Instrumental Music in Worship?  What’s the Real Issue?

Instrumental music (“i.m.” afterwards) has been a part of mainline denominational worship for only a little over 100 years.  So?  History tells us that i.m. was not part of Christian worship from its inception for about the next 1900 years.  “Why not- what changed?” thus becomes the appropriate question.  Let’s see if we can provide a clear answer…

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Not Being Ashamed

We’ve likely all heard or said, “There’s no shame in …”  Shame can be a good- though perhaps temporarily painful, and helpful motivation (cf. 2Corinthians 7:8-13).  But if taken to extremes, it can also be devastating and debilitating (cf. 2Corinthians 2:6-8).  These negative consequences of shame have led to some seeking to eliminate it altogether. But this also eliminates the potential benefits of shame.  However, if we’re not careful, there are a few things of which we can become ashamed that we shouldn’t…

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“Gress”

I’m intrigued by words that we only use with prefixes or suffixes.  For example, I’ve never heard anyone speak of someone being “gruntled”- only “disgruntled” (yes, I am aware that a pig with laryngitis is “disgruntled”).   If a prefix or suffix can be added, doesn’t the root necessarily have to be a word?  Apparently not, at least not in English.  Consider:  If “gress” was a word, and therefore had a meaning, it would have to refer to “movement.”  This conclusion is forced by all the prefixes we add to “gress” that have to do with the direction or type of movement they describe. Consider that…

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Is America a “Christian Nation”?

First, the disclaimer: this is NOT a political article.  It is hopefully a thought-provoking introspection of national beliefs and values, and therefore, identity, from a distinctly spiritual perspective. I could be wrong, but I think the term “Christian Nation” is typically used to describe America (by Americans) based upon the notion that either: a) the country was founded upon “Christian” principles and beliefs; or, b) “Christianity” is its most popular religious persuasion- that more people identify themselves as Christians than any other religious affiliation.  The merits or fallacies of either of these ideas will not be debated here.  Instead, it seems more spiritually profitable to examine what “Christian Nation” actually means, so let’s give that a whirl instead…

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Spring Brings Blooms and Lessons

If you haven’t noticed the extraordinary amount of tissues being used lately (due to pollen/allergies), or the beauty of the Bradford Pear and Red Bud trees beginning to display their bouquets, Spring is upon us.  Soil is being turned and tilled for delicate green promises of future goodness.  Seeds are being meticulously pushed into what is hoped to be fertile soil.  And we’ve had some of those warm, sunny afternoons that make a man think about dusting off his fishing rod, and perhaps buying some “sure thing” lures.  You know, the ones that are probably designed more to catch men than fish!

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The Pivot Point of Human History

From the spiritual perspective, the cross of Jesus is the pivot point of human history- everything prior looks forward to it in anticipation, and everything since looks back in appreciation.  Please notice the Word of God in these regards…

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Are You Playing “Let’s Make a Deal!”?

In the mythology of Blues music, a young musician meets the Devil at “the crossroads” and strikes a bargain in which the future of his eternal soul is traded for temporary but present other-worldly skills at playing guitar.   In reality, many make the same deal but get even less in return.

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“Encourage One Another”

(This article was motivated by my own need to do a better job in this area- perhaps it will help you also.)  In our recent adult studies of the book of Hebrews here at Southside, the necessity of “encouraging one another” has become more evident.  There is a need in any congregation of the Lord’s people for a Joseph, who was such an encourager that the apostles began to call him “Barnabas”- which, by translation, means “Son of Encouragement,” Acts 4:36.  Several such ‘someones’ would be even better, and a congregation full of them would be a tremendous asset to any fellowship!  So, what does it take to be an encourager?

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Is the Truth Enough for You?

The Savior of the world uttered these words, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” John 8:31-32.  It is worthy of note that Jesus spoke these words to “Jews who had believed in Him.”  There are a few salient points from these things that need to be understood...

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Sorry, But You’re Not “Special”

And neither am I. Your mother may cringe, but it’s true.  You may have knowledge, abilities, and traits that make you “special” to your mother, your dad, your best friend(s), or your spouse, or even the world, but that’s about as far as it goes. But in the area that really counts, none of us is really special, and the sooner we accept it, the better off we’ll be.  Here’s why….

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Daily Verse

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

- Hebrews 7:25

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