It’s common to find my nose in the fold of a theology book. Whether it be apologetics, church history or the latest Mark Driscol book … I love reading. Even more so I LOVE knowing things, truths about my faith … not suggestive beliefs or assumed non-biblical “life” lessons.It’s this want/desire to know the truth that sometimes finds itself as my “stumbling block”.
If there is a practice that isn’t biblical I used to have a tendency to dismiss those particular people, but then my frustrations would grow and I wouldn’t just dismiss the people but the group … not only the group, but the church … not just the church, but the faith. My frustrations of “how come people can’t see the truths I SEE!” grew to the point where my own opinions and discernments about the Truth of scripture became the “canon” on to which I would either accept or dismiss … It’s my self-righteousness, that put me in a position of false piety and conceitedness. Just because I read a few dozen books on theology and doctrine … doesn’t mean I get to be a jerk about it.
There will always be crazies in religion, in Christianity … But neglecting the crazies and looking at the differences in churches like the churches Paul wrote to in confidence, in guidance, in love … they will be different in practices/convictions/ideals but its the common thread of “Love God, Love others” that knit our differences into a fabric of faith.
A little background info for you real quick. When I was 15 my step-dad bought me a set of drums, spent all night learning the "4 On The Floor" ... my life was changed from there.
Music has always been an outlet for me. Awe sometimes comes over me when I'm struck with the sound of good music, chord structures or over all feel of the environment. SO of course, coming to the knowledge of my salvation in Christ ... I chased the opportunity as a worship leader.
This July will mark my 8th year leading worship. In the 8 years I've been doing this there have been MANY denominational flavors, and theological understandings and misunderstandings. (Thank God for Charles Surgeon's view on "searching" scripture "No man who merely skims the book of God can profit thereby, we must dig and mine until we obtain the hidden treasure")
For some time now I've been contemplating the historical/cultural/biblical relevance of MUSIC as worship. I had been tossing around the thought that it's turned into an idol (in some ways, to some people ... maybe it has) but I read 2 articles on modern worship and its leaders ... I can't tell you how refreshing it was ... let me break down some bullet points.
If we have a gathering with killer music but no truth, we have a pointless gathering
People draw much of their cultural identity from the style of music they listen to
The songs that we sing need to not only have the ability to stir affections, as long as it is shows our people who God is or who we are in light of him
If the songs we play are only true, but not singable, memorable, or enjoyable, our people will be far less likely to have their hearts stirred by the truths we are presenting
When we gather to sing, the “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” are the means by which truth is prompting people to respond
God has made music a powerful tool. As a body of believers we can communicate, memorize, express, and emotionally connect with truth through music in ways that no other medium allows
We have one target in mind, and all band members should be shepherded to aim there together, to Him
If we have to work in the confines of music and all the cultural baggage it brings, we must also take advantage of the cultural benefits.
Music as a medium is one of the most powerful tools to express the emotion, grace, mercy, truth, salvation, heart of God ... "To worship Him in Spirit and in Truth" - some denominations emphasize one more than the other, but the idea of MUSIC allowing the truths of scripture to become a real revelation to the hearts of Christ's followers, for me .... is something I will from now on embrace!
I will admit, when I first heard of the BP OIL SPILL, I wasn't surprised. The unfolding, however, and the blame shifting involved, I was surprised.
I was even more surprised to learn that BECAUSE of the BP OIL SPILL, our beloved Sunshine State will be taking a HUGE hit. Florida offers hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue during the summer vacation season. Although, now having to discontinue Florida's "Coast is Clear" campaign, it looks like a HUGE percentage of vacationers are canceling their holiday stay!
Florida summers are bleak right now. With billions of dollars out of flow, hundreds of thousands of jobs for those in need and the beauty of the Florida coast and it's inhabitants looking more and more like an episode of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, we are in need of answers and camaraderie!
Nashville showed their community stripes when dealing with the flooding. Florida AS A STATE needs to do the same. The oil is already encroaching on our shores, with birds, fish and other ocean-life in need, as well as the shores themselves ... find a way to help! Be safe, be open and be the change!
Encourage each other to find a way to help Florida's coast lines.