Category Archives: Commentary

Music: What does God think


Music: What does God think

The charismatic infection of a Baptist church rarely occurs as a frontal assault. Usually charismatics are able to infiltrate a church one by one, and often hide their true beliefs, or at least some of them, until they are established within the congregation.
Sometimes, charismatics, and their principles, are hidden within a “Trojan Horse.” One of the most effective charismatic Trojan Horses is that of Christian contemporary music.
We should pause here to say that we are not against all Christian contemporary music. The term “contemporary music” refers to any music that is being written today. Some Christian contemporary music is well-composed, with words that are doctrinally correct and that lift the soul to a better understanding of God and Scriptural principles. Such music is quite suitable for worship.
However, much of what is called Christian contemporary music, while being quite contemporary, is not quite Christian, either in music or words, or if Christian in words, so trite as to be both useless in promoting Christian principles and annoying to the ear accustomed to good music. Much of Christian contemporary music is not suitable for worship in a Baptist church that honors the Lord and desires to do His will.
The problem many Baptist churches face is that some members, who either have no understanding of the place of music in our church services or who are simply carnal, want the wrong kind of contemporary music to be used in the church services. The music they favor lends itself to doctrinal laxness, an ecumenical spirit, and opens the door for charismatics, who thrive in such an atmosphere. Too many Baptists pastors, having little or no background in music, do not appreciate the dangers of the wrong kind of music in the church services.

While the author is primarily a theologian, he also has more training in music than the average pastor. In fact, for the first three years of his college experience he majored in music, currently plays four instruments, and has been involved in both symphony orchestras and bands. Further, he was music director of two churches of good size, so he feels qualified to write briefly on this subject.

The Definition and Composition of Music

The best definition this author has ever seen of music is this: Music is the tonal expression of emotion.
Through music, we express our many moods and feelings. Music can therefore be used to inspire patriotism, express love of God, build loyalty to the church, and express the true love between a man and a woman. It can also be used to inspire rebellion in youth, instill a desire for illicit drugs, incite to sexual promiscuity, and entice to a favorable view of false religions.
What a piece of music accomplishes depends on its composition. The composition of a piece of music shows the intent of the composer, for the elements of the composition are all designed to produce an emotional response in the listener. The elements of music composition are:
1. Melody – the personality of the piece by which it is identified.
2. Harmony – that which provides artistic interest by supporting the melody.
3. Rhythm – a servant to both melody and harmony, it enables the music to flow smoothly from one measure to another, and gives pulse to the music. Good rhythm is largely unnoticed and essentially regular.
4. Dynamics – the loudness and softness of the piece.
5. Resolution – this gives a sense of finality to the phrases and to the piece as a whole.
Some may ask, “What forms of music are legitimate forms of music?” We would have to answer: All forms, for all forms of music express emotion through the elements of their composition. Therefore, there is no form of music that is not legitimate music.
This does not mean, however, that all music is suitable for either Christian worship or even Christian consumption, for there is some music has a purpose that is contrary to Biblical truth.
“Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up.” – Daniel 3:4-5. Here we have music whose expressed purpose was to promote idolatry.
Take note of this: There is no such thing as “neutral” music. Music can express love, loyalty, compassion, mercy, faith, adoration, anger, jealousy, malice, lust, hatred, carelessness, and any other of the full range of human emotions. Further, music can be used to manipulate the emotions and express morality, or the lack thereof.
Let us spend a moment on what we said above about music being able to manipulate the emotions. Some people say, “Music doesn’t affect me.” However, such people are only self-deceived. Ever notice how that in finer restaurants the music is soft, slow, and relaxing? Such restaurants try to promote the relaxed enjoyment of the meal. On the other hand, in fast food restaurants the music is usually loud, fast, and jumpy. The whole idea of the music in those restaurants is for you to “gobble and go.” The Nazi soldiers of World War II Germany were single-minded in the dedication to their nation and formidable on the battlefield. Why was this? If you ever listened to a German march you would know.

Music in the Bible

In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to worship Him with both vocal and instrumental music, “Sing praises to the LORD.” – Psalm 9:11. “Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.”- Psalm 33:2.
In the New Testament, the churches were instructed to use music as part of their teaching ministry. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”- Colossians 3:16.
The God who instructed us to use music in our churches also told us what kind of music is suitable. Both in the passage above and in Ephesians we have three types of music that are approved of God. “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”- Ephesians 5:19. Let us examine briefly the types of music God approves:
1. Psalms – these are Scriptures set to music. An example of this is the song, “Seek Ye First,” which is in the hymnal In Spirit and In Truth, published by the American Baptist Association:
Seek ye first the kingdom of God,
And His righteousness,
And all these things shall be added unto you!
Alleluia, alleluia!
2. Hymns – these are songs of praise and adoration. Songs like, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “The Spacious Firmament,” “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” and “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.” By the way, hymns are excellent vehicles for teaching doctrine, especially those in the above-mentioned hymnal, and children who are raised on them love to sing them when they are teenagers.
3. Spiritual Songs – these are gospel songs and songs of testimony and exhortation. “There is Power in the Blood,” “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place,” “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart,” and “Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus,” are examples of spiritual songs.

Forms of Music Not Suitable for Worship

Any of the forms of rock music are not suitable for worship in the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ. We say they are not suitable because of origin, composition, and effect on the listener.
Rock music has its origin in African tribal music designed to promote fertility rites and idol worship. When brought to America, it was mingled with jazz, blues, and swing music to produce what we now have as modern rock music. With such evil influences and evil associations, you would think that no Christian would want anything to do with it. Still, there are many who see nothing wrong with using rock music in church, especially to attract young people. What they don’t realize is that they are using the same music form that Satan uses to promote pre-marital sex, rebellion, and drug use among teens and pre-teens. And let us say something about using worldly music to attract young people to our churches. This author is old enough to remember when hippies were in style, and when their counter-culture was somewhat popular. Some Baptist churches, in order to reach the young people of their day, resorted to aping the hippie movement. It was thought that if we approached hippies using their language (“God can take care of your hang-ups”), music, and fashions, that we could reach them with the gospel and make good Baptist young people out of them. Christian coffee houses became numerous, and some churches even substituted “right on” for “amen” in their services. However, the results were, sadly, not what many wanted. Instead of winning the hippies to Christ, the hippies won many of the Baptist young people over to their philosophies and lifestyle. And why not? They were already half-way to the counter culture in their own churches. Have we learned anything from that experience of 40 years ago?
The composition of rock music is easy to spot. Rock music consists of a driving beat with the accent on the upbeat (backbeat) wedded with repetitive chord patterns in the harmony.
Remember that, earlier in this chapter, we said that the beat or rhythm is largely unnoticed in good music. Not so with rock music. The beat is upfront and in your face. It is designed to get people up and dancing, to move faster, drive faster, and eat faster. It produces a hyped-up, aggressive feeling in the listener. Good music has its accent on the downbeat. By accenting the upbeat, or backbeat, the effects of the driving beat are enhanced. Add to that the repetitive chord patterns, and you have a form of music that is both hypnotic and that jangles the nervous system. Rock music produces sensual feelings and an attitude of rebellion against authority.
When rock music is wedded to Christian words, the music contradicts the message. Having said that, much of the contemporary Christian rock music contains words that are contrary to sound doctrine and promote a self-centered, experience-oriented view. Because of its origin, composition, and effect, rock music is not suitable for Christian worship.
You will find that people who are regular listeners of contemporary Christian rock music are shallow in doctrine, rebellious to church authority, and interdenominational in view. These are not things we want to encourage in our churches. Yet these are exactly the characteristics of most charismatics. Contemporary Christian rock music prepares Baptist people to accept a charismatic mind-set, and sets the stage for charismatic infiltration into our churches.
Other forms of music that are not suitable for worship include jazz, blues, and swing, all of which promote a sensual mood. In our churches we want music that appeals, not to man’s base nature, but to the new nature that Christ provides.

Forms of Music Suitable for Worship

For the spiritual health of our churches we must have the following:
1. Music that is well-written, using all of its elements to create a suitable frame for the worship og God.
2. Music that matches, and bears out the mood of words that are theologically sound and spiritually uplifting.
3. Music that enhances the preaching ministry. Church music that does not prepare the people for the preaching of the Word of God is a waste of time. Music that prepares people for the ministry of the Word is most profitable, [NOTE: Too often I have heard this from Baptists: “The music service was so powerful, that we just kept on with the music and didn’t even get to the preaching.” What a tragedy! The Bible does not say “So then faith cometh by music,” but, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17. I would have a hard time believing that the Holy Ghost, who was the active agent in the inspiration of the Word of God, would lead us to leave off its preaching. God’s pastors need to strongly stand against anything that would downgrade the importance of the preaching of the Bible to God’s people and to those who are lost.]
Forms of music that accomplish the three items above are suitable for worship. Such music will promote doctrinal fidelity and spirituality in our churches.

The above: “The Trojan Horse at the door of your Baptist Church,” is chapter V of the book: “Wildfire, Tongues, Healings and the Charismatic Movement,” written by David E. Gonnella, (Pensacola: West Florida Baptist Institute Press, 2009).

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THE SUBMARINE Church


THE SUBMARINE Church
Parson to Person
A minister once described his church as a submarine church. Perplexed, his listener asked what he meant. He replied with the following description. “We have submerged ourselves in our own little sea. We don’t like the trouble and misery that is so abundant all around our community and nation. So we decided to submerge ourselves to be safe from it all. So far, we are holding a record for staying submerged the longest. Once, A former pastor peered through the periscope and suggested the church should surface and engage the enemy. He was immediately tried for mutiny and dismissed. In time the air got really stale, but a committee was appointed to study it, and they concluded that that stale air was really good for you. So, the crew went through a well rehearsed routine regularly. They overhauled the kitchen, took stock of all the ammo on board although none of it was ever used. When another pastor tried to bring the vessel to surface, the entire crew got the bends, so continued submersion was necessary. The captain’s last log read, ‘submerged and continuing to practice drills. An enemy was sighted, but the entire crew demanded that there be no engagement, rather they should dive a little deeper to be in a safe zone.’ ” Today’s churches would much rather sing “Hold the Fort” than to “Storm the fort.” Sadly, the description of a submarine church is altogether to close to home for several. The Lord wants His lights to shine: to bear influence on the lives of others rather than melt into society unnoticed and be content with marginalization. So, in the words of the psalmist, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!” Think about it! When is the last time you took the initiative in a one on one conversation to let that person know that you love the Lord, and that the Lord desires that everyone should believe in Him? If you have not done this in a long time, try it really soon. Even if you fumble, you will be so glad you tried, and you will do better, and be more comfortable with it, next time. Each of us who knows the Lord is a lighted candle. The question is: will we let it shine in the candlestick or put in under a bushel (submarine)? The answer is obvious! If we really do have a one on one relationship with the Savior, we will burn inside to have others know the love, peace, joy, life and hope that we have.

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FREEDOM AND RIGHTEOUSNESS REQUIRES VIGILANCE


PARSON TO PERSON
FREEDOM AND RIGHTEOUSNESS REQUIRES VIGILANCE
As the United States of America wades deep into its third century of being a free and independent nation, it does so without the mainstream of its citizenry possessing the values and resolve that initiated it and supported it through tough, sad, hard, and happy times. That loss is fundamental, so fundamental that the nation as it was framed may not much longer endure. What happened? Think with me! Solomon wrote: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” Proverbs 6:6-11. The greatest gift a nation could hope to possess in war with another, would be to find them all asleep in the day of battle. Vigilance has its virtue, and sleep its calamity! In the spiritual warfare, the forces of evil have succeeded in rocking this nation to sleep on toxic materialism. When a majority of the population finds it more palatable to abandon its talent, mental acumen, self determination and personal freedom in favor of whoever will put the biggest check in the mailbox, the devil himself has no trouble garnering the necessary votes to rule. Even when it is known, but not fully comprehended that his rule will be enslavement. Such induced lethargy and sleep provided from the labor of others wins in the battle of preferences in an unprincipled people. This weekend, much celebration will mark yet another year to celebrate the founding of the United States of America. What a God-sent it has been to His people who for centuries yearned to be free to worship Him according to the dictates of their conscience and understanding of Holy Writ! However, judicial actions of the past half century affords much to lament in witnessing its decline. The shinning. global example of freedom and blessedness of this nation is a story of bloodshed, principle, dedication, and hard work. Let all who love this country stand fast in these things and be a part of its grand story. Let us all give ear anew to the words of the wise man who so eloquently penned, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34

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U. S. SUPREME COURT NOT SUPREME


U. S. SUPREME COURT NOT SUPREME
There are many levels of authority which, at some point in life, come to bear directly or indirectly on everyone. Authority is a good thing. Organized authority is an even better thing. Consider that there is parental authority (at least what is left of it). Also, there is the authority of school teachers and administrators. There is law enforcement authority. There is an ever encroaching bureaucratic authority. Then there is the authority of the courts of the land. These range from municipal courts to district, state, state supreme, federal district courts and finally the Supreme Court of the United States of America.By the time a case reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, it has been heard and appealed, perhaps several times by lower courts. Dissatisfaction with lower court rulings has allowed appeals all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court. When that court renders a ruling, it is said to be final. There is no higher court of appeal to which the case may be sent for examination and decision.However that is not always the case! As one surveys the preserved records of Holy Writ, he will be impressed that the courts of men have been wrong much of the time on truly important matters. Consider that folks in the antediluvian world ruled that they could live as they pleased, and since practically the entire world agreed with them, their ruling had to be right. However the Creator God over ruled their decision to the destruction of the entire earth, except the extreme minority who trusted in Him.Moreover, one need only look to the Tower of Babel to see a similar Divine overruling of the decision of men. Then what of the three Hebrew children and of Daniel all of whom defied the supreme ruler of the land, but God overruled him! The list could go on and on. But certainly there was a time when men ruled that Jesus the express image of the invisible God should be put to death on a Roman cross. But God overruled their decision in His resurrection and uses His sacrifice to be the source of eternal life to all who trust in Him.The U. S. Supreme Court has handed down what is thought to be a final decision regarding same sex marriage, but it is wrong, very wrong in ruling against nature and nature’s God. But one may rest assured that the decision of that court is not final. The courts of heaven are sovereign, and in the end will rule supremely to the hurt of all who defy heaven’s King and His eternal Word. It is to that court God’s people should be appealing, especially that its physical, inaugural rule on earth might begin soon by the certain coming of the Supreme Sovereign. (The idea for this article is taken from a message by my late, great friend and brother in Christ, Dr. R. T. Perritt)

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Fundamental Baptists and Big Daddy Weave


Fundamental Baptists and Big Daddy Weave

May 28, 2015 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

fundamental_baptists_and_big_daddy

On the last night of the Friends Conference at Crown Baptist College in April 2014, Kenny Baldwin sang Big Daddy Weave’s “Redeemed.” He introduced the song by saying that in a service at his church he had asked his song leader to sing the song repeatedly because it “touched so many people.”

Regardless of whether or not the song “touched” people,” it is a dangerous error for a fundamental Baptist preacher to promote Big Daddy Weave or any of the other CCM groups that have the same ecumenical, non-judgmental, one-world church philosophy.

One brother who listened to the sermons from the 2014 Friends Conference observed, “I was saddened to see how Christian ‘liberty’ is held in such high regard and ‘biblical separation’ is seldom if ever mentioned.”

Big Daddy Weave is a successful contemporary band composed of Mike Weaver, Jay Weaver, Jod Shirk, and Brian Beihl. Their hits include “Redeemed,” “Fields of Grace,” “Audience of One,” and “Every Time I Breathe.” The band was formed in 2002.

They are Christian rockers who hold the ecumenical, “non-judgmental” philosophy that permeates CCM.

In an interview for their 2008 album What Life Would Be Like, Mike Weaver said:

“We all grew up in church. That is awesome, and I’m thankful for it, but there is also some baggage that comes with that. We grew up hearing people talk about grace, but there seemed to be an unspoken law that said, ‘but you also have to do this, this, this, this, and this.’ Nobody ever said it out loud, but I saw how people who didn’t do ‘this, this, this, this, and this’ were treated. Now truly, you will know a tree by its fruit, but that’s not grace. With What Life Would Be Like we are ripping up our old expectations to get to a place where we can receive the heart of God” (“Big Daddy Weave Bio,” 94fmthefish.com, n.d.).

The “grace” that Big Daddy Weave and their friends in the contemporary Christian music scene preach is not the grace of Scripture.

They would have us believe that trying to live by a careful standard of holy living and preaching against worldliness is legalism, but that is heresy.

The “grace” preached by the vast percentage of CCM musicians is not true Christian liberty; it is antinomian license. It says, “Don’t tell me how to live, where I can go, how I can dress, how long my hair can be, what music I can listen to, what kind of church I can attend, how often I must attend, whether or not I can drink or smoke or dance.”

No wonder Contemporary Christian musicians love rock & roll. They have the same rock & roll attitude I had before I was saved when I was hitchhiking across America!

In contrast, consider the following definition of Christian grace by the apostle Paul:

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, DENYING UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY LUSTS, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13).

Bible grace for Christian living is a grace that denies all ungodliness and worldly lusts. That is a far-reaching requirement. It means that the grace-saved, grace-living believer is extremely careful about how he lives. He knows that He is saved by the free grace of Christ that was purchased on Calvary, but he also knows that he is saved “unto good works” (Ephesians 2:8-10). In order to please the Lord who saved him and now owns him, he continually analyzes his lifestyle to reject anything tainted with ungodliness and worldly lusts. He seeks to avoid even “the appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

Paul ended the previously-cited passage in Titus with the following exhortation to the preacher:

“These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” (Titus 2:15).

If a preacher takes this biblical exhortation seriously today and speaks with authority and rebukes worldly lusts, he is slanderously labeled a Pharisee by the CCM crowd.

In fact, Big Daddy Weave have a song that does just that. Here are some of the lyrics:

Hear no evil, see no evil
Speak no evil
On the outside
Full of pride, full of lies
So well they hide
On the inside

They’ll never be
All that they seem
They live the life of a Pharisee (“Pharisee,” Big Daddy Weave, from Fields of Gracealbum).

It is true that hypocrisy is a sin, and it is an easy sin to commit, but Big Daddy Weave and the CCM crowd go far beyond a warning about hypocrisy. By their philosophy, the Bible believer that wants to “hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil,” and the preacher who preaches such a standard, is a proud Pharisee. This is a slander.

The Pharisee’s error was not that he was too zealous for the truth of God’s Word. His error was that he was more zealous for his tradition than for God’s Word. Jesus NEVER reproved the Pharisees for being zealous for God’s Word.

It is true that truth must be delivered with godly grace and love, but it is scriptural and right to reprove sin and worldliness. Consider the following Bible commandment:

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

Thus, it is not enough that the believer not fellowship with evil; he must also reprove evil.

The preaching of God’s Word is to be done with rebuke and reproof (2 Timothy 4:2).

And when sinners are reproved and they do not repent, they become offended at the reprover. When Demas heard that Paul had warned Timothy about Demas’ worldliness (2 Tim. 4:10), don’t you think that Demas was offended at Paul and his “legalistic” preaching?

Big Daddy Weave also preaches the heresies of “unconditional love” and self-esteem. Of the song “Redeemed,” he says:

“Redeemed” came out of a place of brokenness for me. For as long as I can remember I have always never felt like I was enough. And no matter what God has done through my life and around my life, I never really let that affect the way that I felt about myself. We kind of resolved to do this Biggest Loser-esque kind of idea in 2009. The goal was for me to lose 90 pounds in ’09. In November I was down 70 pounds, all the way down 80 pounds in December, with only had 10 pounds to go, at that point. Honestly, it had become less about my health and more about reaching this number on the scale. And so on the last day of 2009 I got on the scale and I had lost 84 pounds. I realize that is nothing to sneeze at. But when I realized that I had missed the goal by 6 pounds, I was destroyed. I couldn’t see any of the good in it. All I could see was the failure and it resonated in that place in me that had always said that about me. It just sent me into a really, a really dark place in my life.

“I remember there was a day when it was at about it’s worst and I was down in our garage pouring these feelings of self-hatred out to Jesus. And just saying God if you can love me unconditionally and you are perfect and you are holy and you are the king of the universe, you can love me, why can’t I love and except myself, God.

“And it was like the King of the Universe said to me, ‘Mike why don’t you let me tell you what I think about you for once. I like the way you smile man,’ and he said, ‘I love your heart for people, and I even like your silly sense of humor, because I put all that stuff in you. And you’re mine, not because of your track record, not because of your ability or inability to do anything, it’s based solely on what I have already done for you, the blood of Jesus Christ shed for your life. You’re mine because of my track record’” (“Big Daddy Weave’s Mike Weaver Talks about ‘Redeemed,’ Lifeway.com, n.d.).

This testimony is that of an individual who is focused on himself. It is all about self-esteem, which is not a biblical principle. While God’s love for His people is unconditional and unchanging, His fellowship is not. The true believer’s position in Christ is sure and eternal, but daily fellowship is a different thing.

To be in fellowship with the Lord who saved me, I must walk in the light and confess my sins (1 John 1). I must obey God’s Word to die to self, to put off the old man and put on the new man, to put away lying, pride, fornication, covetousness, worldliness, incontinency, etc. This is a major theme of the New Testament epistles. If I do not put off the old man and put on the new, and I walk in carnality and unrepentance, God chastens (Heb. 12:4-13). The chastening is not pleasant but grievous. If I refuse the chastening, there are many serious consequences. There is even a sin unto death (1 John 5:16-17). When some of the believers in Corinth abused the Lord’s Supper, God did not encourage them about their cheerful smiles; He smote some of them with sickness and some with death (1 Cor. 11:29-30).

If a believer is doing wrong, he should not “feel good” about himself.

Hughie Seaborn, a former Pentecostal, made the following observation about Mike Weaver’s testimony in regard to the song “Redeemed.”

“If we read in context what he said in the interview, Big Daddy was actually plagued with low self-esteem because of an image problem. The way he looked didn’t fit the image of how he wanted to look in front of all those he wanted to impress with his God anointed gifts. So in his anguish, he cried out to God, ‘If you can love me unconditionally and you are perfect and you are holy and you are the king of the universe, you can love me, why can’t I love and except myself, God.’ God is supposed to have brought ‘real humility’ to Big Daddy by His response about loving his smile, etc. …  There’s some very deep and significant ‘theology’ in there, and sadly, it’s the type of ‘theology’ that is being promoted and accepted in churches everywhere today. Instead of telling Big Daddy that if he wanted to be a true disciple of Christ, he would need to stop trying to impress everyone, deny himself on a daily basis, take up his cross and follow Jesus; instead of telling him further that if he wanted to be Christ’s disciple, then he would need to get to know what the Bible says and continue in it; instead of telling him that we live in perilous times when self-love would be confused for godliness, God is supposed to have told Big Daddy some sentimental lies about himself, like he’s been gifted from God with an irresistible smile.”

It is this worldly, heretical CCM philosophy, this antinomian “grace,” this unscriptural emphasis on self-esteem, that brings so many changes to every Bible-believing church that is careless enough and foolish enough to mess around with it.

When young people in a church listen to Big Daddy Weave or the other CCM musicians who hold the same principles, they can easily fall in love with their heretical principles.

Fundamental Baptist preachers who promote these groups have a lot to answer for.

__

David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org

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Pastors Refuse to Sign State-Issued Marriage Certificates!


Who will join and stand in defiance of government intrusion?

Pastors Refuse to Sign State-Issued Marriage Certificates!

Posted: 25 Jun 2015 10:45 PM PDT

Don Boys, Ph.D.
The Bible teaches that “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” Heb. 13:4. That verse is true whether it is believed or not. Marriage is God’s business, but was taken over by the state with the consent of pastors; however, the state should have nothing to do with marriage. Nothing. Hundreds of pastors are refusing to sign state-issued marriage certificates!
In the Garden of Eden, God set the pattern for all future marriages with one man and one woman constituting a family. A God-approved marriage is publicly declared, heterosexual, monogamous, physical, and permanent. After God established marriage, man’s wicked heart soon twisted God’s plan when Lamech (who became a murderer) took two wives, and marriage has been going downhill ever since.
I thought only a few of my fellow preachers believed that marriage was a family affair without any involvement of the government but I was wrong. According to Life Way Research, one in four U.S. pastors think it is wrong for them to sign a state marriage certificate! Moreover, a prominent conservative but unofficial Catholic magazine, First Things, takes that position and more than 400 pastors and laypersons have signed a pledge to “no longer serve as agents of the state in marriage.”  Ministers who have taken the pledge are Roman Catholic, Baptist, Church of God, Episcopal, Church of Christ, Universal Life, Bible Churches, Nazarene, Methodist, and others.
They will no longer sign state marriage certificates but will recommend that couples have a civil ceremony as well as religious ceremony. Conversely, I think preachers need to tell the state that a church wedding is sufficient with no state permission required and no civil ceremony is required.
Most pastors end a wedding ceremony saying, “By the power vested in me by the state, I now pronounce you man and wife.” Wait a minute, how can that be justified from Scripture? Does a preacher teach a class, preach a sermon, or counsel a family or anything else by powers vested by the state?  According to the American Jurisprudence Encyclopedia, a pastor performing a wedding “is a public civil officer, …not at all to be distinguished from a judge of the superior court….” That makes such pastors tools of the state.
What if a state decided that there were too many Fundamentalists and Evangelicals running around and wanted to “thin them out” by forbidding them marriage licenses, would any preacher in America be willing to obey that law? Only the weakest preachers would comply. Real men of God would tell state authorities to go back to the statehouse and continue to do their thing but leave the church house alone. Such preachers would continue to marry their young couples in defiance of such oppressive laws.
Even influential laymen have declared that the state should get out of the marriage business. David Boaz, Vice President of the libertarian Cato Institute, asked, “Why should the government be in the business of decreeing who can and cannot be married?”
Conservative talk show host Larry Elder  declared the state should “leave marriage to non-governmental institutions like churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship or private institutions.” He said that marriage licenses made as much sense as licensing barbers or taxi-cab drivers.
Former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, radio talker Glenn Beck, and law professor Doug Kmiec (a Roman Catholic layman) have joined the chorus, advocating no state marriages. Kmiec said, “If the state got out of the marriage business. . . . then the question of who can and cannot be married would be entirely determined in your voluntarily chosen faith community.”
The state of marriage in the U.S. is a mess and I never thought I would ever support the atheists except in their repenting and trusting Christ, but here I am supporting their position on marriage!  Atheists sued Indiana because atheists were forbidden to perform marriages. Of course, they have the right to perform their own marriages. The fact is, all governments should get out of all marriage entanglement totally and leave all marriages to the churches, sects, etc. I suppose if the state wanted to marry hedonists, humanists, and heretics they could do as they are doing now.
No government has constitutional authority to approve or disapprove religion, but government at all levels always seeks more power and screams like a banshee when power slips (or is jerked) from their hands. States continue to reach for or hold onto power for the sake of power. They often look silly in their grab for control as in California.
In September of 2008, California prohibited the use of bride and groom in any state wedding ceremony! Moreover, their schoolbooks may no longer use the terms husband and wife. Of course, you know why. Such terms might offend those who practice perversion. My, my, aren’t public officials super-sensitive to their citizens? Well, they are not sensitive to normal, decent, citizens. If you are a white, heterosexual, creationist, Bible-believing Christian, (you know, the kind of people that founded and grounded this great nation), you must change what you have always been taught or move out of the state! And people are doing that by the thousands!
The California high court declared that the legal definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman was unconstitutional so the marriage license was changed to Party A and Party B as in Alfred and Bill or Alice and Betty. Yes, I know it was nutty and a little slutty, but after all, California is the land of fruits and nuts with an abundance of nuts. Bride and Groom were no longer legal until sane people threw a fit and reversed it. No court or authority can change the meaning of words.
Marriage is what it is as defined by God in the Garden so when a court seeks to nullify God’s definition, they are seeking to do something that cannot be done. It can be debated, decided, and declared but not done. The facts don’t change: marriage is between a man and woman who choose to commit to a lifetime together. No court or legislature can change that.
The above silliness is one of many reasons why the state should have nothing to do with marriage. But many are concerned about a non-state marriage being acceptable and legal. Acceptable and legal to whom? The union of man and woman is a law of nature. Such laws are unchangeable while human laws always change or pass away.  Natural marriages in England, Iraq, Brazil, or any state are considered marriages in any U.S. state, so why should marriages in any U.S. church not be considered acceptable and legal?
You don’t have to have a state-issued marriage certificate; and no preacher should use one thereby denying power to the state that God never intended it to have. As long as your family and your church are satisfied with your public commitment to each other, that should be sufficient.
Get the government totally out of marriages.
(First of nine columns dealing with no state involvement in marriage. Next column: “Marriages From Ancient Times Were Family, Not State Approved!”)
http://bit.ly/1iMLVfY  Watch these 8 minute videos of my lecture at the University of North Dakota: “A Christian Challenges New Atheists to Put Up or Shut Up!”
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives, author of 15 books, frequent guest on television and radio talk shows, and wrote columns for USA Todayfor 8 years. His shocking books, ISLAM: America’s Trojan Horse!; Christian Resistance: An Idea Whose Time Has Come–Again!; and The God Haters are all available at Amazon.com. These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations and may be used without change from title through the end tag. His web sites are www.cstnews.com andwww.Muslimfact.com and www.thegodhaters.com. Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)

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LOWING CATTLE AND BLEATING SHEEP



William Andrew Dillard

HEBREW HONEYCOMB
LOWING CATTLE AND BLEATING SHEEP

How blessed and marvelous is a dedicated church whose members are on fire for God! Their motive and purpose is to please God, and to influence others toward Him. They understand that Christ is the head of the church, the Savior of the body, and that His Word is sweet, even so highly desired as the very bread of life. In my mind, this was the status of the early churches of Paul’s ministry. I think of Ephesus in particular having had the privilege of visiting that ancient city. Ephesus fell into decay and is no more. The zealous church that the apostle planted there is also gone, having suffered marginalization, persecution, and pressures from a godless, but religious society. It is interesting to note that only a few decades after its birth, the church received stern warning from Jesus in the words, “I have somewhat against thee…” Though commended for some spiritual assets, the charge must have been stinging to their hearts. They had busied themselves with religious activity instead of the necessary, personal, one-on-one relationship with Christ Jesus; hence, they were told “. . . thou hast left thy first love.” Rev. 2:4. Simply put, they were engaged in religion, but their motives were misdirected. Could they turn a deaf ear to the Lord? Could they continue as a church that way? The answer is “yes” but they would not be a church belonging to the Lord Jesus. They must remember from where they had fallen, repent or else they would lose their candlestick (be severed from Christ as His body). This problem did not end with the Ephesians. It goes on in wholesale manner today. All of God’s people need to re-think Samuel’s confrontation with Saul when the king declared he had done the will of God. Samuel asked, “What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” I Sam. 15:14. The prophet then replied: “. . . 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.” I Sam. 15:22 Church activities may involve a lot of misdirected motives! But, God is pleased when His people return to their first love: a personal relationship with God and His Holy Word. Forget the fat cattle and sheep, and the “sacrifices” to the Lord that cost you nothing! Let the Creator’s Word reign supreme in practical obedience to its meaning!

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Unity or Purity?


June 6, 2015    Dose of Reality    by Joseph Harris       Number 318       

                                                            

Comments on Current Events in Government, Religion, Culture, and the Family, from a Conservative Biblical Perspective


  


Unity or Purity?

The leavening of America, God’s churches, the family and society has been underway for decades. In a sense, the leavening process has always been around as Satan has constantly tried to dilute and weaken the people of God and their influence in the world. Paul said in I Corinthians “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” The nature of leaven (yeast) is to permeate and spread throughout the entire lump of dough, causing it to rise. It only takes a small amount to change the entire lump.

What disturbs me does not always disturb others. In this fast paced age of change, I am disturbed by the shift in attitude and philosophy of the average person. I am increasingly finding myself in the minority on issues of Bible doctrine, politics, and ethics. Yet, I haven’t changed. I stand today where I stood 33 years ago when surrendering to God’s call to preach and teach his Word. I see the danger in a little leaven. The depraved nature of humanity leans toward sin and the path of least resistance and will exploit every inch given, hence the saying, “Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile” is an absolute. Maintaining purity requires effort.

In the religious, political and cultural battles of today, purity has taken a beating. However, purity is essential. Consider the following: when given a choice, would you rather drink pure water or filthy water? Would you prefer a virgin for a spouse or a promiscuous person? Would you choose dirty clothes over clean clothes for your body? Would you rather have a clean politician (an oxymoron, but bear with me) or a person of character as your representative? Any sane person would choose purity in these situations. But when the choice of purity may result in conflict, stress, and division, people will choose unity over purity 95% of the time.

Look first at purity in the local church. Concerning immorality in a church, it will usually be tolerated, especially when the other option is conflict through confrontation. It is not easy to confront sin and require purity from ungodly church members who may also be family members, or influential in the community or big givers in the offering plate. Yet, the small amount of leaven will spread throughout the lump, affecting the whole. When we are more concerned with the smile of man, then we will have the frown of God, and when purity goes out the window for the sake of unity, then God’s churches lose the power and blessing of God.

Consider purity in church doctrine. Baptism and the Lord’s table have taken a beating with pastors and churches caving in to the plea for unity rather than purity in the practicing of these ordinances. Only a scriptural New Testament church of the Lord Jesus has the authority to baptize new believers and administer the Lord’s Table to those who have prepared themselves through scriptural baptism and church membership. Paul said to refrain from eating with those who had not examined themselves, especially concerning immorality, I Cor. 5:11. These ordinances belong to the Lord, not the church, but He has given their care and stewardship to each local church for proper administration for His glorification. Rather than stand for purity and cause contention, many are satisfied to sacrifice purity for unity, forgetting that unity with God through purity is primary. When a church adopts a human driven philosophy, their main priority will be to please men and not God. Here is a novel idea: How about a God driven, Spirit sensitive church. It just might work.

Look also at purity in ecclesiastical associations. Ecumenism has taken hold and many are willing to turn loose of Bible doctrines that “divide” in order to fellowship with those who disagree in doctrine. After all, we are all children of God, and why can’t we just get along and love one another? True love often requires hard choices. Amos the prophet asked “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” They can walk, just not together, because those not of like faith will have different beliefs, different standards, different philosophies of ministry, different goals and different ways to achieve those goals. When pastors and churches refuse to cooperate with others who are not of like faith, they are accused of being hateful and having no love for the brethren. Loving the brethren is not the issue; purity is the issue. Besides, we are commanded to love God before we are commanded to love others and maintaining purity is loving God. We are never commanded to fellowship with those who show a contempt for God by disobeying his Word. As Dr. Curtis Hutson used to say, “There are some things that cannot be sacrificed on the altar of love.”

Purity of the Word of God is important. Concerning the Word of God, I believe in the purity of His Word. I believe the scriptures were divinely inspired and providentially preserved. God divinely inspired the writers in the original manuscripts and then over time, providentially preserved these writings in the original language texts of the Hebrew Masoretic text and the Greek Textus Receptus. I use the 1769 edition of the 1611 King James version, not because of “Thee’s” and “Thou’s”, but because I believe it to be a faithful translation from these texts. The issue is about using the right the right English translation based upon the right original language texts. The purity of His Word is essential since doctrine and practice are based upon the authority of scripture. “The words of the Lord are pure words”. Psalm 12:6

Purity in the home. Purity must first be established in the heart, otherwise, the outward appearance is a sham. However, after inward purity is a reality, further instruction is still needed concerning outward conduct and appearance. Concerning standards of dress, entertainment choices and others issues in contemporary culture, most churches and parents opt for unity and peace in the congregation and the home rather than the unsettling, stressful conflict which comes from requiring standards of purity. Modern apparel is more important than modest apparel. A sloppy, unkempt appearance has replaced a dignified, neat and tidy appearance, yet what is on the outside, usually reflects the attitude of the inside. Degrading movies and videos de-sensitize values concerning right and wrong over issues of sexuality, ethics and the role of men and women in the home. Ultimately, standards or lack of standards, go back to the home and the example set by the parents. Godly parents face intense pressure in the world and often from their church, over disagreement of standards, and parents too often give in to the pressure of their children, their church and other family members, who accuse them of being too hard.

Consider purity in society. Homosexuality and immorality have become more and more accepted through gradual exposure. To address someone’s immoral sexual lifestyle is considered an attack on the individual. Homosexuality and immorality are both destructive to all who participate, ruining self esteem and respect, destroying families, and can end in death from disease. To warn of self destruction and promote sexual purity honors God and helps people experience full and more satisfying lives. Sexual immorality affects everyone in society as a whole through broken homes, wounded children and adults and increased financial costs, resulting from choices that damage health.

May God give us the resolve to stand and be more concerned about maintaining unity with God, as we preach and practice purity in a culture that has an ever growing contempt for truth.


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Transgenderism, Transracialism, and Now………Transeconomics


June 15, 2015    Dose of Reality    by Joseph Harris       Number 319                                                          

Comments on Current Events in Government, Religion, Culture, and the Family, from a Conservative Biblical Perspective

Transgenderism, Transracialism, and Now………Transeconomics

Transgendered people claim to be the opposite gender trapped in the wrong body, such as a man trapped in a woman’s body or a woman trapped in a man’s body. When asked who trapped them, they quickly say, “God, and he made a mistake.” Strange, but some who would eagerly deny the existence of God suddenly become all too willing to accept the existence of God. This week in the news, there is a case of transracialism or a black woman trapped in a white woman’s body. Even though both of her parents are unquestionably caucasian, she now claims to be black. According to today’s “experts”, whether the issue is transgender or transracial, the individual just simply has to believe they are whatever they want to be, regardless of birth, history, heritage, DNA and other messy facts. Just make a few physical changes, and Shazzam, a transformation occurs.

Finally, the time has arrived that I can come out. That’s right, I have a trans secret. I’m not joking, this is serious business. The power of the mind is awesome, and now, backed by an insane society, led by an ever willing media, the power to be whatever you want to be has expanded with no boundaries. Just wish it, think it, or demand it to be so, and it is.

Here it is: I am a wealthy person trapped in a poor person’s body with a poor person’s identity. However, my recent experiment in transeconomics did not work and no one is sympathetic to my cause. I wrote a check for a purchase totaling over $10,000 and my narrow minded bank says I am overdrawn. Well, I beg your pardon, but I say that there is over $20,000 in my account. I want it to be true, I believe it to be true and I demand it to be so, therefore it is. For good measure, a little “surgery” on their books from their end would validate my claim. Yet everyone I have spoken to is bigoted, narrow minded, hateful, and they look at me like I am crazy. Forget truth, reality, deposit slips, and good accounting procedures; I demand my bank accept my reality. After all since truth is no longer absolute and relativism now reigns, one person’s reality is as good as the reality of anyone else. I may have been born poor and lived my life poor, but now I have decided to be wealthy. Where is MSNBC, ABC, CNN, and all the other XYZ’s when I need them? This is a personal crisis and I DEMAND to be heard and validated. I will not accept all the hate speech coming my way. I am wealthy; hear me roar!

And if this doesn’t work, I can always say I am a Chinese man trapped in a Caucasian body. It must be so; I love Chinese food.

Dose of Reality is written by Joseph Harris and the content sometimes contains sarcasm and humor for emphasis of truth.

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HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE NOT SANCTIONED BY THE BIBLE


HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE NOT SANCTIONED BY THE BIBLE

Brother Dillard, This was posted by Religious News Service. Your Comments please: (Bro. C. M.)
Hi, Brother C.M.! Well, well, what a subtle twisting of truth! Lucifer is up to his old tricks. It is reminiscent of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. There is considerable truth in it, but twisted to make a horrible lie. That is what the serpent did in Eden, and what he continues to do today. I shall comment in paragraphs of rebuttal so labeled. I assume the entire article is an exact copy of what appeared in media. The article and my rebuttal appear next.

For those who look to the Bible to restrict marriage to one man and one woman, the primordial source is Genesis 2, the second account of the creation of humanity, in which God forms a man out of the dust and a woman out of the man’s rib. The chapter seems to set up what they now call “biblical marriage,” declaring (in the King James Version), “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

[Rebuttal] The author is knowingly wrong here. The primordial source is Genesis 1. Genesis 2 is indeed an expanded account but one that reveals God (Elohim) in the creation of a different office work (Jehovah-elohim) to deal with fallen mankind. It does indeed set up biblical marriage as it was then and has continued to be for the past 6,000 years or more. Note the affirmation of Jesus about this in Matthew 19:4-6

So how can this account be considered supportive of same-sex marriage?”

[Rebuttal] The answer to this question is simple. It cannot!

For starters, the Hebrew word “adam” that is translated as “man” means “humanity” or “human being” — in the genderless sense that was once common English usage (as in, “man is the measure of all things”). Thus, in Genesis I.26, God says, “Let us make adam (humanity) in our image.” Unlike English, Hebrew differentiates adam from the gendered word for man, ish.”

[Rebuttal] As far as I can presently determine, this paragraph is true, except the author intentionally omits that in Genesis One that it goes on to say that the “adam” (mankind) under consideration is specifically named: “Male and female created He them.” Eve is as much “adam” (Mankind) as Adam was. There was no cause to refer to Adam as “ish” because there was no other male human on earth.

“In Genesis 2, the person we know as Adam is repeatedly identified simply as ha-adam – the human. Thus, Genesis 2.18 has God saying, “It is not good for the human to be alone. I will make a fitting helper for him.” (“Him” because adam is a masculine noun in Hebrew in the same way that nauta — sailor — is a feminine noun in Latin.) Note that God does not say anything about procreation as the reason for instituting this human relationship. Procreation is the order of the day in Genesis 1 (“be fruitful and multiply”), but that injunction has nothing to do with marriage.”

[Rebuttal] The author’s comparison of “adam” and “nauta” is contradictory. The gender of words in ancient languages does not necessarily denote sex. But, “Him” is gender specific. “Sailor” is not. Again, the Genesis Two account is an expanded, more detailed account of Genesis One. It is not contradictory to Genesis One. The “Ish” (Adam) is called “Adam” (mankind) because there was no other human form in existence. Ish (a man) comes into play much later, when there were humans (plural) on the earth. The helper which God would make for Adam is indeed fitting inasmuch as the Hebrew word literally carries the idea of “according to his front.” The purpose is aptly illustrated in electrical connections. It takes a male plug and a female receptacle to transmit electricity. Similarly, in procreation that type of connection is necessary to transmit the species. This terminology can portray nothing less than conjugal relationships of procreation. It is an expanded presentation of what is meant in Genesis One “Be fruitful and multiply.” To say that this has nothing to do with marriage is outright silly. God consistently in every age condemns fornication and adultery.

But what about Genesis 2.24: “Therefore a man shall leave…”? Isn’t that a mandate for “biblical marriage”?

[Rebuttal] Yes it is! A marriage as a civil contract is of recent origin. Biblical marriage consists of mutual agreements and pledges plus a consummation. Such union of a couple is not consummated as a marriage except in the act of sexual intercourse. So it has always been, and so it is presently.

No. Although traditional English translations employ the prescriptive future tense, the Hebrew is simply the descriptive present, now using the gendered ish: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother, and cleaves to his wife, so that they become one flesh.” Genesis 2 is a just-so story, explaining why, at the time it was written, a guy would leave his parents and establish a new marital relationship.

[Rebuttal] The author is wrong again about biblical Hebrew. Yes, English uses tense of verb, but Hebrew does not use tense at all. All action is presented as complete or incomplete. The incomplete verb, as here, is understood as a continuing process. “Therefore shall a man (any man in any age) proceed to leave his father and his mother and (continue) to cleave to his wife.” It is a never-ending process as long as humans remain on the earth in the flesh.

In a word, Genesis 2 is all about the human need for permanent companionship — companionship of an intimate fleshly kind. Whoever wrote it would, I believe, understand exactly what the desire for same-sex marriage is all about — and why it is good.

[Rebuttal] Agreed to the last five words. Moses wrote it under inspiration of God. I am certain he understood quite well the horrendous sin of homosexual co-habitation – but why it is evil. After all, sin is the misuse of anything from its intended purpose.

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