Tag Archive | Worship

An Abomination – John MacArthur

Previously in the post Where is Sodom? there was some discussion about abominations. Here is John MacArthur explaining abomination and what that includes.

Thus, homosexuality is viewed in Leviticus as morally equal to sins such as adultery, incest, and bestiality. As noted earlier, such sins are wrong in any age and in any culture, because they violate the design for marriage that God established at creation.

God’s utter hatred for homosexual behavior is brought home by the word “abomination,” which describes what God thinks of it, and any other violation of His intended plan for heterosexual marriage. The word occurs repeatedly in this context (Lev 18:22, 26, 27, 29, 30; 20:13) and is also “a term especially frequent in the Book of Deuteronomy, [which] refers to an act that is abhorrent or repugnant, such as idolatry and inappropriate worship of God (see Deut 7:25; 27:15; 17:10; 12:31; 18:9-14).”

In the same way that idolatry is a perpetual offense to God’s moral character, subject to His wrath and condemnation, so also is any perversion of His design for marriage.

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John MacArthur

So using this explanation divorce, adultery, idolatry, homosexuality, worshiping a false god, or even worshiping our own made up Jesus can be considered an abomination to the Lord.  We need to be careful to not think we ourselves have not committed an abomination to the Lord while labeling others as abominable in His sight.  Inappropriate worship of God can cover a huge area.



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Sunday Christians – Tim Challies

Here is one perspective on why believers today choose to worship on Sunday.

It’s no wonder that Christians worship on Sunday. Muslims worship on Friday, Jews worship on Saturday, but Christians worship on Sunday because that is the day when Christ proved that he had conquered death. This is why we are Sunday Christians. We are not Friday Christians who serve a dead Savior, not Saturday Christians still waiting and wondering, but Sunday Christians who serve a living, breathing Savior–one who is alive and one who reigns. He died because he had to die. Our sin demanded blood and death. And yet he rose because he had to rise. He was the Son of God; how could death hold him? How could the Creator of all that exists be held down by death? It cannot happen and it did not happen. Christ is risen.

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Tim Challies



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Sabbath – Jewish Shabbat, Sunday, or What?

The fourth Commandment is the only commandment of the 10 Commandments that ever is really argued over by sound, Scriptural Believers.  Why?  Because while the OT is clear about the Sabbath for Jews, the NT Testament brings in much more that comes into play.  Especially in Hebrews where things like a “type and shadow”, “His Sabbath Rest”, “enter the rest” are used to refer to the Sabbath rest.  These verses have been interpreted differently by many believers.

Then we have several places where Paul is adamant that no one is to judge another for what days if any they set aside.  Each is accountable to their own Master.

Romans 14:4-6 (KJV)

4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

There are a multitude of ways that the Sabbath for Believers has been interpreted, all using various verses of Scripture. 

  • No difference, Sabbath is Jewish Shabbat from evening Friday to evening Saturday.

  • Observe Jewish Sabbath rest and Sunday worship as the “Lord’s Day”.

  • Observe Sunday as the New Sabbath Day, the “Lord’s Day”, with all the rules of the Sabbath.

  • Observe Sunday as a Believer’s day to worship due to the resurrection and apostle’s precedent showing change.

  • Observe no day for the Sabbath.

  • Observe everyday as the Sabbath and for worship.

  • Allow each Believer to do what seems best.

I’m sure there are more choices but I can’t think of any more right now.  Later we’ll look at the verses and the reasoning behind several of these choices.

Do you know why you worship on a particular day?  Scripture to back it up?

You just might be surprised at how few know why they worship on a particular day.



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Cultural Religion

“Culture is religion externalized.”

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Commonly attributed to Henry Van Til

Culture is the expression of a group of people’s core values.  Different people groups have different values and those values are defined by their religious beliefs.  All people have a religious belief even the most devoted and adamant atheist.  An atheist’s religious belief is that there is no God.

A religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion

A religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe” …  “often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”  This is why I say all people are religious whether or not they admit it or not.   Even the most violent gangs have some form of code that they live by and conduct themselves by.

So what does our culture worship?

My guess is that by watching and observing people and their interactions our culture worships “themselves”.

Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  ESV

Can others see whom you worship by observing your life?



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Does Your Church’s Worship Resemble This?

Ezekiel 33:31-32

31  And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain.

32 And behold, you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument, for they hear what you say, but they will not do it.  ESV

The congregation coming and talking up a good talk yet walking out unaffected by anything said?

Beautiful voices, well played instruments, maybe even good words but not actually living and doing what is said?

Does your worship resemble this?

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A Book About Worship by Scott Aniol

I have enjoyed reading several of Scott Aniol’s documents available on his website Religious Affections Ministries.  When I was researching about the Regulative Principle of Worship and also when I was discussing the issue of Rap in worship I benefited greatly from his articles or the external links he provided.  His newest book he has made available for pastors for free. 

Sound Worship

Sound Worship takes the main concepts of Worship in Song and delivers them in a brief, easy-to-read, engaging way. If you want answers to important worship and music questions without all of the research, footnotes, or technical jargon, Sound Worship is for you. See the book’s contents here.

Pastors: Get a free copy of the Teacher’s Edition (full book text included) by contacting us at: [email protected]!

“Get a free digital copy of Scott Aniol’s new book, Sound Worship! http://bit.ly/soundworshipfree

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Did David Dance Before the Lord Naked?

I don’t know where the idea arrived that David danced naked before the Lord. But that is one of the very common statements thrown at believers to excuse all kinds of behavior, especially Rick Pino type of services.

The only place I found even a mention that might could refer to undress was in Thomas Nelson’s Bible Dictionary, but that is a very poor resource. It implies that all David wore was the equivalent of a loin cloth. But just a simple reading of Scripture will show that the ephod was much more than a loin cloth.

“Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing [only] a linen ephod [loincloth, kilt, or apron]” (2 Samuel 6:14). Whatever garment David was wearing, it apparently scandalized Michal, who accused him of lewd, base behavior-of “uncovering himself in the eyes of the maids” (2 Samuel 6:20).

(from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Just because a jealous individual says that someone is doing wrong does not make it so. From the punishment Michal received, it is obvious that she was the one in the wrong.

It is obvious from the Bible just exactly what David wore.

2 Samuel 6:14 (ESV) And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.

1 Chronicles 15:27 (ESV) David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as also were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the music of the singers. And David wore a linen ephod.

An ephod was a priestly garment worn over a simple robe; there was nothing immodest about it. David just had simple (humble) clothing, not his kingly garb that would have designated him as above the others, he was dressed as the rest of Levites bearing the ark. David was humbled before his Lord and the ark.

David danced humbly before the Lord. Not in underwear, but in the simple ephod that everyone serving the Lord would wear. This was a humble person’s attire, not sinful or shameful. Michal accused David of dancing like a common man and beneath his station in life, no robe or crown to set him off as more important than others. An ephod was worn by the most simple servants of the Lord:

1 Samuel 2:18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy clothed with a linen ephod. ESV

Wearing a linen ephod was symbolic of serving before the Lord, it was the attire of the priests. David was serving just as if he was a priest.

1 Sam 2:18 But Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child, girded with a linen ephod. KJV

1 Chron 15:27 David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as also were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the music of the singers. And David wore a linen ephod. ESV

1 Samuel 22:18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn and strike the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests, and he killed on that day eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod. ESV

The word dance that is referred to is:‎

raqad (raw-kad’); a primitive root; properly, to stamp, i.e. to spring about (wildly or for joy):

KJV – dance, jump, leap, skip.

Which very well could have meant that David was skipping and leaping. He was also playing an instrument. That word for dance is not the same word translated as dance in Exodus 32:19 when the Israelites were dancing wildly in front of the Golden Calf.

~ Dance

The ancient dance was very different from that common among Western nations. It was usually the part of the women only (Exodus 15:20; Judges 11:34; comp. 5:1). Hence the peculiarity of David’s conduct in dancing before the ark of the Lord (2 Samuel 6:14). The women took part in it with their timbrels. Michal should, in accordance with the example of Miriam and others, have herself led the female choir, instead of keeping aloof on the occasion and “looking through the window.” David led the choir “uncovered”, i.e., wearing only the ephod or linen tunic. He thought only of the honour of God, and forgot himself.

(from Easton’s Bible Dictionary, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

~ DAVID

… David brought it up [the ark], stripping off his royal robe in the presence of the symbol of Jehovah’s throne, the true King, and in a linen ephod, to mark his assuming the priestly along with the kingly function, “dancing before the Lord with all his might,” …

(from Fausset’s Bible Dictionary, Electronic Database Copyright © 1998, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

~ 2 Sam 6:12-19

On this occasion David laid aside his imperial purple, and put on a plain linen ephod, which was light and convenient for dancing, and was used in religious exercises by those who were no priests, for Samuel wore one, 1 Samuel 2:18. That great prince thought it no disparagement to him to appear in the habit of a minister to the ark.

(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

We should all humble ourselves before the Lord and serve Him with the sincerity of David.



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Being Early Is a Part of Worship

My family is early everywhere. If we arrive on time that means that we were overbooked for the day. When we lived in the city there were always a few people that would be late for meetings, church or other activities, but not too many. Then we moved to the country. They seemed to have different clocks than we do!

We have often joked that people around here don’t think about leaving until it is time to start!

Now granted there are valid and good reasons for being late.

~ Horrible traffic Jam.

~ Helping another individual.

~ Car problems.

~ Weather.

~ Sharing the gospel with another.

But these shouldn’t be every time you are due somewhere. If you are always late due to traffic you haven’t planned your leaving time well. Most traffic is a regular occurrence. If you know that you will be driving at 5:00 PM through town then you should have added buffer time.

How is being early a part of worship?

1. If you were invited to the White House for a Dinner you would be there early. Actually, they would give you an early time just due to the security issues. But if it is considered respectful to be early for the President, doesn’t the Lord deserve more honor?

2. It shows respect for others. Many times other people have worked hard at being on time to a church service. Maybe even leaving a family gathering early in order to arrive on time. But what if they arrive on time or early and yet still must wait for others who arrive late?

3. Being early allows for getting settled when you arrive. Children (and adults) can use the restroom before church begins so that they are not interrupting during the service or meetings. It also gives you a chance to settle your mind and get into a worshipful mode after driving.

4. Those leading the service or meeting have worked hard to prepare and there is nothing more disheartening than to see the clock showing that it is time to start and all that is there is your family or just a few of the expected participants.

5. It is rude to be late and interrupt the speaker and other participant’s thoughts by entering after things have started. No matter how much you try to block it out others coming in and out do distract.

6. Being late says that you did not think this activity was important. How? Give someone tickets to their favorite college football team and they will be there early. But have a time set aside every week for worship of the Lord Creator of all things and what happens? They are late. Football is more important than the Lord?

7. Being late silently says that your time is more important than anther’s time. If others have worked hard to be 10 minutes early and yet you arrive ten minutes late you have essentially said that 20 minutes of time of the other people involved was not worth anything. Time is money in business. While time is not money in God’s Kingdom it is still important to show due respect for others.

8. Being early helps to teach your children to be early also. Not only that the children will see what parents feel is important. You are early to things that mean a lot to you. If the children see you on time for work, sports and even TV shows but late for church, what have you told them?

Christian Communicators Worldwide has a bulletin insert for the following The Value of Arriving Early to Church Meetings. Here are their reasons.

Arriving early provides opportunities for fellowship.

Arriving early prevents you from distracting others.

Arriving early reveals a loving, Christ-like attitude.

Arriving early is a simple way to respect your leaders.

Arriving early sets a good example for your children.

More explanation is found if you follow the above link.


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Worship by Ligon Duncan

Matthew Pinson, J., Perspectives on Christian Worship: Five Views has this from Ligon Duncan

The Protestant Reformers of the sixteenth century, from whom traditional evangelicals have learned much about what Scripture teaches about worship, understood two things often lost on moderns. First, they understood that the liturgy (by which I simply mean here the set forms of corporate worship), media, instruments, and vehicles of worship are never neutral. So exceeding care must be given to the “law of unintended consequences.” Often the medium overwhelms and changes the message. For example, singing “Amazing Grace” to the tune of “Gilligan’s Island” (the meter works, but the tune does not—a light, quasi-sea-shanty, with comedic associations, coupled with gravely serious words) changes the whole tone of what one is doing in singing that text and easily becomes a sacrilege. Second, the Reformers knew that the purpose of the elements and forms and circumstances of corporate worship is to assure that one is actually doing worship as it is defined by the God of Scripture, that one is worshiping the God of Scripture, and that one’s aim in worshiping Him is the aim set forth in Scripture.

So traditional evangelicals care about how we worship, not because we think that liturgy (again, simply meaning the order of service) is prescribed, mystical, or sacramental, but precisely so that the liturgy can get out of the way of the gathered church’s communion with the living God. The function of the order of service is not to draw attention to itself but to aid the soul’s communion with God in the gathered company of the saints by serving to convey the Word of God to and from God, from and to His people. C. S. Lewis puts it this way: ‘As long as you notice, and have to count the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don’t have to notice. Good reading becomes possible when you need not consciously think about eyes, or light, or print, or spelling. The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.’ This is why the great Baptist preacher Geoffrey Thomas can say that, in true worship, worshipers ‘have little thought of the means of worship; their thoughts are upon God. True worship is characterized by self-effacement and is lacking in any self-consciousness.’ That is, in biblical worship we so focus on God Himself and are so intent to acknowledge His inherent and unique worthiness that we are transfixed by Him. Thus worship is not about what we want or like (nor do His appointed means divert our eyes from Him), but rather it is about meeting with God and delighting in Him. Praise decentralizes self.

So how was your worship today?


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What Do You Do About Sunday School?

Does your church have a Sunday School?

Does your family attend a church with the typical age divided Sunday School? or is it designed differently?

Does your church have “children’s church” or “youth church”?

Have you given any serious thought to the advantages or disadvantages to Sunday School?

What type material is used in the Sunday School? Is it the typical LifeWay lessons or something different?

My husband and a few people we know such as Mark & Kelly prepare their Sunday School lessons basing them on the Bible more than any canned lesson material.

We have been visiting smaller churches and if they have Sunday School the adults are typically together in the worship area so our children have stayed with us. One church we visit doesn’t have Sunday School but the worship services have a question and answer period at the end where individuals can ask questions and clear up confusion. Sometimes this time period can last a while when the lesson concerned a difficult passage.

The reason I ask about your Sunday School is due the post yesterday – Already Gone – Ken Ham. I found it interesting that my children and Terry‘s children as teens opted out of Sunday School for similar reasons.

How much thought have you given to Sunday School and the lesson material? Or do you participate because it is expected?



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