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Worship

Christmas and the celebration of Christ’s birth

Christmas and the celebration of Christ’s birth are two things that must always be kept separate in our thinking!

However, this has become impossible for many Christians in this age because of the impression created by the erroneous but long-established traditions of men that Christmas IS all about Christ’s birth. It is the common misapprehension among God’s people today that Christmas is about Christ’s birth and that the world has hijacked this sacred festival for its own evil ends. Nothing could be further from the truth. For many modern Christians it is almost sacrilegious to suggest that Christmas has nothing to do with the birth of Christ. Sadly, that only reflects the reality that today the minds of God’s people at large are not under the strict discipline of Scripture as they ought to be.

The gospel is no longer enough

This thinking pervades much of modern Christianity. It has infected and poisoned the thinking of evangelical, fundamentalist Churches and preachers. It is this concept that lies behind the widespread use of gimmickry to lure an audience to hear the gospel. The idea is to use ‘bait and switch’ tactics to appeal to the worldly and the ungodly by using activities or music that appeals to them and then while they are not aware, slip in ‘the gospel’ and hope they won’t notice! ‘Christian’ personalities, rock music, a casual or party atmosphere created for worship, are all bait used to catch the unsuspecting and supposedly reach them for Christ with the truth.

Such an approach to the gospel of Jesus Christ is worldly, sinful, a slander on Christ, and a gross disservice to the souls of men!

Rock the river

“What I mean by evangelistic: we’d go for an hour and a half of head-bangin’ music; I’d get up, preach, and give an invitation.”

Franklin Graham interviewed by Canadian Christianity, April 8th, 2010.

Rock the river is a ‘ministry’ of the Billy Graham Organisation aimed at young people. In the Fall of 2010 Rock the River is coming to venues in western Canada—Fraser Valley, Calgary, Edmonton. As the name suggests it is an event that revolves around a rock music theme. The ‘Christian’ rock bands that are scheduled to be involved in the Western Canada events include: Flyleaf, Skillet, Starfield, Thousand foot krutch, The almost, Downhere and Tedashii. The events will also feature preaching by Franklin Graham.

The high cost of compromise

The ancient and tragic history of the life of Jehoshaphat, King ofJudah, that is a lesson to every Christian in this modern age of ecumenical compromise. “…Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning” (Romans 15:4).

King Jehoshaphat came to the throne ofJudah in the fourth year of King Ahab’s reign in Israel. Ahab’s spiritual character is given in I Kings 16:30-33 —And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he…went and served Baal, and worshipped him….Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him. He was a promoter of false religion on a grand scale and oversaw the systematic destruction of the prophets of the Lord by Jezebel his wife (1 Kings 18:4 ).

God’s call to public worship

The question of attendance at public worship is one that few of God’s people consider with the serious thought that it deserves. To many, whether to be present at a place of worship or not is a matter of personal convenience rather than a duty that God has laid upon them.

In Hebrews10:19 the Apostle Paul begins the practical section of this epistle. He is beginning to apply the glorious doctrines he has given an exposition of. He has presented Christ as the substance of Old Testament shadow, v1. The Lord Jesus is the great High Priest of His people Who was symbolised and foreshadowed by Aaron and the Levitical priesthood of Old testament times. Christ is come to be the mediator between God and men as the High Priest of His people. More than this, Christ is presented as the once for all atoning sacrifice for the guilty. The Old Testament age was one of continual sacrifice yet none of those sacrifices could effectively deal with sin for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins, Heb 10:4. Christ has come, however, to make one sacrifice for sins forever, v12.

Some things you should know about C. S. Lewis!

The writings of C.S. Lewis have again come into prominence with the release of the Hollywood version of The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe. Many evangelicals see this as a tremendous opportunity to present gospel truth. The claim is made that C.S. Lewis’ fictional writings are saturated with Biblical truth and even are a sort of parable-like repetition of Scriptural doctrine.

C. S. Lewis attempted to present Scriptural truth under a cloak of pagan mythology in order to give it popular appeal. Such an approach to Scripture is really just tampering with the word of God in an unacceptable fashion. The article below sets out some reasons why the Bible-believing Christian should have little to do with C.S. Lewis’ literature.

What should the Church sing, Pt2

An examination of the Greek terms psalmos, humnos and ode as they are used in the Septuagint version of the Scriptures to see if the practice of the LXX lends support to the concept of exclusive psalmody.

The Septuagint, or LXX (so called because of the story that it was the work of 70 translators), is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures. It appeared about 250 B.C. and was the Bible of Gentile believers and of many of the scattered Jews. One of the claims made in support of the exclusive Psalmody position is that the Greek terms which Paul employs in Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16 for psalms, hymns and songs are proved by their use in the Septuagint (LXX) to exclusively refer to the Psalms of David. The use of psalmos (psalm), humnos (hymn), or ode (song) in the LXX translation of the Psalms particularly is triumphantly pointed to as proof that Paul meant the Church of Christ to sing Psalms only. As part of that argument it may be demonstrated that all three terms appear for example in the LXX translation of Ps 65:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm [psalmos] and Song [ode] of David. Praise [humnos] waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion… This is supposed to give conclusive evidence of the case for exclusive psalmody.

What should the Church sing? Pt1

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. Col 3:16

It is insisted by some that the only legitimate and acceptable way for the Christian Church to worship God in song is by the exclusive use of the Psalms of David in metrical form. While no Christian should quarrel with the requirement to sing Psalms, to outlaw the use of Scriptural hymns and paraphrases from other parts of Holy Writ is indefensible from the word of God.