Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Praise & Worship II
   Greetings, all. One of the most highly visible ministries in any church is the worship team.  It can also be one of the most influential; music is a powerful force that touches us in a deeper way than just about any other means of communication, affecting the intellect, emotions and the heart. For these reasons, the Pastors and Elders must keep close watch on what's going on there: who's leading, where are they getting their material, what's required of band members, how loud can they get, how long can they play? Church leadership must maintain control or things can very easily get out of line.
   The Prophet Amos delivered this shocking message: "Take away from Me the noise of your songs! I don't want to hear your music!" (Amos 5:23, paraphrased ) Why would God say that? Surely He doesn't hate music: His creation is filled with it! But He didn't want to hear their music. Ephesians 4:30 says, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit"; in what ways might our offerings of praise and worship become a grief to the Holy Spirit?
   Colossians 3:16 tells us to speak to each other in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. And Jesus said the Father seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.  Let me tell ya a little story. Several decades ago, a foul-mouthed comedienne made a movie about a worldly singer who slips into the church impersonating a believer, and taking over the choir, brings worldly music into the sanctuary. The Church saw Sister Act and said, "What a great idea! Let's use worldly music in our praise services!" The Church jumped in with both feet and never looked back.
   Have you never read in the Scriptures Moses' warning to Israel, "...inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so to the LORD thy God" (Deuteronomy 12:30-31) If Satan's children want to serve him with heavy metal rock music, that's their problem! Should we do what they do? Clearly not. And why do we play worldly sounds in our meetings? To please God? Or to please our flesh? We need to ask ourselves some questions. I'll have more next time.

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