Sunday, November 16, 2014

Godly Music Principles

Principles of Public Worship (I Corinthians 14)

   I. The Practice of Ministers/Worship Leaders Questioned (v.26)

      A. Everyone Attempting/Wanting Their Own Way of Worship (v.26a)

      B. Edification Always One Goal of Worship (v.26b)

 II. The Principles of Ministering/Worship Leading Qualified (v.27-33)

      A. Explicit Rules for Leading Worship (v.27-31)

      B. Encouraging All to Participate (v.28)

      C. Exhorting to Orderly Worship (v.29, 30)

III. The People Of /Ministry Worship Leading Qualified (v.34, 35)

      A. Exhortation for Silence to Women (v.34a)

      B. Example of the Law (v.34b)

      C. Explicit Rules for Women (v.35)                                                                             

Eight Questions for Godly Music

1.       Is it orderly? “Let all things be done decently and in order” (I Corinthians 14:40)

2.       Is it glorifying God? “Do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31)

3.       Is it true to God’s Word? “God is not the author of confusion” (I Corinthians 14:33)

4.       Is it edifying or just entertaining? “Let all things be done unto edifying” (I Corinthians 14:26)

5.       Is it enlightening to the mind? “I will sing with the understanding  also” (Psalm 46:7; I Corinthians 14:7)

6.       Is it appealing to the flesh? “The flesh lusts against the Spirit” (Galatians 5:17)

7.       Is it worship fit for the presence of God? “Come before His presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2)

8.     Is it music that parallels the world’s rock music which emphasizes the following characteristics:
a. Excessive repetition b. Dominant beat  c. Backbeat d. Bass tones drive the music e. Encourages worldly conduct
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world; if any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him; for all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of t he world. And the world passes away and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides forever.”  (I John 2:15-17)
     The Bible preaching churches have used what are called “The hymns of the faith” for over four hundred years, since the time of the reformation when Martin Luther wrote “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”. This anthem of the reformation in Europe was utilized to battle the devil keeping the hearts and minds of believers soaked in sound doctrine as they went forth to battle for the Lord. This hymn and the multitudes of other hymns which came after were and still are being utilized to bring comfort to the believer along with the precious and powerful Word of God. It is the doctrine from the Scripture within these hymns that has aided the Believer to get the victory and stand strong for the Lord. These hymns have been very effective in worshipping the Lord for almost five centuries and there is no need for change, but as the end of the age draws near the devil has a plan called “Change & Confuse” which he is using to weaken the church: Change the Bible, Change the Music, Change the Pastor etc. but God never changes which is a great example for the saints! Change is NOT necessary brethren!! Stand with the Lord!

Chaplain LEWolfe I-85 Exit 35 SC McPilot Stop in, and please pray for our ministry & revival!

Friday, June 20, 2014

“Christian” Contemporary Music

Christian” Contemporary Music 

     After we returned home from a preaching engagement in PA on Saturday, 6.15.13, the next day the Lord sent me back into our Truck-stop Ministry for the Sunday Service at 10:00 and immediately there came a driver out of a truck who walked up to our van/mobile chapel and began describing and telling me about his Christian Contemporary Music experiences.

     After a few minutes he asked me if I listened to the local CCM station to which I replied, “No, I was saved out of Rock n’ Roll” and he   protested by saying that this was not R&R, but, I explained to him that the beat and the bass tones which drive much of this music take me back into the days when R&R was an integral part of my life when I was lost and in bondage to a very sinful lifestyle. Therefore, I told him, this so-called Christian music was not something that I listened to at all.

     He began berating me and needless to say he was “Barking up the wrong tree” because his attitude was obvious, he thought that I was condemning him, but, that was not my focus. By explaining to him in brief the principles found in Romans 14 which teach that you don’t offend a brother with your preferences regardless of what you think is right or wrong, you don’t stuff your “anything” down a brother’s throat even if you are being blessed by the “anything” that you are doing or promoting!

     This is especially prevalent in the church today. You can put translations of the Bible, CCM, or dress standards etc. in the blank where “anything” appears. In Paul’s day it was “meat offered to idols”, but in our  day it is all of the above as the Devil attempts to use “anything”  he can to create division or discord among the brethren…and he is presently having great success with the three just mentioned.

     In the thirty-three plus years that I have been saved there have been a number of occasions when someone or a group of people have ‘exploded a church’ in order to get their way with their preferences. Oftentimes Pastors and their families have been rudely expelled by certain members who wanted their way to prevail even though there might be many others in the church who did not want change in their worship, regardless, if it is over worldly music, translations, or any other change in the church. 
     But, music seems to be the major offender in the church splits that we have observed. And, there are principles found in the Word of God to give guidance for music that can be sung in the presence of the Lord. One of the first things to   consider for any change in the church is: Does it cause division/discord among the brethren? How can something be God’s will if it does? Don’t need a rocket scientist for this one.

     Secondly, is it worldly? Once again, when this music is compared with what the world is listening to, regardless of the lyrics, if it sounds like the world, and many of those who listen to it  look/act like the world in their concerts, dress, tattoos, piercings, and hair styles, etc. consider it to be of the world. Is this rocket science?

      Third, the God of the Bible is not the author of confusion as stated in I Corinthians 14:33. Confusion prevails when there are numerous people attempting to be in charge of the worship in the church as Paul states in I Corinthians 14:26: “How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done decently and in order.”

     Let’s imagine this scenario: The church at Jerusalem in 66 A.D. has been singing Psalms from the book of Psalms now for over three decades and someone, or a group of people, comes in and says: “Listen, the Romans have this music that we want to use in worship to replace the Psalms. We have been singing these Psalms for over three decades in the church and before that at the temple we Jews have been singing them for hundreds of years. We need to appeal to the young people with this CCM, besides, it is what we like and you can’t reach the young people with music that’s been around that long anyhow!”

     So, what does Peter and the Apostles do when this comes to pass? Succumb, and watch the church explode? Or, take a stand on Godly music that has been proven for almost a full Millennium? As a matter of fact, some churches today still have Psalters and sing from them every service. Godly music STILL works!
     Now, what should we do when this situation arises? You better get ready, it is happening at an alarming pace in good churches across the country as we speak. This is part of the Devil’s assault as we close in on the end of this age and the Coming of the Lord! Divide and conquer continues to be his scheme in the church.
     Today many churches have become places for entertainment of the saints instead of edification of the saints. The performers walk around on the stage, holding their microphones like the world’s pro’s, getting applause for their performance like in the night clubs I once frequented. They are getting the glory instead of God, and He will not put up with this forever! He will have the final word! Read (Isaiah 42:8)

     As I explained to this driver, if you are blessed by this music, keep it in the truck, don’t attempt to force it into the lives of others and especially do not bring it into the church. But, be sure it is of the Spirit of God for there are three spirits vying for your attention, your own fleshly spirit, the spirit of Satan and the Spirit of God. Try the spirits and see if they be of God! Well, as you might expect, this was not what he wanted to hear, at least at the first, but we departed on good ground.

     Obviously, personal preferences are not always the same for every believer. Therefore, practice the sound doctrine found in Romans 14. Be sure to read through the entire chapter. Obey, and you will not be found guilty of seeking your will, but, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteous will! And so, CCM might not be “Garbage” to all, but, it definitely is to me…for all of the above reasons!

     Here are some guiding principles for choosing the right music for worshipping in God’s presence:
1.      Music must exalt and glorify God [Not the singer[s]/minister[s] (Psalms 47:6, 7)
2.      Music must edify the Spirit [Not the flesh] (I Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:18, 19)
3.      Music must enlighten the mind of the new man (Psalm 47:7; I Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 4:23)
4.      Music must be orderly not confusing or worldly noise (I Corinthians 14:33, 40)
5.      Music must be true to God’s Word (Psalm 101:1; 119:54)  
6.      Worship must be in the Holy Spirit not the flesh (John 4:24; Romans 8:8)
7.      If the music is questionable, give God the benefit of  the doubt (Romans 14:23)

Characteristics of CCM:
1.      Misses the mark of glorifying God  often emphasizing the singer/performer
2.      Sliding scale of notes without firm focus on each note
3.      Does not usually have clear doctrinal message from the Word of God
4.      Usually performed with lustful, breathy, fleshly emphasis and worldly style
5.      Often motivated by money not ministry
6.      Displays clashing  harmony and rhythms
7.      Worldly entertainment of the flesh is the primary purpose not edification/Spirit
8.      Worldly sounding beat and bass tones drive the music appealing to the flesh

                    Chaplain Larry Wolfe
              Please pray for our ministry!

Minding the Music

"Minding the Music"

I. Music's Priority in Old Testament Worship

    A. Responsibility of Chief of the Fathers (I Chronicles 9:33, 34) Saul

    B. Responsibility of Chief of the Levites (I Chronicles 15:16, 19, 22, 27) David

    C. Responsibility of Levites (II Chronicles 5:12, 13) Solomon

    D. Responsibility of Asaph (Nehemiah 7:1, 44; 11:28) Nehemiah

    E. Responsibility of Priests (Ezra 2:65, 70, 7:24) Ezra

II. Music's Practice in Old Testament Worship

    A. Psalm Titles "To Chief Musician/Song Leader" Over 80 Times

    B. Psalms: Singing to the Lord Over 70 Times

    C. Psalms: Singing God’s Statutes in the Home (Psalm 119:54)

III. Music's Prominence in New Testament Worship

    A. Singing Praises unto God (Acts 16:25)

    B. Singing unto God's Name for His Mercy to the Gentiles (Romans 15:9)

    C. Singing with the Spirit and with Understanding (I Corinthians 14:15)

    D. Singing and Making Melody in Your Hearts to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19)

    E. Singing with Grace in Your Hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16)

    F. Singing Praise unto God (Hebrews 2:12)

   G. Singing by the Merry Saints (James 5:13)

   H. Singing a New Song to the Lamb/Lord Jesus for His Worthiness (Revelation 5:9)

   J.  Singing a New Song to God before the Throne by Harpers/144K (Revelation 14:3)

  K.  Singing the Song of Moses & Song of the Lamb by the Saints to the Lord (Revelation 15:3)                                                                                                                                                                        

IV. Music's Evidence in Satan's Working

    A. In the Creation of His Character (Ezekiel 28:13)  

    B. In Worshipping His False Gods (Exodus 32:6, 18; Revelation 18:22)  

Chaplain LEWolfe  I-85 Exit 35 SC   McPilot    Stop in, and please pray for our ministry!