How Aware Are You?

It won’t be long and you’ll begin to see the talented musicians playing those familiar Christmas tones on their pianos, cellos and violins. I don’t mean to make small of their talent when I bring up the matter of their beliefs. I don’t mean to be critical of you if you post their clever videos or are impacted at some level by the music. I simply want to only bring up the question… How aware are you?

Music is a fantastic place isn’t it? It is marvelously  close to the heart. Which should give reason to ask oneself, “How aware are you?”

I don’t have any angst with the music of the Piano Guys. I agree with many, they are talented. I enjoy a story told by the music played. But when it comes to music in worship… I have to be aware.

A musician who plays music for the purpose of worship is responsible for what god he is leading the worshiper to worship and the worshiper must know that the leader is leading the worshiper to worship his god. This is why I take issue with believers using music from an unbeliever to generate a worshipful experience. Can the unregenerate properly lead another to truly worship God?

Most don’t know that the Piano Guys are on public record as stating their faith, they are not ashamed of their faith. For that I respect them for disclosing that. How aware are you that they offer full statement of belief on their website, it is as follows…

“We believe the purpose of life is to be happy.
We believe the best way to be happy is to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and to love others more than yourself.

We believe family is most important.

We believe we are all children of a God who loves us dearly.

We believe that good music can be a source of joy, inspiration, and fulfillment.

We believe as Bobby McFerrin once said, listening to only one kind of music is like insisting on living in only one room of
your home your entire life.

We believe in as much laughter in life as possible.

We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as “LDS” or “Mormons”) to learn more about this church please visit mormon.org”

Last year I pondered the matter like this…

Why is this important for me? Why should you find it a significant thing to think through?

Learning that the Piano Guys are LDS did not change the fact that these [piano] guys are talented. They are. What changed is the origin of their faith. When a Mormon speaks of the birth of Christ, sings of the birth of Christ, or even plays music [without words] of the birth of Christ I’m in a different place of critique. I’m no longer simply enjoying music, I’m in doctrinal conflicted with the musician. When a Mormon sings of the birth of Jesus, he means a god left heaven, came and had sexual relations with a woman, and she gave birth to a child. They are the same words an orthodox Christian may sing but the teaching behind those same words are radically different.

I can still respect the talent of the Piano Guys, but I can’t experience worship as a result of their music. I might feel emotion that their music creates but I can’t trust my emotions to lead me to worship. I must give direction to my emotions. It’s possible that many will disagree with me on this. I welcome the disagreement, I’m only stating my observation from comparing the doctrines of the Book of Mormon and the Bible.

What do followers of Christ (defined by the Bible) have in common with Mormons? There is no place where the two are the same. The two doctrines are at conflict with each other, they have two different masters.  The Bible teaches that “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:24)

Can a follower of Christ enjoy the talent of the Piano Guys? I think that’s clearly possible. Can the Piano Guys lead a follower of Christ (defined by the Bible) to worship? The answer, in my observation, gets sticky. Because the Piano Guys state their beliefs on their website as clearly Mormon, and because I believe the Bible to be a sufficient rule for my life, I say no; they can only lead someone to worship their god, and clearly they want listeners to worship their god because they invite visitors of their website to check out Mormonism.

I might listen to music from the Piano Guys but I will direct my spirit to not be carried away with emotion. If I’m not careful, my emotion will deceive me and lure me into idolatry. Giving my emotions to another god must be guarded always. Clearly there is a secular product that is enjoyable by the Piano Guys, but just as clearly there is a spiritual component that must not be ignored. If I’m not careful, I can let the familiarity of the music played by the Piano Guys to eventually weaken my heart as to considering that ‘maybe we do worship the same deity.’ We don’t worship the same, so I’ll guard my heart

Be on guard. Guard your heart Christian.

Offered for consideration

Broadcasting at Sermon Audio

For the past four years Eastside Baptist has been broadcasting sermons online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We currently have over 200 sermons available. By the kindness of generous friends of Eastside, we are able to provide this ministry to local shut-ins, those who miss upon occasion due to illness or travel, and anywhere internet access is possible. You can listen directly online, download to a phone, save on a disc, mail to a friend, share on Facebook or Twitter, or email a group of friends.

The 200+ sermons that are currently available from Eastside have been downloaded over 6,400 times (1,406 of those downloads are from mobile devices.)

May the Lord bless the kindness of generous friends. May the Lord bless the preaching of His word. May the nations hear the gospel.

Here is yesterday’s message from Philippians 4.

Access to all archived sermons: www.sermonaudio.com/thebridge

SermonAudioChurch

Thanksgiving Day Meal Poll

When you gather on this upcoming Thanksgiving, what will be the main course in your home?

The War on Marriage Looks Like This

Born again believer of the Lord Jesus Christ. Know this, the war on marriage is in full contact mode. The Human Rights Campaign has launched this kind of ad in Mississippi. I expect this, and others, on the national front soon to follow. The target of the campaign? The church.

Prepare your emotions, give instruction to your emotions to submit to Christ. The campaign is using the language of your Lord, compassion, love, reconciliation, etc. Prepare yourself for what is to come.

 

Postcard Blitz

In recent days an opportunity has come about for American citizens to join together to again request president Obama to use his elected office to speak out for the release of fellow American citizen, Saeed Abedini, who still remains in prison in Iran.

I have included information here for your consideration to join others in sending a postcard to president Obama requesting his help in the release of pastor Saeed to arrive at the White House by November 21, 2014.

There is more information here from the organizers of the “Saeed & Iran: White House Postcard Campaign“. Or just simply buy a postcard address it to:

Mr. President
c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Include a message similar to this:

Mr. President,

A man in your position has been given great
power and responsibility to represent every
American, whether on domestic or foreign soil.
We, the American people, ask you to do
everything within your power to bring
U.S. citizen, pastor, husband & father, Saeed
Abedini, home to his family.

Sincerely,

the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ

Here are a series of questions with answers from the Bible with regard to the soul of all men and our greatest need.


Why do I need to be rescued from the wrath of God?

Because of the Holiness of God.

“[God’s] eyes are too pure to approve evil, and [He] can not look on wickedness with favor.” (Habakkuk 1:13 NASB)

“But [my] iniquities have made a separation between [me] and God, And [my] sins have hidden His face from [me] so that He does not hear. (Isaiah 59:2 NASB)


Why do I need to be rescued from the wrath of God?
Because of the Justice of God.

“For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face.” (Psalms 11:7 NASB)

“God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day. If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready.” (Psalms 7:11-12 NASB)


Why do I need to be rescued from the wrath of God?
Because of my own depravity.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 NASB)

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.” (Isaiah 64:6 NASB)

“… for it is written, ‘cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” (Galatians 3:10 NASB)


Because of God’s Holiness, God’s justice, and my depravity there is a great problem.

“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.” (Proverbs 17:15 NASB)

“Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” (Genesis 18:25 NASB)


Because there is a great problem between man and God, there is need for a greater solution. While God maintains His holiness and justice, the Bible affirms that in God’s love He has responded to the plight of man.

“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10 NASB)


If God was motivated by love to rescue me, how did He demonstrate that love?

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-26 NASB)


What was my response to this demonstration of love?

Repentance!

“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.” (Psalms 51:3-4 NASB)


This work of rescuing me from the wrath of God was the work of Christ.
“…worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” (Philippians 3:3 NASB)


“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5 NASB)


 

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The Best of Who We Are

Dear friends,

As you gather today for the funeral service of Rev. Clyde Robert Thompson, I would like to say how honored I was to visit with him and his dear wife, Shirley, in Amarillo not too many months ago. I have been friends with his son, Paul, for several years, and have come to dearly love that family. Rev. Thompson having served with our Home Mission Board as a church planter since 1971 finally retired in 2006 and moved back to his home town of Amarillo, Texas. Over the 35 years of ministry, he served our Savior and Lord pastoring churches in Colorado and then as Director of Missions in Northwest Wyoming.

Rev. Thompson is a hero. He is a man about whom it will be said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” He is the very best of who we are as Southern Baptists. There are people who will never serve on a major committee or be recognized at a national convention; however, people such as myself are aware of who actually gets the work done and serves selflessly and sacrificially for our Lord. Rev. Thompson is a man like that! 

May God bless all of you as you celebrate the life of this dear servant.

 Sincerely,

Frank S. Page, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
SBC Executive Committee

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