Sound Bite Truth

We are not going to go there and look at the Bible…I know what the Bible says but my god wants me to be happy!”  I wouldn’t have believed what I just heard!  Thankfully my wife and others were with me.  We were trying to encourage someone not to divorce her husband and scatter her children (she had already divorced at least two other men which took it’s greatest toll on her kids).  There was no Biblical grounds for divorce she just didn’t like him anymore.  To this day she maintains “her Christianity” and encourages others to do things that go against the Bible in the name of happiness.

Very inspiring until you realize who said it

Very inspiring until you realize who said it

The approach that either ignores the Bible or pulls portions of scripture out of context is dangerous.  Take for example this picture.  It is an inspirational calendar that contains a quote from the Bible.  Luke 4:7: If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.  Sounds inspiring when you look at that fragment.   You feel like you setting under the teaching of a  smooth self-help mega pastor.  When you read the verse in it’s context however you realize that it wasn’t even Jesus who said it.  It was actually said by the devil, ut oh! 

Sound Bite Christianity

Today more than ever we live in world of sound bites that people use to spin ideas in certain ways in accordance with their own views and desires.   Conservative and Liberal news sites use quotes from the same speeches and interviews and spin them in completely different directions.  In doing so they completely miss the context of the view the people speaking intended. 

We live in a postmodern and pragmatic culture which believes truth is either determined by the individual, or what works is true.  Unfortunately Christians often spin a sound bite from the Bible, or even worse don’t think about the Bible at all when presenting or believing ideas about Jesus. 

I run into people all the time who say things like “I will do it if Jesus tells me to” which sounds good on the surface until you realize they are responding to something Jesus already said to do in His word.  When I hear those kinds of things I want to ask “which Jesus are you referring to” because the Jesus in the Bible already said it.     

There is a reason the Bible was written.  The Jesus we have access to is the One revealed in the Bible.  It is the same Jesus who affirmed the moral commands of the OT and even took them to a deeper meaning which included our attitudes not just the behavior (Mt 5).  It is the same Jesus who reaffirmed the exclusivity of marriage between a man and woman and His hatred of divorce.  It is the same Jesus who said not one jot or tittle of the OT will pass away until the end of the age (Mt 5:18).  Authentic Christians do seek to obey what He says which never violates what He has already said.   

If we don’t understand this we will do what Mark Twain said,  “God created man in His making God in our imageown image, and man, being a gentlemen, returned the compliment.” 

Our approach to the Bible is very important.  It is God’s inspired word.  When we open the Bible we are stepping into God’s revelation and encountering Him on His terms.  We are not there looking for inspiration or therapeutic sound bites to form our own truth.  Jesus main way Jesus is washing us and making us into His image is with His word. Ephesians 5:25-27…just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,  (26)  so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,  (27)  that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

Healthy Approach to His Word

It is helpful to keep in mind a systematic approach to Scripture which helps us avoid sound bite or personal preference truth.  It helps us see the fuller context of God’s hear revealed in what He said about things.  A systematic approach looks at all the references on a particular subject and from that perspective we get a fuller picture of what God thinks about it.  If not we will tend to look at some scriptures to the exclusion of others and end up with a personal preference Jesus rather than the Jesus of the Bible.

I had an encounter with someone that desperately needed a systematic approach.  He was pointing out all the things he didn’t like about how we administrated corporate meetings.   There are only 10 verses in the NT that have instruction about our meeting together and when I suggested that we look at them as a reference point to our discussion his cup runneth over.  My suggestion was met with a red faced angry response. “I don’t want to look at the Bible I want to talk about the things I have problems with.”  Big problem!!!!

Having the Bible as our objective basis of the revelation of Jesus, a good systematic approach to scriptures, and putting verses into their context are important ways to avoid sound bite truth that attempts to make God into the image we desire.  We want to follow “Jesus” no “my jesus.”   

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Reading the “New Narcissist Translation”

USA TodayI remember reading an article in USA today citing research about religious habits of Americans titled “More Americans tailoring religion to fit their needs.”   This was a very prophetic statement.  It’s nothing new.  Throughout history God’s people have often attempted to do this.  It is called “making God into our image” or the more Biblical term “Idolatry.”  It usually happened when there was something He said they didn’t like or there were circumstances that were challenging.

A great case in point was what happened when Moses was on the mountain meeting God.  The people left on the ground didn’t like that it was taking so long so they fashioned an idol in the fire and placed God’s name on it.   Exo 32:8…They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, ‘This is your god (“Elohim”Ex 3:1-5), O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!'”

There has always been that propensity among God’s people to try to make Him into the image they desire. The philosopher Voltaire said, “In the beginning God created man in His own image, and man has been trying to repay the favor ever since.”Mark Twain once said, “God created man in His own image, and man, being a gentlemen, returned the compliment.”

Looking at the Bible through the Mirror of Self

What is the “New Narcissist Translation?”  It isn’t an actual written translation of the Bible but the one that people often have on the inside of them.  We recently conducted a gathering in which we looked at the idea of interpreting the Bible.  One of the main issues in accurately interpreting the Bible is to see it in the context it was written.  If not we take it and apply it out of context.  This opens the door to what the USA Today article reported, “tailoring religion to fit our needs.”

Narcissism is the “obsession with self.”  It is evaluating life through the lens of  self Narcissistorientation.  If that is our approach to the Bible we will see it through individualized glasses.  We will see it as Jesus’ personal love letter to me.  It becomes only about Jesus and me.  We approach it like an only child which nudges us towards self orientation.

That is not the context in which the Bible was written.  We are not an only child.  God’s joins us into His family.  The story line of the Bible is about God selecting, redeeming, and working through His people (plural).  The majority of the NT letters were written to local churches which are groups of God’s people joined together in a way of life under Christ’s Lordship through the power of Holy Spirit.  Even the letters that have a personal audience like Timothy and Titus were letters written to leaders who were working with groups of God’s people (Timothy Ephesus, Titus churches on the island of Crete).  The main content was about how to see those churches become better.  1Ti 3:15…I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

The only NT book that was written to an individual was Philemon which was Paul writing to man who was a part of a church about his runaway slave named Onesimus that Paul encountered and led him to the Lord.  It was in a local church context that Paul met and walked with Philemon.

If we don’t understand the context of the Bible we will apply Scriptures out of context.  We have all seen this in the media.  You can hear the same story or interview reported by the Conservative and Liberal media and it will seem like it was two different interviews.  Both sides will look at it and pick out parts to make a point.  It is the same speech but it can seem like conflicting messages.  You have to listen to it in its full context.

Biblical Example

A good case where people do this with the Bible is Romans chapter 12.  It begins by telling us to give our whole lives to God and not be conformed to the world.   Rom 12:1-16 CEV  Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That’s the most sensible way to serve God.  (2)  Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.

 If we just stop with those words and don’t put them in their context, and we have a individualized orientation, we will just see it as being about us individually.   I have seen people use this scripture to justify all kinds of self centered pursuits.  Paul didn’t stop in verse 2.  He continues with the context.  It is anything but individualized.  It is all about serving among the people He has joined you to in order to see God’s life expressed more among and through them.

 (3)  I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are…(4)  A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use.  (5)  That’s how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another.  (6)  God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have.  (7)  If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach.  (8)  If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully.  (9)  Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good.  (10)  Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself...(13)  Take care of God’s needy people and welcome strangers into your home….(15-16)  Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  (16)  Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.

This is an acid test to see if we are walking in the context of God’s word.  Are you laboring among God’s people to see them become all God has intended them to be so we can testify to the world around us about the goodness of God?   If not are you reading the “New Narcissist Translation.”  Here is the tag line verse under the title.

Pro 18:1  He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.

Pro 18:1 CEV He who keeps himself separate for his private purpose goes against all good sense.

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We Need Biblical Opinions – Not Just Opinions Pt 3

verseIn the last two post I explored the importance of God’s word guiding and shaping our thoughts as well as our actions.  Our thoughts almost always determine our actions and reactions.  If we get our thinking right then right actions will follow but if our thinking is not based on the Bible then our actions will not follow in God’s design.

Most Spiritual warfare is a battle over thoughts.  In the famous passage on warfare in 2 Corinthians 10 Paul describes the “weapons of our warfare not being of the flish but divinly powerful for the destruction of fortresses” (wrong ways of thinking erected against the truth).  He goes on to describe the nature of using the weapons 2Co 10:5  MSG We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.

If we allow ideas that are against God’s will (revealed in His word) we end up with what the false ideas at Colosee were described as, “having the appearance of wisdom” but are really “self-made religion” (Col 2:23).   We don’t want to live in “self-made religion” in the name of Jesus or Christianity.

Reading Devotionally or “Study to show yourself approved”

In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul exhorts Timothy to “Study to show yourself approved a studyworkman…rightly dividing the word of truth.”  The background of this exhortation was Paul sending Timothy to Ephesus to correct false ideas (1Tim 1:3-4).  In order to do this it takes more of a “study” and “workman” approach to Scripture than just reading a verse here and there.  This doesn’t mean we have to become Bible scholars. It is using simple tools and resources available to everyone to look a little deeper than just skimming verses.

Many Christians read their Bible devotionally with a “what does that verse say to me” mentality.   The danger of this approach is what I referred to in the last post as “spin.”  We see this quite a bit in the media nowdays.  People will interview someone or listen to an interview and only roport a few quotes or clips, out of context, in order to support their own opinions instead of the opinions of the interviewee.  If we do this with the Bible it can be spiritually dangerous and facilitate “self-made” religion.

Most of us have experienced in relational life someone coming to us with things we said to someone else from another conversation (usually a line or phrase).  When they relayed it to us it had a completely different meaning than the context of the actual conversation.  We  may have had an hour conversation that that phrase was used in that contained the actual meaning.  When taken out of context it got spun completely different than our intention.  We know how frustrating this can be and if we do this with the Bible it is a quick path to “self-made” Christianity.

Every verse is written in a context.  In “studying to show ourselves approved” we read it in the context and determine what God was saying there.  Once that is established then by the Spirit we determine what He is saying to us now.  If we simply pull the verses out of context we miss an important step.  This keeps us from error of spin (understanding based on our own desires and ideas) and provides a broader foundation from which God speaks to us.

 Three simple and important approaches to studying God’s word

During the last two posts I discussed three approaches that every Christian can employ by the Spirit to accurately understand God’s Word.  The first was a systematic study of any area.  The second was evaluating every verse in the context in which it was written.  Four of the essential contexts we should take into account are the following:

The Historical Context:  When it was written, this issues that are being addressed, and the time sequence in light of the other books gives us the historical context.

The Book Context: What is the background, message, and theme of the book? What issues is the author addressing, what is the occasion of the writing,  and who was he addressing it to?

The Passage Context:  Each verse within a passage and must be interpreted in the light of the passage and whole book.

The Testament Context: Which Testament was the verse written in.  Each of the two Testaments have their own distinctive, character, and emphasis.  The Old Testament was looking forward to the work of Christ but the New Testament was proceeding from His work which was already accomplished.

A third approach is:

3. Using available resources to put valuable tools into practice.

Three essential resources that are useful in study:

Concordances:  Concordances show key words and list every place they are found in the Bible (this is greatly helpful in systematic studies of what the Bible reveals on any subject).  They also give you the definitions of the Greek and Hebrew words translated into the English words you are searching.

Commentaries:  They are writers giving scholarly commentary on the various versus you are reading.  They give background and insight into the particular verse and its relation to other verses.  They also give introductions at the beginning of the books to help you understand the “occasion of the writing” and the context of the book.

Bible Dictionaries:  They give background of key words, thoughts, books, characters, and writers of the Bible.  They go into great detail and are valuable in gaining the background surrounding verses, books, and subjects in the Bible.

Secondary resource that is also helpful:

Bible Surveys:  These are very valuable in gaining the context of the books and verses.  They go in depth to give us the more complete meaning.

Most study Bibles have some of these resources right in the Bible.  There is also Bible software that is free or can be purchased for a minimal fee. They are also within easy reach of every Christian online for free.  You can start today to put the tools into practice.

Free online resources:   Anyone can access good sites online such as the following.  Most of them have an option to download apps for phones and pads.

http://www.biblestudytools.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/

https://www.olivetree.com/   (this has apps to download for phones and pads)

Using simple study approaches and tools will help the Bible come alive to us and helps us avoid “self-made religion.”

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We Need Biblical Opinions – Not Just Opinions Pt 2

Don't Butcher The Bible

Don’t Butcher The Bible

In the last post I explored the importance of God’s word shaping our thoughts as well as our actions.  God’s people get into trouble when they embrace ideas that lead to actions that are not in line with the word of God.  I know in my own life I have embraced ideas that seemed to be right only to later realize they were really in contradiction to God’s Word.  The best way to describe these types of things among God’s people is the phrase Paul used in describing the false ideas at Colosee as having,  “the appearance of wisdom” but are really “self-made religion” (Col 2:23).

We don’t want to live in “self-made religion.”  God’s Word is His will.  If we are going to follow Christ, His Word has to be the foundational path on which we walk.  Jesus tells us in  Joh 8:31-32 “If you continue in My word (stay, remain, abide, build upon), then you are truly disciples of Mine;  32  and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (Mt 7:24-27)

God’s Word is eternal and is to be our objective basis of our faith and practice.  It has to be an objective standard.  The other way would be to see it as subjective.  That means other factors go into our approach in understanding and applying it.  Things like cultural opinions, how we are emotionally feeling, the family or community we grew up in, and our personal preferences can color how we receive His Word.  If it becomes subjective or subject to personal ideas  and opinions then we can drift off track and not even know it.   An even worse state than that would be to ignore His Word altogether.  This was the state God’s people found themselves in under King Josiah as was referred to in previous post (2 Kings 22:1-13).

 Three simple and important approaches to studying God’s word

During the last post I discussed three tools that every Christian can employ by the Spirit to accurately understand God’s Word.  The first was a systematic study of any area.  A second approach is:

 2. Evaluating every verse in the context in which it was written.

We live in an era of 24-hour news. Radio, television, and online news sites constantly fill the airwaves with a barrage of news.  One thing that has become very clear in the past few years is that every news source has a liberal or conservative bias.  Rarely do we now get news free of ideological or political spin.

When you hear the same story reported by different channels or news sites it can often seem like a completely different story.  Video snippits used out of context with additional commentary from the reporters can reinforce whatever ideology the site seems to stand for.   We call it spin.  When you hear the complete interview or speech in its context it is often different than the way the news channel has spun it.

A Text Out Of Context Becomes A Pretext

A Text Out Of Context Becomes A Pretext

We can do the same thing with the Bible   We must always remember that the Bible was written by authors addressing issues. Verses are set in passages and books in the context of thoughts God inspired the authors to write.   To understand what is being said we need to understand the context in which it was written.  Once we see the verses in their context we determine by the Spirit what God is saying to us through them.

If we fail to do this we can pick verses out of context and easily spin them in a way God didn’t intend.  One day we can flip open our Bible and read that Judas “went away and hanged himself” (Mat 27:5).  The next day we flip it open and read, “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do the same'” (Lk 10:37).  If you link those two verses together out of context and act on them it can be deadly.

Verses Out Of Context

A good example is the New Testament epistles.  They were letters written to local churches.  They were written to disciples following the Lord together under the oversight of God’s appointed leaders.   In reading particular verses we need to keep in mind the context of what was being said to get an accurate idea of what God would be saying to us.  Consider Romans 12:1-2 which tells is to ” present your bodies a living sacrifice…acceptable to God…be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is.”  It is easy to read those verses and miss the context of how Paul says to do it in the verses that come after it.

3-16  For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.  4  For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,  5  so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another (amp “mutually dependent on one another”).  6  Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;  7  if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;  8  or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.  9  Let love be without hypocrisy… 10  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor…12  rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,  13  contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality… 15  Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.  16  Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.

When you look at the context of presenting yourselves to Christ it is in the context of being “among” the saints as “members of His body.”  I have heard Christians lift Romans 12:1-2 out of context and use it to justify an attitude that says, “I am living for Christ…I don’t need to be involved among His people (after all the church is a mess) as long as I am living for Him I am okay”   This attitude misses the conext.

Consider another verse often lifted out of context, Romans 11:26 “all Israel will be saved.”   Paul mentions Israel 9 times in that book.  What did he say about Israel in the other passages?  For example in 9:6 Paul says, “For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel.”  We need to see what was whole context of the book of Romans?  Most study bibles give a short account of “the occasion of the writing” at the beginning of each book.  You can also find this information easily online.  This helps us put verses in the context of thought then once we see them there we determine what they mean to us.

A phrase I heard years ago is “a verse taken out of context becomes a pretext (a reason given in justification of a course of action that is not the real reason).  If we are going to walk on the foundation of God’s Word we must read it in the context it is written, then by the Spirit determine how it applies to us.

 

 

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We need Biblical Opinions – Not Just Opinions

As I look back over the last 35 years of serving God’s people it seems almost Psalms 119weekly I have some sort of interaction with Christians who are embracing, or want others to embrace, a line of thinking that is in opposition to God’s word.  What is even more scary is that they are often clueless about it.  Much of the time it is similar to Paul’s description of false teachers that have “the appearance of wisdom” but as he goes on to say are putting forth “self-made religion” (Col 2:23).   Having these interactions usually cause me to yearn for what the Psalmist did, “revive me according to Your word” (Ps 119:25, 107, 149, 154, 156).

All of our thoughts, ideas, desires, and feelings should come under the measurement of God’s word.  What matches His word should be embraced and what runs contrary to it should be resisted.  Yet many times Christians fail to even consider what the word has to say about issues they are thinking or feeling.  It reminds me of what it was like during King Josiah’ reign in 2 Kings 22:1-13

In this story God’s people had drifted away from Him under the previous kings and were doing evil in the sight of the Lord.  When Josiah became king he sent the High Priest to lead the repair of the House of God which had been neglected under the previous rulers (in the Bible restoration of God’s House from neglect and destruction is a sign of revival).  While the High Priest was beginning to repair God’s house he found God’s word which had been lost and began to read it. He was alarmed by how far they had drifted off God’s path as they read His Word.   They brought the Word to Josiah.  When Josiah read it he had a similar response.

2 Kings 22:10-13 NASB  Moreover, Shaphan the scribe told the king saying, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it in the presence of the king.  (11)  When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes.  (12)  Then the king commanded Hilkiah…,and Asaiah the king’s servant saying,  (13)  “Go, inquire of the LORD for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the LORD that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”

agree to disagreeMany times it is good God loving people like Josiah and Shaphan are embracing ideas that have little to do with His word and they don’t even realize it!   When you bring up the fact that their thoughts are not in line with the weight of scriptures it is often met by “we will just agree to disagree.”  That could be a good idea except for one critical thing, what we agree or disagree on should be based the scriptures.  We should both look at the scripture regarding any idea  and form our opinions based on that.  Often the people that argue the most are the ones that haven’t taken the time to examine the scriptures in totality in that particular area.  A worst condition is that they aren’t even willing to do so.

Timothy was facing similar things at the church in Ephesus as people were putting forth ideas that were leading people astray.  Paul urged him to give serious attention to study and sharing God’s word.  2Ti 2:14-18  Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.  15  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 

A “workman” who “accurately handles the word of truth” is more than just reading an occasional verse.  It is exercising common spiritual sense approaches to studying and understanding the word of God in any area.

Three simple and important approaches to studying God’s word

There are three simple approaches to studying and understanding God’s word that are often neglected in approaching differing ideas.  If we will employ these three things it will greatly help us understand what God is saying on any particular subject so that if we agree to disagree it will at least be based on His word.

1. A systematic study of any area. The entails looking up all the verses on any subject, examine them together, and then determining with the help of the Spirit what God is saying about it. It sound’s hard but is very easy in this day and age when simple online concordances are available to everyone.  This gives us an overall Biblical perspective on any subject, especially controversial ones.

I remember doing this once on the area of Biblical expressions of praise and worship. I was running into people who said things like “I just am not comfortable doing ….when I worship” or “I prefer silence to noise in worship” or “I don’t think we should have those types of instruments in church.”  Not growing up in church I didn’t have any of the preconceived preferences regarding most issues.  I just figured that if the Bible says it then it must be God’s desire. When I ran into people who put forth ideas that seemed “wise” but troubling I did the systematic study myself.  I was amazed to find out what the Bible had to say about God’s desires for our expressions of praise and worship.  Consider the statistics.

Shouting or raising a loud voice is encouraged – 265 times.  (Ps 47:1, Ps 66:1-2, 95:1-2 etc.)   Note:  Silence is mentioned only 12 times with only 3 mentioned in terms of interaction with Him.  The other’s were things like “meditation on His word.”  Also in the 5 scenes showing interactions with God in the eternal states seen in the book of Revelation (Revelation 7:9-12; 8:1-13; 14:1-7;  19:1-6; and 21:1-3) they contained a lot of loud expressions.  The only silence is mentioned 1/2 hour before judgment is poured out on the earth.

Playing music and instruments – 58 times (Ps 33:2, 45:8, 81:1-2, 140:1-4, 150:2-6 etc).

Singing – 29 times (Ps 33:1-3, 95:1-11, Eph 5:19 etc).

Lifting our hands – 14 times (Ps 28:2, 141:2, 1 Timothy 2:8 etc).

Clapping hands – 12 times (Ps 47:1, 98:8 etc).

Bowing or kneeling 12 times bowing down or kneeling (Ps 95:6, Rev 19:4 etc).

Dancing – 9 Times (Ps 149:3, 150:4 etc).

Standing – 7 Times (Ps 122:2, 134:1,135:2 etc).

The only expression that wasn’t mentioned was doing nothing.  As I examined the scriptures systematically it was easy to determine a few clear Biblical facts.

  1. God desires physically expressive worship with all the Biblical expressions.
  2. A high premium is put on lifting up our voices and shouting.
  3. Non expressive worship simply isn’t in the Bible.

We must orientate our faith and practice around Biblical truth.  The word of God has to be paramount in any discussion of things “we will agree to disagree” or “you have the way you are comfortable with and I have mine.”  Before drawing any conclusions that appear to be wisdom, a systematic study in that area should be examined to make sure our opinions have a Biblical basis.

More in Part 2

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