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A Little Talk With Jesus?

(The modern Christian’s obsessive love affair with music.)

Remember this old song? The chorus begins with:

“Let us have a little talk with Jesus,
Let us tell Him all about our troubles.”

The song goes on to mention a “prayer wheel.” A prayer wheel is a Buddhist originated instrument with mantras written on it. The writer of the song, Cleavant Derricks, likely did not know that fact. In the early part of the last century some Christians, including Billy Graham, openly used prayer wheels.[i]Apparently, according to a recent discovery of the Liesborn Prayer Wheel, the use of a prayer wheel in Christianity goes back to the 12thcentury. It has been defined as a map of “the soul’s journey to God” or “a Christian way of life,” a “meditation aid” and “a study guide.”[ii]I advise against spinning a prayer wheel to “have a little talk with Jesus.”

However, millions of people, including me, have sung that song with gusto not realizing that, although it was entertaining, it did not contain solid doctrine. In fact, if we consider all the troubles or the seriousness of our trials, we may need much more than a “little talk with Jesus” to “make it right.” We should know that God’s word instructs us to pray to God, not to Jesus—but we pray in Jesus’ name. It is also a fact that Jesus is not “a friend that guides us day and night,” but the Holy Spirit is our guide.

The song represents what is wrong with so-called Gospel music, and Christian music in general. Please do not misunderstand me. There are some godly singers and songwriters in Christian music and I’m personally acquainted with a few of them. But merely because a song is appealing, well sung, and stirs our emotions does not make it sound doctrine. As it is with preaching and teaching, it takes a genuine relationship with God to write songs with substance. Reading an old hymnbook often makes me weep at the richness of line after line saturated with meaning.

I often hear Christian songs that are not only void of any helpful substance, but are pollinated with heresy. Some Contemporary Christian Music could be sung in a nightclub, or a New Age church. Amy Grant, dubbed the “Queen of Contemporary Christian Music,” once said that the best Christian songs were “god/girlfriend” songs, i.e., songs that could be sung to God or your girlfriend. No thanks! Continue reading

The God-called Assembly and soul-winning

There is obviously a serious misunderstanding about what “church” is. When people say
come or go to, or have “church” they mean “church meeting.” The local church meeting is an ecclesia, a called out assembly. The universal Church, Body of Christ, is the Ecclesia, the people that were called out of darkness into His marvelous light.

My point is that clearly the local church meeting, just as the Body of Christ, is an assembly of Believers, not sinners. There is no privilege granted sinners to join such an assembly and remain as they are, or to dictate its biblically mandated decorum.

Paul wrote, “if” uninformed or unbelievers come into the assembly, indicating that they are not prohibited, but are guests rather than members (1 Corinthians 14:23). He made it clear earlier in the epistle (1 Corinthians 5) that sin should be openly challenged in the ecclesia. Continue reading

Counting the Costs

(Luke 14:25-33)

At the grocery store, we pay much more than we did 20 years ago. We pay more at the gas pump. It costs more for a mechanic, plumber, doctor, et cetera. It costs more to be educated, have children, or to have enough savings to retire (as if that is possible for most of us).

Now that apostasy has metastasized, and raging evil is pressing at the fence, it costs more to stand and be victorious. It costs more to be spiritually productive. The payment involves more praying and more abstaining from time-devouring and energy-wasting lures and distractions. One must make a greater investment in God’s kingdom, and that requires more spiritually healthy choices

ALERT: Attempting to get by with the same degree of commitment and prayer you invested even a decade ago is a serious mistake. Continue reading

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