Finding Balance in Worship

Naturally, we must submit our emotional expressions to the Lordship of Christ, just as we are to submit our minds and our intellect to the Lordship of Christ. That does not mean refusing to exercise our emotions or our intellect, but to exercise them to the glory of God

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / grace1221
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / grace1221

Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, and His praise in the congregation of the godly ones. Let Israel be glad[1] in his Maker; let the sons of Zion rejoice[2] in their King. Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre. For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation. Let the godly ones exult[3] in glory; let them sing for joy[4] on their beds. (Psalm 149:1-5)

I have been thinking about an article I read recently: Is Your Church Worship More Pagan Than Christian? by Todd Pruitt. He questions the popular Christian music and worship culture on the basis that it exalts music to a sacramental position and musicians to priestly status without biblical foundation for the emphasis. He claims it promotes feelings over doctrinal soundness and experience over preaching the Word of God. These are valid concerns.

I agree with Todd Pruitt on nearly every point, yet the article and the one that followed, (Is Your Worship Christian or Pagan? (7 Tests)), leave me scratching my head a bit. Continue reading “Finding Balance in Worship”

Why My Hope Is In You

Harrison Wright Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park by Chris Fraley
Harrison Wright Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park by Chris Fraley

The ephemeral existence of man is a theme to which I keep returning these days. From our general perspective, a lifetime seems to go on forever, though that perspective changes over the years.

When I was young, summer days and blue skies seemed to go on forever. Summers seemed to be endless. I could not wait to be older. Old age was a very distant horizon.

As we get older, the pace of life quickens. We fill up our days to overflowing with busyness and activities. We are constant thinking, planning, worrying, distracted, looking forward, stewing over the past, attending to the needs of spouses and children and clients and customers and neighbors and co-workers and … we hardly notice how time passes. Continue reading “Why My Hope Is In You”

God Understands Us

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“My God, my God, why have You forsaken[i] [ii]me?” (Psalm 22:1)

These are David’s words, and they are words Jesus spoke when he hung on the cross. Many statements in the Old Testament are predictive and point to Christ, including this verse, which anticipates Christ hanging on the cross taking on Himself the sins of the world and being abandoned by the Father in that moment as a result.

While there is a predictive element, clearly, to this statement, I think there is something else going on. Jesus was undoubtedly harkening back to David’s words, but maybe He had another purpose in doing so. We see many times in the Bible that a single phrase has multiple meanings, more than one application, and both or all of them are instructive. Continue reading “God Understands Us”