Christmas, Turkey, and More

Carving a deep fried turkey

Here in England, it seems to be the tradition for churches to have a Christmas Day service.  Several families at church have started getting together for Christmas Dinner.  Well, Cyndi and I said we would deep fry a turkey if there was intrest.  Well, even though Lydia is sick, Isaac and I went because we had to cook the turkey.  Well, it was a hit.  Everyone liked it.  Isaac and I had an ok time because Cyndi and Lydia weren’t there.

Image from henry alva via flickr

I’ve figured it out….

#lego #spongebobsquarepants #spongebob #pirate #toy #instagrm #iphone #iphotography

I’ve always been rubbed wrong with the idea of “seeker sensitive” church.  Yes, when someone visits, they should be greeted and people should be friendly to them, but is the church really for them?  What is the point?  Today, while listening to Fighting for the Faith, I think I’ve got a handle on it.  From the 25 April 2012 podcast (1 hr 17 min to 1 hr 25 min):

One of the things they are trying to do is transform society…. Our church exists to meet the needs of our comunity….
— john Cremeans [sermon being reviewed]

That’s not what the Bible teaches…. Unbelieving friends [don’t] understand the unique things that we [do] as Christians…. Because the church was out of step with unbeliever’s expectations, that means that something is wrong. If we are really to be a church–to make a difference in the world–we need to stop doing this because we exist to serve the community and make a difference. So we’ve got to get rid of this unique Bible language…and not have these hymns and songs that my unsaved friends are embarased by…. Yes, Christians should be involved in solving [the bad problems in society]. But not during church. When the church comes together, we have sacred business to do. To hear and learn God’s Word. To take the Lord’s Supper. To baptize. To teach. There’s a problem here. The world has thse problems. Of course. The world is full of people who are dead in their trespasses and sins and at war with God. These are the result of our sinful rebellion against God….
— Chris Roseborough in response

First off, I want to apologize. I typed this up while I was listening. I’m sure it isn’t the best transcript, but I think it is accurate to what Chris said.  I think that Chris Roseborough hit the nail on the head:  while the Good News of the Gospel is for everyone, the thing called CHURCH is for those who are saved.  It is the job of the individuals in the church to share their faith with people…it isn’t the job of the CHURCH to save people.  

in CHURCH (the church service) we gather to study the Bible and worship God.  An unbeliever isn’t going to get it or understand it.  Well, until they get saved they won’t.  We shouldn’t exclude them from coming, but it isn’t necessarily for them.  Nor should we make it for them.

[Update 2012-05-15 12:14:02] On Sunday, the sermon was from Matthew 7 (13 to 23).  I think the narrow gate/wide gate talks about this.

[Update 2012-05-21 13:09:18] Listen to this episode (14 May 2012) of Fighting for the Faith (right around the hour mark…perhaps from 55min to 1h 5 min).  Chris does a good job out outlining the “vision” for the church and who gets to set that vision.

Image from wesleyig via flickr

Instrumentalists, church, and who plays


I read Way of Life literature fairly regularly and get updates from them.  While I don’t agree 100% with everything that they say, in general, their views are very biblical and solid.  In the Sep 3 2010 Friday News Notes (a collection of news items and comentary from the previous week), there was this:

DOES EVERYONE GET A CHANCE TO PLAY? (Friday Church News Notes, September 3, 2010,,, 866-295-4143) – The following is by Brian Snider : “In many cases, Baptist churches tend to use one church pianist to the exclusion of anyone else who might be able to play an instrument. Having had long experience in independent and Southern Baptist churches, we have seen where this can cause friction and unnecessarily exclude someone from using their talents and abilities for the service of the Lord. One way that this can overcome is by rotating musicians so that everyone has an opportunity to play their instruments in church. One large independent Baptist church in Alabama, for instance, has a head pianist who is in charge of scheduling and music selection for the various instrumentalists. Musicians of any age are allowed to play as long as they meet certain standards of ability and as long as their musical selections are appropriate. They can play offertories, specials or fill in other areas as needed. By using all the musicians in a church who want to play, you give the younger musicians experience playing before an audience, and this practice can eliminate jealousies and other issues that arise when only one person does most or all of the music.”

I think that most churches I have been in fit the one described (where one pianist and/or organist) plays regularly.  I thought Brian’s suggestion was a good one.  Not only does it give others the opportunity to use their gifts, but it lets others hear someone new and lets the player gain experience.

[Update 2012-12-26 12:44:56] The link to the friday news notes was wrong.  I updated it.

Image from samhong198 via flickr

Worship this morning — 1 Aug 2010

Metropolitan Tabernacle IMG_0990

Cyndi and I are still trying to figure out where to worship here.  We’ve visited several churches, but haven’t really felt God leading us one place or another.  This morning, we decided to take the opportunity to visit a church we’d never really go to, but one that has TONS of history behind it.

We went to the Metropolitan Tabernacle really close to downtown (center/centre) of London (have a look at this google map to see where it is).  If you don’t know the name, perhaps you know the name of one of the former pastors:  C. H. Spurgeon.  Don’t know him?  Shame!

Anyway, if you are in London on a Sunday, I’d suggest you go.  The people were nice, the music was great, and the Bible Teaching was superb!

CCM, Hymns, and 7/11 Songs

I was recently reading on the internet and came across another article talking about Ray Boltz. Only this one, in an update, contained some good analysis of the whole CCM, chorous stuff and hymns. I think it hits the nail on the head and wanted to repost it here for everyone to see. Here it is:

I also think that what is wrong with most of contemporary gospel music and has been from the start is that it appeals to emotions almost exclusively. I notice this often on the Gaither homecoming specials. There is little theology and what there is in a lot of these songs isn’t even biblically sound. That’s how contemporary songs find a following: there is an appealing, ballad/melody, coupled with repetitive, emotionally laden words that are repeated with growing intensity until the end.


The emphasis so often in Gospel music is on the singer, not the Savior. It’s easy to do that when these celebrities are singing what is essentially pop music.


Contrast this with the traditional hymns of the faith and how they stir us:

The great hymns/songs that have stood the test of time confess biblical truth, or God’s attributes, and the gospel. A Christian can experience emotion singing them, but that emotion is based on the sound truths of God’s Word proclaimed in the hymn or song .

In the end, what’s the real problem?

The problem with this music is that it seems to contribute to the same type of attitude towards right and wrong. I FEEL this way, therefore that must be the way God made me. Who cares what the Bible has to say about the matter? I’m tired of wrestling with this sin, so I’m going to embrace it and toss God’s Word aside. That’s the only reason I can think of for the high incidences of homosexuality and immorality among gospel singers. The article from the Blade references several of these cases. When our subjective feelings are our only guide, we’re in dangerous waters.

Now, don’t hear me saying that I don’t like CCM. Because I do. I totally enjoy listening to Petra. And Carman. But, for the most part, their music is what it is–entertainment–and it isn’t meant to be sung as worship music to God. Certainly not as group worship. Have you ever paid attention to the lyrics of some of the songs? I’ve sung one that in the song goes “…sing with me…” I always thought that was rather odd. So, in conclusion, I enjoy listening to CCM…most of it. I don’t enjoy singing much of it. Regardless of our music “style” we need to be careful that the theology put forth in our songs is Biblical.

Here are some other posts on music I have written about that you might find interesting:

24/7 Music
Seen and Not Heard

Sunday School Material

Ever need Sunday School Material? Are you a teacher and want to share your materia with someone? Check out the Sunday School Wiki. I can’t speak for their thology so be careful and make sure you read things first. But, it looks like a good idea and one whose time has come.

Found via this website.

24/7 Music

This video illustrates my problem with praise choruses.  You can take anything and turn it into a 24/7 or 7/24 (the same 7 words sang 24 times).  This is an extreme example, but I hear the same worthless kind of words when I hear most choruses.



I came across this guy’s blog post about the creation museum while reading another blog this morning before work. I’ll link to it but be warned…his post isn’t the best. You’ll have to read past some bad language to get to the point I wanted to bring up.

He says (about 1/7 of the way down):

Let me say this much: I have to admit admiration for the pure balls-out, high-octane creationism that’s on offer here. Not for the Creation Museum that mamby-pamby weak sauce known as “Intelligent Design,” which tries to slip God by as some random designer, who just sort of got the ball rolling by accident. Screw that, pal: The Creation Museum’s God is hands on! He made every one of those animals from the damn mud and he did it no earlier than 4004 BC, or thereabouts. It’s all there in the book, son, all you have to do is look.

What do we need to learn from this? We need to unashamedly stand up for the truth. We shouldn’t gloss it over. We shouldn’t worry about who it offends. We need to speak the entire council of God’s Word and stand up for it. Yes, we are going to get attacked…but I would rather be attacked for believing the truth instead of doing what these guys are doing.