Tag Archives: music

Bait & switch = bad idea. Forgetting to switch = really bad idea.

Worldly thinking has led countless churches to avoid many truths of scripture lest they offend non-believing visitors.  And when the churches grow to serve the larger numbers they get caught in a trap of their own making.  If they shift to focus on the entire Bible, they will lose members.  Then they won’t be able to keep the doors open.  That forces them to rationalize continued diluted or false messages.

The Bible teaches that we should not use trickery to share the Gospel.

1 Thessalonians 2:1-6 You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else.

Sadly, many churches water down the Gospel to avoid offending people.  They just want to get them in the door and plan to get around to the whole truth later.

Of course, we don’t want to add to the offense of the Gospel, but we shouldn’t distort it to avoid the legitimate offense.

But as bad as the bait & switch strategy is, the bigger problem is that the churches using this strategy forgot to make the switch.  And they used the bait for so long that they now think that is all they need to do.  They never get around to sharing the whole Gospel.  If your message never offends (in the appropriate Biblical sense) then you are preaching the wrong message (Hello, is Joel there?).

We shouldn’t dilute the message just to grow the numbers.  Hey, if youth groups offered free beer & p*rnography that would probably increase attendance, but are those the numbers that count?

And consider the mainline churches that continue to see declining figures.  The more “inclusive” they are the smaller they get.  They offend the world less, I suppose, but they have nothing left to offer the world, either.

I think it exhibits a lack of faith when we don’t trust God enough to preach his word in an undiluted fashion.  Does He really need us to edit it for him?

Consider this from a friend’s Facebook page:

‎The greatest revival in history took place among the most wicked people in history- the Ninevites. The message they heard was destruction was coming in forty days. Jonah impacted the whole city with this message and they responded by repenting. He had mega growth (in less than 40 days) without using mega growth methods. Here is a biblical model that worked with no problems -100% response. Jonah didn’t want to see these results but God did. Unless we learn the principle that God has not called us to be a success, but to be faithful to his message we will never learn the real meaning of our being God’s servants.

That can’t be right. What the people need is theater-style seating, entertainment and to be told how swell they are.

It is sad that people just think of the great fish when they think of Jonah, but there is so much more to that book. A reluctant preacher saying the real words of God means infinitely more than man’s “wisdom” in how to reach people.  No props, no gimmicks, no pandering, no appealing to people’s “felt needs” (unless that it is the felt need to be forgiven of one’s sins against a perfect and holy God).

Don’t distort the Gospel in an attempt to gain the whole world yet forfeit your soul.

Run, don’t walk, from churches that participate in the Koran reading day

Unless, of course, they are reading it to point out why it is wrong.

See The Watchman’s Bagpipes: How Many Ways Can You Say “Heresy”? for an overview.  My guess is that  false teacher and Muslim apologist Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie can’t wait to mock God by reading the Koran in his “church.”  After all, he thinks we have as much to learn from Islam as they do from us (even though they don’t think they have anything to learn from us).  Oh, wait, he doesn’t have a church . . . oh, well, I’m sure he’ll be excited about this day anyway.

Any church participating in this event is sure to be apostate.

[TBC: Even Atheists on occasion recognize that the real threat to them is not biblical Christianity, but Islam. Consider the comments below, prompted by an article from the Religion News Service printed in the Salt Lake Tribune.]
More than 50 Churches Agree to Hold Koran Readings!! [Excerpts]
In the past I have stated I am not religious, but my goal is to help educate and unite Atheists and members of non-Islamic religions against a common enemy. That enemy is Islam. The good news is that our voice against Islam is clearly getting louder, the bad news is that far too many Americans who identify themselves as “Christians” are taking the easy way out and bowing down to Islam, in an effort to avoid a conflict that has been raging for 1400 years.
Muslim Hadith Book 019, Number 4366: “It has been narrated by ‘Umar b. al-Khattib that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslim.”
A conflict in which Christians are clearly losing!
[The author then quotes the article from the Salt Lake Tribune.]
Pulpit pals: Christians, Jews, Muslims plan shared worship
“Religious and human rights activists are asking U.S. churches to invite Jewish and Muslim clergy to their sanctuaries to read from sacred texts next month in an initiative designed to counter anti-Muslim bigotry.
The June 26 initiative, called “Faith Shared: Uniting in Prayer and Understanding,” is co-sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First. Leaders of the two Washington-based groups said the event hopes to demonstrate respect for Islam in the wake of Quran burnings in recent months.
“More than 50 churches in 26 states already have committed to the initiative, including the Washington National Cathedral.
“Tad Stahnke, director of policy and programs for Human Rights First [said] “that Americans do respect religious differences and reject religious bigotry and the demonization of Islam or any other religion’.”
(Adelle Banks, “Pulpit pals: Christians, Jews, Muslims plan shared worship,” Religion News Service, May 17 2011).

On worship songs

Apparently I was thinking about the same topic as Glenn yesterday: Worship songs (see Worship Songs Compared).  I thought they had a good mix of old and new songs at my daughter’s church.  I noted to my family that I’m actually somewhat liberal with worship music, in the sense that if I like half the songs on a given Sunday then I’m fine with that.  We discussed how the odds of any two people in the U.S. creating the same iPod playlists is probably zero, so we should be flexible on our preferences.

Glenn made good points in his post, especially about how other religions could sing many of the songs that a lot of praise bands play.  That’s a good rule of thumb for music leaders to consider: If a Hindu could sing your song, then it probably isn’t very informative, is certainly not meaty and may be teaching a false message.

I really don’t like choruses that repeat over and over.

He did note that some old songs had questionable theology or were equally inane. I would have used the same example that he did: “In the Garden.”

I would also add that with many songs I want to stop them and say, “Look, I love Jesus but He is not my boyfriend.  So let’s skip the songs that say things in a romantic way such as, ‘Jesus, I am so in love with you.'”

Hip Hop singer regrets abortion – must see music video

From Lifesite News (read the whole article for more information): 

A hip hop group entitled Flipsyde, led by the singer known as Piper, released a song in Dec. 2005 entitled “Happy Birthday…so make a wish” which voices the remorse and love that a father feels towards his unborn child who was killed by abortion.  It is an undeniable testament to the guilt and sadness that many fathers experience after losing their child to an abortion.

I really admire the raw honesty.  I’ve never heard a song this candid about anything.  Watch and listen (the video has the words on the screen).  Be patient; it takes about 10 seconds to start.

Consider how bluntly he acknowledges that:

  • A real person would have been here today
  • It was murder / homicide
  • He was responsible
  • He was young, but old enough to be a dad
  • It was a mistake
  • He is sorry
  • There is a hint of hope and healing

Wow.  Not a bit of tortured reasoning about whether his child had achieved “personhood,” or whether she was really human or really alive. 

I teach classes in pro-life reasoning, but if I had a choice between sharing an hour of PowerPoint slides or this 3.5 minute video with a young person contemplating abortion, I’d go with the video. 

Please join me in praying that people who are considering abortion will hear this and change their minds.  There is a better way.

Please join me in praying that people who were involved in abortions will hear this, acknowledge their mistakes and get the help they need.   Good news: There is forgiveness and healing available in Christ Jesus. 

Also see Nick Cannon’s Can I Live video, a passionate tribute to mothers who chose life.

Keep reading for the lyrics to Happy Birthday . . .

Continue reading Hip Hop singer regrets abortion – must see music video