Thursday, May 14, 2009
MercyMe’s newest single, “Finally Home”, follows in the same theme as their other two very popular songs, “I Can Only Imagine” and “Homesick”. All three of these songs deal with the believer’s view of death, and more specifically, of dying and going to heaven to be with the Lord. I’m not sure if the band did this purposely, but it’s neat to see how each song progresses from visualizing and thinking about heaven (“Imagine”), dealing with the Christian’s deep longing and desire to be there (“Homesick”), and finally, with this latest song, expressing the joy we will have when we finally arrive.
As a horizontally-directed Christian song (singing about ourselves), I really love this song. The first verse talks about what most people probably think of when heaven is brought up: finally seeing family and friends again.
I’m gonna wrap my arms around my daddy’s neck
And tell him that I’ve missed him.
And tell him all about the man that I became
And hope that it pleased him
There’s so much I want to say
There’s so much I want you to know
The second verse focuses on what our main mindset should be about dying and being with the Lord.
Then I’ll gaze upon the throne of the King
Frozen in my steps
And all the questions that I swore I would ask
Words just won’t come yet
So amazed at what I’ve seen
So much more than this old mind can hold
I really appreciate that second verse, because I think that far too often we Christians can forget what heaven is really all about. Yes, we will get to see saved family and friends once again, but I feel that we’ll be so in awe of the Lord, that we just won’t be able to stand it!
Musically, this is a really beautiful song, with a chorus that I promise will get stuck in your head. I think this song could act as a real encourager to Christians who have lost their focus, and will give you a greater desire for the things of God. However, I wouldn’t want to see this song used in a church service as a corporate praise song, because like I mentioned earlier, it talks about us and our relationships and emotions, and not so much on the character and nature of God.
On what could be possible downsides for a different kind of song, “Finally Home” contains no direct quotations or paraphrases of Scripture, no mention of Jesus, and no clear explanation of salvation. However, I actually think for the type of song this is supposed to be, it is perfectly appropriate.
You can watch MercyMe’s official music video for “Finally Home” by clicking here.
Monday, April 20, 2009
The Church, though dispersed through our the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father “to gather all things in one,” and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, “every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess” to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send “spiritual wickednesses,” and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire; but may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments, and have persevered in His love, some from the beginning [of their Christian course], and others from [the date of] their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory.
Irenaeus - Against Heresies, Chapter 10:1
By the way, in case you were interested, Irenaeus learned from the Christian saint Polycarp...who learned directly from the Apostle John!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
While I was reading the confession a few days ago, I found this section on the Bible and the Holy Spirit, and I thought I would share it with you all:
The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.You can read the entire confession here.
It pleased the Lord to commit His revealed Truth wholly to writing. Therefore the Holy Scriptures are most necessary, those former ways by which God revealed His will unto His people having now ceased.
The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture, to which nothing is to be added at any time, either by new revelation of the Spirit, or by the traditions of men.
Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Many people often wonder why I seem to be so negative. I've been accused of bashing pastors and wanted to tear down churches. Why don't I just support all people who are "working for the Lord"? Did I forget about Christian unity?
Honestly, I think a lot of people say those things to me because they don't know what a large majority of evangelical churches are like today. I do. Everyday I read another story of another church trying desperately to bring the world into their church, and in the process make themselves look like complete fools.
I recently watched the the following video on YouTube, and I really think it would help you understand where I'm coming from if you watched it as well. Included are many clips from modern evangelical church sermons and promotions. Unfortunately, because we're talking "modern evangelical", some of the clips are inappropriate. (You might want to skip 2:10-2:60.)
As you watch, remember what the Bible says church should be: "They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." (Acts 2:42)
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
If you haven't seen this sermon yet, you MUST!!! It will literally be the most shocking sermon preached at a youth conference you'll ever see. At one point he actually tells the teens to stop clapping. Yep, you just have to see it!
Click here to read about Paul Washer's ministry and to download more of his sermons.
Friday, February 27, 2009
On May 23, 2005, Pastor Rick Warren was a quest speaker at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. At this event, he made this shocking statement concerning the nature of Christianity:
Now the word "fundamentalist" actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity... (Read entire transcript here; this quote is about half way down the page.)
What is this 1920's document that Pastor Rick Warren finds so legalistic and narrow? Here is what that document says:
Does this sound at all like legalism? Does he not believe that this document accurately presents Christianity? If these five fundamental Christian truths are "legalistic", I wonder what he believes about Christianity?
There are five fundamentals of the faith which are essential for Christianity, and upon which we agree:
1. The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8 9).
2. The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27).
3. The Blood Atonement (Acts 20:28; Romans 3:25, 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12-14).
4. The Bodily Resurrection (Luke 24:36-46; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 15:14-15).
5. The inerrancy of the scriptures themselves (Psalms 12:6-7; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16 17; 2 Peter 1:20).
And those who disagree with any of the above doctrines are not Christians at all. Rather, they are the true heretics.
So disagreements are perfectly acceptable within the confines of Christianity, because our salvation does not hinge upon doctrines other than the above five. (Read the entire document here [look at left side of the page].)
HT: Lighthouse Trails Research
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
A vital question that all Christians should ask themselves is, "What should my pastor be preaching at my church?" I think the Christian church has really fallen into a lot of non-biblical preaching and teaching these days. They want to be "relevant", "attractive", and "appealing" to the unsaved people in their community. However, the Bible nowhere says that that is what our churches should be like!
Let's look at some Scriptures on what the main job of a pastor is on a Sunday morning:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof,for correction, for training in righteousness;
so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
- 2 Timothy 3:16- 4:1-4
What are pastors supposed to be preaching about from the pulpit? THE WORD OF GOD!!
Not from the latest popular book, movie or TV show, some new study or finding, and not even the pastor's own experiences.
God's people want to hear God's Word, not man's word. I've heard a lot of pastor's say they are preaching from God's Word when they really aren't. Just quoting a few verses of Scripture to back up what you want to say to the congregation does not count as preaching from the Word.
The Bible should be the main source for the sermon, and nothing else!!
So, if you're a pastor, please...PREACH THE WORD!! If you aren't preaching from the Bible every Sunday, honestly, I don't know why you think you can be a pastor.
And if you're a Christian going to a church that is not preaching the Word faithfully every Sunday, I encourage you to start looking for a church that does.
Sola Scriptura! (Scripture Alone!)