dancing

Entertainment Versus Edification

Monday, April 18, 2016

“I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil” (Psalm 119:162 KJV).

If a saint should rejoice at God’s Word, what does that say about someone who finds it “boring?”

When commenting on the services of a local grace church—especially the actual study of the Bible—a lady said, “Boring!” Why, of course, what do we expect from somebody who goes to church to be entertained with a concert of arm swaying and toe tapping? The professing church has plenty of entertainment and yet it is still so weak and disoriented. What does that demonstrate? Entertainment is not the answer; it is the problem. As a Christian author wrote decades ago, “I went in the world and found the church. I went in the church and found the world!” My, how much more now that actual Bible study has largely given way to “contemporary” “worship?”

Notice what the Holy Spirit instructed young church leader Timothy: “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:6-8).

Rather than indulging in the flesh with religion (whether formalism with its ceremonies, or fanaticism with its “concerts”), which is utterly useless, we are to be “nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine.” Sound Bible doctrine is spiritual nutrition; you have to actually read and study the Bible to grow. Friend, jumping, singing, dancing, rolling on the floor, et cetera, will profit nothing in eternity. In the closing chapter of 1 Timothy, Paul mentioned “wholesome [healthy; nutritional] words, even the words our Lord Jesus Christ, and… the doctrine which is according to godliness” (chapter 6, verse 3). Words! Words! WORDS! You have to get in God’s Word for yourself, friend, to find God’s words. If your local church does not encourage you to do it, find an assembly that does. Your spiritual health depends on it!

Paul and Dispensationalism #10

Monday, August 17, 2015

“If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:37,38 KJV).

What else can the Apostle Paul teach us about dispensational Bible study?

Just what is the test for true spirituality? How many hymns we sang? How many large tithes we gave? How many “unknown tongues” we uttered? How many long prayers we recited? How many theology books we read? How many miracles we performed? How well we know Hebrew, Greek, and Latin? How many confessions we made? How many times we attended church? How high we jumped and how well we danced during “worship?” While in religion these are seen as “marks” of true Holy-Spirit-led Christian service, the Holy Spirit Himself has quite a different opinion (today’s Scripture).

In Corinth, carnality and Biblical ignorance abounded among Christians. It broke Paul’s heart to see that assembly in spiritual shambles… the very same saints he had taught personally for 18 months (Acts 18:11)! Pagan philosophy had enticed and deceived them, they were suing each other, they behaved as drunken gluttons at the Lord’s Supper, they abused spiritual gifts for personal gratification, et cetera. The Corinthians thought they were so spiritual and so wise, while in reality they were so fleshly and so silly! (Like today’s professing “church!”)

Today’s Scripture declares that a Spirit-led Christian, one speaking on behalf of God, acknowledged Paul’s apostolic authority over us Gentiles. The Corinthians were not spiritual—they rejected Paul’s apostleship in chapters 10 through 13 of 2 Corinthians. Paul knew, however, some Christians would continue deliberately ignoring his apostleship. His advice? Let them stay “ignorant!”

First Corinthians 2:6-8 says God’s “hidden wisdom” is manifested for all to see in the writings of Paul the Apostle, Romans through Philemon. Sadly, like the Corinthians, most true Christians today are too deceived, too weak, and too immature to appreciate “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery.” They cannot handle the deeper things of God. May we be as patient with them as possible, but when they persistently resist God’s truth, do not waste time. Friend, move on to others!

Singing for the Devil

Thursday, January 22, 2015

“And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear” (Exodus 32:17,18 KJV).

Moses and Joshua are coming down from Mount Sinai after receiving JEHOVAH’S Ten Commandments, and what a “praise and worship” session Israel is seen to have!

It is common to hear of people attending church services at a particular location simply because they “love” the “praise and worship” team. When they talk to you about “church time,” they rarely evaluate the sermon’s theology. What mattered is, “Church was awesome today because a visitor came and showed us some new dance moves!!!” (A social media posting I saw.) Or, “I do not like that preacher’s doctrine but I watch his television program because he is a terrific musician and singer!” (What someone told me recently.) Dear friends, we should be mindful not to expose ourselves to such spiritual dangers, that which appears or sounds good but is actually injurious to our spiritual health.

“And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount” (verse 19). “And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies: ),…” (verse 25). The Levites, instructed by Moses, killed 3,000 naked Jewish revelers (verses 26-28)!

Singing and dancing about spiritual matters is not always good. Remember, the same vain religious system that infiltrated ancient Israel has also infected the Body of Christ. Dancing around worthless idols, singing about vain denominational traditions, and so on, it is not pleasing to our Lord Jesus Christ. Beloved, let us strive for a pure local church, one that upholds God’s Word rightly divided, and let us cast off a local church that upholds the flesh! 🙂

Decent and Orderly

Sunday, December 2, 2012

“Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is straightforward regarding individuals’ behavior within the local church.

A lady recently shared with me her experience of visiting a new local church. After an hour of singing, dancing, shouting, jumping, and tongue talking, there was less than an hour of preaching. While she claimed that she learned “a little” (!) from the Bible, she was overall displeased. Thankfully, she said she was not returning there. (I was then able to share some Scriptural truth with her concerning those matters.)

Emotionalism dominated the Corinthian church. The Corinthians, although Christians, were spiritually immature: they failed to learn and grasp the doctrine found in the book of Romans. They could not function like adult saints because they were “babes in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1). Consequently, they abused spiritual gifts.

Rather than using their spiritual gifts to benefit the assembly as God intended, these believers were selfishly glorifying their flesh by drawing attention to themselves (the “charismatic movement” is nothing new). The Apostle Paul spent three chapters—1 Corinthians 12, 13, and 14—addressing spiritual gifts. The last verse of that section is today’s Scripture, which summarizes God’s view of the whole issue. We are not to lose self-control under any circumstances.

Dear readers, be not swept away by the charismatic movement. We humans are emotional creatures, prone to fall into the trap of deceptive feelings, and this religious movement appeals to our flesh. Spiritual gifts—even when they operated in biblical times—were never meant to be haphazardly used to lift up the individual Christian, or be utilized to give an “emotional high.”

Lost people are watching us, and is that the impression we want them to have about God? Jumping, shouting, and babbling incoherently? As 1 Corinthians 14:23 says, these lost souls will exclaim, “Ye are mad [crazy]!!!” Remember, everything in the local church should be done “decently and in order.” Let us be grounded in this truth, let us walk by faith in sound Pauline Bible doctrine, and let us not be “children… tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).

The Jitterbug Jesus Crowd

Thursday, November 10, 2011

“But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:7,8 KJV).

You need not visit local nightclubs for free dance lessons. Simply attend a church whose “worship” service embraces contemporary “Christian” music. There, you witness churchgoers boogieing to the rhythms of the flesh. One Christian brother aptly termed them the “jitterbug Jesus” crowd. In religious ecstasy, they raise their hands, convulse, jump pews, laugh uncontrollably, and utter gibberish (modern-day “tongues”). Behold the charismatic movement.

Twenty years ago, a Christian friend of mine left his local church for doctrinal reasons (my parents also left that church around that time). Recently, he informed me that he revisited it some weeks ago. The brother was amazed at how the church had changed… for the worse!

To his horror, unlike his previous visits, drum beating was commonplace during “worship.” Rather than traditional hymns, the churchgoers sang unfamiliar, modern songs that made their bodies really move. Furthermore, they had abandoned the King James Bible for an overhead display of the depraved NIV! In disgust, he left that church for the second time, perhaps to never return (fortunately).

Apostasy and heresy have infiltrated many so-called “Bible-believing, fundamental, evangelical” churches. The very churches that were once the best of the worst have now spiritually declined to fulfill ranks just above the cults. Frightening indeed!

Who goes to church for Bible study? Precious few! Most just go for entertainment. After one hour of jumping and shouting, the preacher tells many jokes, quotes a verse or two, and everyone hurries home. Beloved, today’s Scripture declares, “bodily [fleshly] exercise profiteth little!” Spiritual highs are temporary. Contrariwise, “godliness,” or sound Bible teaching (1 Timothy 4:6; 1 Timothy 6:3-6), is extremely profitable, both in this life and that which is to come.

Few churches teach and preach the King James Bible rightly divided, whose men and women unashamedly oppose the charismatic movement. We stand with them and thank God they stand with us!