manifested. The manifested presence of Almighty God,
There is a church experience beyond the stimulation of the intellect with Bible study.
There is a church dimension that few ever get the opportunity to experience.
True heart felt worship with Christians who are not afraid of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and know what balance is in their operation.
I have had the wonderful pleasure of being in meetings like this.
I have been in carnal meetings masquerading as spiritual meetings, when in reality flesh was at work pretending that the Holy Spirit was moving in their midst.
Nothing quenches the Holy Spirit faster then flesh acting as if He were
behind their antics.
Holy reverence dictates that we be sensitive and truly worshipful to insure balance for forward momentum or we will get no where…few make it through the straight and narrow gate.
Years ago I would attend Oden Fong’s CCCM Bible study (early 90’s).
He had a guy whose singing voice sounded like the lead singer for the band Journey.
Whenever the guy sang it always irritated me because I could sense he was proud that he sounded like that Journey lead singer. He was up on stage and he loved it.
The Holy Spirit never manifested when the man sang at Oden’s Bible study…never once.
Rock star mentality don’t cut it with the Holy Spirit.
Sincere, heart felt worship of Jesus Christ always will.
Ya, I don’t like the worship music machine at all, it truly sucks.
“The meeting moves forward and accomplishes God’s goals when it is conducted decently and in order.”
What are God’s goals?
Surfer – “MLD you stand against Strong’s description of the Greek word Hamartia?”
Remember, words are used to describe something – but the word is not the something. See, if sin were only “missing the mark” well heck, I can take care of that myself – I just need more practice at hitting the mark. “Jesus, wait, you don’t need to go to the cross – I am practicing hitting the mark.
No, the sin is as the articles says our daily spitting in God’s face — YES I said it out loud – even as a believer!!!
“It indeed is my sin that put Christ in the position to have to bear the consequences of that sinning.” Nope – you didn’t just put him in an awkward position to do something – you yourself, just as me myself (I may need some grammar lessons here) actually hung him on that cross ourselves – you and me buddy. 😉
God’s goal is His glory.
Not only worship groups but the “motivational speakers” that come to churches and put their tables with books and what not in front of the church pressuring you to buy something or your neighbor will see you didn’t.
Most “sanctuaries” these days would of been treated the same way Christ dealt with the money changers in the temple.
One of the biggest money changers would be the Harvest crusades, or Harvest America.
MLD, good word.
Odd thing about boycotting the “worship industry”, wish I guess I am boycotting as I don’t buy any cd’s or go to concerts. I pay my CCLI license, but I’ve discussed those financials here before. They aren’t getting rich from churches using their songs in worship. Nevertheless, if you like an artist, buy their CD. Go to their concert. Who cares.
See, the reason the worship industry came about is because people were tired of the gospel song industry. Bill and Gloria Gaither had become an idol to many.
Before them it was Fanny Crosby.
Before her, J.S. Bach.
Before him, Issac Watts.
Before him, Martin Luther.
The problem isn’t the style of music, the instruments used, or the name of the songwriter. The problem is in the evil heart of man.
Let’s boycott that.
I appreciate that when all those hippies who were strumming their guitars to Dylan and Baez (or for that matter, Clapton and Jimi) got saved that they had a chance to take their love and talent and use it for the Lord – rather than be told they better learn the organ if they ever want to play music again because now they are Christians.
Almost cut my hair…..
Got saved 4 days before my 19th birthday in the bathroom of a motor shop. Two months later I walked into a “contemporary style” church plant. I had a mohawk and was wearing a black t-shirt that had a skull with a guitar going through it. The worship leader said he had heard of me around town, that I was a good bass player, Asked me to join him the next week.
Unlike Steve, I did shave the mohawk.
I called that guy last week to thank him. If he hadn’t grabbed me that day, I probably wouldn’t be alive today.
Let me phrase this another way:
Xenia’s son makes music that is used by millions of believers around the world to lift up Jesus the best way they know how.
Do we really want to boycott him?
Great story, Josh.
My hair wasn’t long….I was quoting the Crosby, Stills, Nash song…fitting for the times described (and listened to no doubt by many of those I speak of)
I got saved in 1993 – listening to punk rock and hard rock…sans mohawk or long hair 🙂
I got saved November 29th 1993. Looked like an anorexic Sid Vicious.
That was the image from the T-shirt I had on that day in February 1994.
Do we really want to boycott him?
I remember when I was a young Christian some loud leader on TV was urging a boycot of Disney over some film done by Touchstone which was one of their media outlets.
I heard a great counterpoint by someone saying that if we think telling our little kids they can’t enjoy their Disneyland and princess movies because they are Christians – don’t be surprised to find them abandoning the Lord as soon as they are old enough to not have mom and dad control all their decisions. He said, why not just “boycot” the offensive film and leave it at that?
Wise advice. Not a big boycot guy myself…
Looked like an anorexic Sid Vicious
I’m guessing you played bass better than he used to….hey I think even I could play bass better than he could…
Ahh poo. The link didn’t work.
Speaking of the Sex Pistols…I wonder what God (or for that matter Satan) must think to see guys who were jamming and singing along to “I am an anti-Christ I am an anarchist, Don’t know what I want But I know how to get it I want to destroy the passerby”
now serving the Lord. I imagine a scene sort of like Job where God is telling Satan if he bothered to point us out jamming in the car….”Just wait and see…”
Amazing grace indeed
Those forgiven much, love much. I will never regret the years I lived as an unbeliever…not because of the experiences (which I often do regret) but because of what God used them for to mold me….
Ha! Good thought Steve.
You are right, too. Sid was an awful bassist.
I learned to play bass listening to my dad’s motown records when I was growing up. Started by picking out the lines on an acoustic guitar. Later learned that I was playing the bass lines. Had to get a bass. Later learned that guy who played bass on all that stuff was named James Jamerson. As a young teen, told everyone who would listen that one day I’d have a son and name him Jamerson.
Jamerson turned 8 on Valentines day 🙂
Had to look him up (not up on my session players from the Motown years 🙂 )
Tragic he died so young..alcoholism. Age 47. Wow.
Love your story…and his name lives on
I became very obsessed with him at a young age. It was super hard to find any info on (pre internet of course), but once I learned his name, it was like this whole school of musicians that were devoted to him. I also figured out that if you put on a 33, but played it at 45 speed, the bass line jumped WAY out front and made it easier to learn. It was at a higher pitch, but once you learned the patterns, you could move it back down easily. My dad would be yelling, “Why are you listening to the Temptations sound like the friggin Chipmunks?” He didn’t get that I wasn’t listening to the Temptations at all, until much later. Always drove him crazy.
Man, what set off my nostalgic mood?
Ahh, yes, Steve’s comment about the hippies that almost cut their hair…
I’ll stop now:0
maybe music IS in the ear of the beholder … 🙂
sin defined as missing the mark = bad? … somehow i’d come away from that definition thinking that the point was that no matter how close you might come (you won’t) to absolute perfect, you’ll still miss the mark … almost isn’t good enough for an absolute, holy God…
“a miss is as good as a mile” …
do not denigrate surfer’s #33 … very few of us will ever get that close to holy ground – a rare gathering
no room there for human viewpoint upon which we rely; as probably we should, all things considered
perhaps the sad thing is that we don’t really want to come that close… too spooky, too nebulous for doctrinal dissertation 🙂
The article on boycotting the worship industry had some good points in my view. I guess the issues that bother me most in contemporary worship music (and CCM for that matter) are the emotional manipulation involved in some songs, the simplistic and shallow lyrics (“I love the way you hold me” – a recent lyric from a popular christian singer), and relying on a business model instead of ministry. Calling it an “industry” is very appropriate as it seems that only professionals are involved, or even welcome to be involved.
No, the sin is as the articles says our daily spitting in God’s face — YES I said it out loud – even as a believer!
MLD where in scripture is our daily sin actually spitting in God’s face. Your so loose with your personal opinions which is your problem not mine. But when you draw your own personal conclusions as if they have biblical authority, as relating that a believer spits on the face of God daily due to daily sin. Back it up with scripture, because I don’t bear witness to it personally nor have I heard of any of the early church father’s use such description to a believer who is walking with Jesus.
Josh – so what do you say that a believer is doing when he sins against God (all sin is against God) after God has given his life to pay for your sin, to also release you from the slavery to that sin, has died to be able to put heaven ahead of you as your destination?
Do you not call that spitting in God’s face? or are you one of those who just think you are a little broken but working to fix yourself up and made a ooopsie?
Again, you bring up the divide between Lutheran theology and .. well I was going to say evangelical theology, but as you pointed out yesterday – there is no evangelical theology beyond the 4 points – so you must be trumpeting SBC doctrine.
But why do you give your personal opinion about my view – I see that as a problem.
MLD I asked for scripture to back up statement. Why don’t you just be real and say there is no scripture to support my opinion. Or lay out the scripture that backs up your spitting in the face of God.
Writing more minutiae in your reply without scripture to support your view when you where asked means you cannot make a scriptural case, that’s all.
Josh – I don’t know what you are talking about. All scripture in the Bible describes our sin as great offense on our part towards God. Geez, the Bible even describes our good works in a similar way.
Are you taking issue with my terminology “spitting in the face of God”? or are you at issue because you don’t think sin is a big deal after salvation?
Did you even read the article? It was written about and written to believers.
I think this paragraph from the article describes your position.
“Perhaps we want to say that we missed the mark because we don’t really like to be honest about the depth of our depravity. We like to think that we can manage sin. We manage it by excusing it, finding reasons for our failures, blaming our society, parents, comparing ourselves to others…”
I clearly see you don’t want to answer my simple question, which is fine.
My answer is ALL SCRIPTURES SPEAKING ON SIN ARE A GREAT OFFENSE TO GOD – SIMILAR TO US SPITTING IN HIS FACE AFTER HIS ATONING DEATH.
I am sorry that you hold a lesser view and it bothers you.
Tell me – so what do you think of what we do when we sin as believers? I have been around others over the year who hold to no harm no foul.
If my post was converted into a math equation. My view would be X relating to my view on sin. In other words, how is then you can draw from my post that my opinion is I have a lessor view of sin then you, or what is biblically excepted as orthodox. You seem have other conversations going on in your head that seem to be influencing what you seem to be reading, why is that?
Fine, you have your position on sin and I have mine.
But I have told you mine (and you disagree which is fine) but you have not said what your position is. So, in all fairness, you leave it open for me to categorize your non stated position.
If we are going to have dialogue, you need to join in and not just throw rocks from the cheap seats.
My apologies – wrong Josh, so I take back any SBC references.
Josh the Beloved is even more covert.
I like this post from you MLD, it’s more real.
Just so you know, all that I was requested was a scriptural reference 🙂
i think a person could be spitting in God’s face when sinning, but it is just as likely that the redeemed person is sinning simply because he/i is/am just a wretched, corrupt creature…
sometimes we ask God to forgive us because of our attitude and sometimes, still confessing, we thank Him for His grace because of our aptitude … like a child, holding something valuable and breakable and dropping it… or so it seems to me – dunno
Josh the Beloved – the man of no opinion. I don’t think as long as you have been on this site you have ever told anything of yourself or your belief – you even hijacked or close to it another person’s title)
So, what do you think the believer is doing when he sins?
Also, did you read the original article?
charles said, “One of the biggest money changers would be the Harvest crusades, or Harvest America.”
Greg Laurie is corrupt with a tan and a smile.
“But, Greg, this one thing I have against you….”
Cozies up to TBN, acts like he’s a good guy, gets super-rich and super-famous and his only Product is “Jesus” and the Gospel. Makes me do the vomit reflex every time I see his logo, brand and spray-tan yuppie metrosexual aging face.
If it’s real and literal and along the lines of Calvary Chapel’s* version of things….Greg Laurie has squeezed out every last drop of his reward on this side of heaven. He’ll be lucky to be sweep the bathroom stalls in heaven.
will we need bathrooms in heaven? 🙂
Previously, we were discussing the Christian Worship Industry. In thinking about suitable music for a worship service, I would like to share this song that we sang tonight as part of a Lenten Prayer Service (the theme is Knowing Jesus Perfectly):
O Sacred Head, Now wounded
1 O sacred head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, your only crown.
O sacred head, what glory
and blessing you have known!
Yet, though despised and gory,
I claim you as my own.
2 My Lord, what you did suffer
was all for sinner’s gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but yours the deadly pain.
So here I kneel, my Savior,
for I deserve your place;
look on me with thy favor
and save me by your grace.
3 What language shall I borrow
to thank you, dearest Friend,
for this, your dying sorrow,
your pity without end?
Lord, make me yours forever,
a loyal servant true,
and let me never, never
outlive my love to you.
– Bernard of Clairvaux, 1090-1152
Here is a vocal to the words
Was thinking about this today as I passed a church sign this morning.
Lent observance is a good thing for all Christians.
If observed from the heart I believe it can increase ones spirituality, don’t you.
Gee Pastor Al don’t suppress your feelings…
See. That’s what I’ve always been afraid of. People mistaking me for Josh The Imposter.
Josh – my apologies – as penance I will watch a Charles Stanley video – 😉
For us Midwesterners, Erwin Lutzer, is another option for you MLD.
You do that. (Psst. He is the most famous alum of my seminary.)
I always found him a little boring. Seems to be a good guy. Like many others, his kid has fallen further from the tree.
When I was SBC, which was right when he was SBC president he was OK. I used to like to watch when his son Any would stand in for his dad. But I think Stanley’s divorced weighed heavy on him, plus age.
Andy now has whacky kind of ministry, Huge but whacky.
The divorce was before I was a Christian, but was a huge scandal here. I know he’s helped the school alot over the years. I’ve never actually listened to a complete sermon of his. I did like Adrian Rogers, though. I don’t guess the SBC has anybody with that kind of national reach now. Not a pastor anyway. I suppose most people know Al Mohler.
OK, this is hard to take – but I post this as a great example of the kind of preaching that is filling the church pews and at the same time, killing the Christian faith. This Rick Warren sermon is a classic example of
1.) The Theology of Glory – and…
2.) Preaching the Christian instead of the Christ
Note in the beginning it is about the crowds he draws and then the hype about the next series of the “How To” and you can tell he is prepping them to buy the materials to follow along. This is all inline with Purpose Driven preaching. This is a must see.
I liked Adrian Rogers – great voice … I know, I am shallow.
Ugh – Yeah I forgot about Rick Warren. I guess he is still SBC, but he’s been whackier than Andy Stanley.
Rogers did have a great voice.
Since Rick Warren really is the 21st century face of (that which has been determined to be unidentifiable) American evangelicalism, we need to listen closely to what he says. He sent people on the quest for 40 Days of Purpose and turned it into the best selling book of all time and now he introduces the 50 days of Transformation.
Put on your seat belts folks.
3 of the points of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism can be seen in this video and I am sure throughout the course.
1.) God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
2.) The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
3.) God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
I do whole heartedly agree with Pastor Al in some areas!
Adrian Rogers did “extention of presence” just like J. Vernon Mcgee.
Adrian had a true Shepherds heart and was a spiritual father to many.
Something I wrote about Warren 7 years ago:
“I will give Rick Warren the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he was meaning well when he started Saddleback Church in 1980, and though he didn’t create the seeker-friendly concept, most of the major trends in evangelical churches can now be traced back to him. His influence on the modern church can’t be overstated. It could be said that Warren begat Ed young, who begat Perry Noble, who begat Steven Furtick.
With each successive generation we move farther away from Biblical Christianity, and more towards a pragmatic business model. “
When I had my conversion experience during a high school youth group retreat led by Church of the Open Door in San Rafael, CA, the teaching and worship was all devoted to Jesus. Then church life in all its different meetings and services was devoted to Jesus, worshiping and growing closer to him, and evangelism. I don’t recall any programs devoted to therapy, psychology, or sanctification programs.
Today, church life can be quite the opposite. Some of the non-denominational movements today are more devoted to helping people live better, more satisfying and successful lives by employing some Christian spiritual principles. But, Jesus, is now more of an example or inspiration than the object of worship.
Do people here also perceive this change, realizing that there are always exceptions?
I should have mentioned in #89, that the year of my conversion was 1977.
Several years ago Saddleback hosted a huge AIDS conference attended by people all over the world, including Hillary Clinton. My friend from India who also has an AIDS ministry timed his trip to the States that year to be able to go to the conference. I took him to the office for him to finish the registration paperwork and in the waiting room there was a large glass display case with several books in it.
The books were all Purpose Driven Life, one for each of the many different languages it had been translated into. A whole display.
Make your own application….
A little side note – the baptist church right next to my church was the initial Saddleback Church before Rick Warren took the congregation up the street to the larger facilities.
I don’t care about Warren’s book sales – God bless him in that venture as it funds his projects.
My concern is that if you listen to his sermon (talk) there was absolutely no gospel. It is all “here is what you do to be all that you can be in the church – and i and others are your coach.”
I listen to many evangelical sermons and they are the same — Jesus and the gospel come in at the end and is directed to the unsaved only. No gospel for the Christian.
That is definitely the route that Warren and his ilk take.
My trouble with Warren, and who cares if I have trouble with him – and he is a great producer for the churches – but my trouble is that his preaching is such an attractive alternative to Christianity that too many folks follow him.
I agree MLD. I remember reading PDL 20 years ago. He said the first thing is did was poll the community. “What do you want in a church?”
I thought that pretty much assured that he was gonna end up on the wrong path.
I have a theory about what Warren is doing with his preaching, and I ask you to tell me if you think I’m off base. As background into my theory, let’s look at what Warren said.
First, he is prepping his congregations for the next series, which he calls a “Spiritual Growth Campaign.” The program is called “50 Days of Transformation.” He then gives, them the 6 elements of transformation. Transformation, according to Warren, requires:
2. Learning the truth
3. New thinking
4. Cleaning house
5. Honest community
As I was listening to this and Warren’s application of Bible verses using several different translations or paraphrases, it dawned on me: My theory is that Warren begins with some modern psychology, coaching and/or management principles and proof texts these principles back into the Bible; then he calls this Christianity. These principles may be valid and even good for people, but they are not uniquely Christian. Other religions and even atheists could welcome these principles or even write them themselves without the Bible references.
Let me give you two examples:
4. “Cleaning House” Bible verse from Today’s English Version: “So get rid of your old self….” Warren’s application is that if you want to lose weight, go home and clean out your kitchen of the unhealthy food there.
6. “Faith” Bible verse from the Living Bible:
“Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.”
Warren’s application is that if you want transformation, you need to boldly ask God for it and sign up for 50 Days of Transformation, believing that God will give you the transformation you are seeking. It is the power of positive thinking, similar to what Osteen teaches. Even worse, Warren is using this verse to ask people to have faith in his program.
I used to be relatively neutral of Warren, but I actually think he is evil for the same reason you do – he draws naive people away from Christ and into themselves. I would probably like Warren a lot if he was a sports coach, management consultant or almost any vocation other than pastor.
Well, I don’t actually think Rick Warren is evil. In fact he is a very fine person – but give him a couple of more “spiritual growth campaigns” and I will have no issue in calling out his teaching as not christian.
The dangerous part is whenever he does something – I can’t drive away from my house without seeing his lawn signs on 30 % of the homes in South Orange county – especially in my home neighborhood.
I would rather see lawn gnomes. 🙂
I’d go to dinner with him … I’d even pay.
I think you have a sweet spot for him MLD.
“II. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.”
“Do not my holy name disgrace, do not my Word of truth
debase. Praise only that as good and true which I myself say and
do. Have mercy, Lord!”
If you have dinner with Rick, please pass this to him:
I’m reluctant to endorse a “boycott” of worship music not because I actually like a whole lot of contemporary worship music. Much of it comes across to me, to indulge in an elitist metaphor, like the emotional/intellectual equivalent of a smudgy black and white photocopy of a postage stamp replication of a painting by Rembrandt.
But I’ve been loathe to dismiss styles I used to have not only no interest in but wouldn’t even call music twenty years ago. Rap and country were two musical styles I loathed in my teens but now I like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Sr., and the only musical I’ve heard out of sheer curiosity was Hamilton.
Christians have been having worship wars for as long as there’s been ways to write music down. Last year Yale had a bit of a scandal when a department head declared that jazz was not going to be included in the music program because the goal was to focus on the Western art music canon (i.e. dead white guys, to make it brutally simplistic). Now blues and jazz are at least a century old and the idea that the string quartets of Elliott Carter are a bigger deal in music history than the big band music of Basie and Ellington or Armstrongs Hot Seven seems ridiculous to me. It’s not even that I don’t like any music composed by Carter, just that in the Baroque era musicians learned from the ars perfecta tradition of the Renaissance and also from the “modern” style that we tend to associate with composers like Schutz or Telemann.
I’m wondering if the reasons o much worship music is poor is because people have a lower level of cultural musical literacy, and tend to just learn that one or two styles they love and don’t regard other styles as music. It seems like a pernicious development from the romantic era to me. We live in an era where there doesn’t have to be any inherent conflict between affections for the music of Stevie Wonder, Johnny Cash and William Byrd. But there’s a lot of extra-musical baggage fans bring to musical styles.