The Paradigm Shift

Over time, events that keeps occurring in the sequence of human history from its genesis to its revelation spells the times of the end of the world. One poignant relevance of these events is how it occurs as the fulfilment of what Christ had foretold to be the signs of the end of the world.However, far more than it just being a prophecy, it is also of a time measure. A measure in terms how it is revealing a certain shift in the paradigm of Christianity; as the Truth-bearing worldview and a pattern of life for her professors. This shift needs to fully grasped and understood in the light of standing up to the defence of that which is the Truth, Way and Life and winning souls to the kingdom of God.

Hence, what is this paradigm shift?

Good Music Can Become Your God

I remember first playing a piano at age 6, some 58 years ago now. Throughout high school I was involved with choirs and earned a piano performance degree in college. Following that, I spent eight years traveling full-time with a Christian band.Since leaving the band in 1984, I’ve served as a worship pastor and have continued to write and arrange songs for the past forty years. iTunes tells me I have over 100 days of music in my library that includes pop, classical, jazz, rock, gospel, rap, folk, country, indie, choral, orchestral, and more.You might say music is a significant part of my life. And you’d be right.

God’s Gift of Music

Music is a gift from God that can lift our spirits, comfort us, join us in a common mission, serve as a place of refuge during difficult times, encourage us, express what’s in our hearts, and touch us deeply, sometimes more than words can say.I’m especially grateful for music in the church. Allowing for the fact that it’s not always sublime, I can’t count the times I’ve been singing with a congregation and been deeply affected, even moved to tears. The Spirit has a way of making his presence known when we’re singing together (Ephesians 5:18–19).

Our Common Struggle

But as much as I love music, I’ve realized it’s possible to confuse feelings produced by music with feelings produced by truth. Some sixteen hundred years ago, Augustine was brutally honest about that struggle in his Confessions. He acknowledged the benefits of singing and listening to others sing, and said it might even inspire feelings of devotion in weaker spirits. But then he admitted, “When I find the singing itself more moving than the truth which it conveys, I confess that this is a grievous sin, and at those times I would prefer not to hear the singer.”

“It’s possible to confuse feelings produced by music with feelings produced by truth.”

If a spiritual giant like Augustine struggled with valuing musically-induced feelings over spiritual ones, we probably will too. But I don’t think many of us would see that as a “grievous sin.” Maybe we should.In addressing how to sing, Paul said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16). We aren’t to let musical experiences dwell in us richly. Not technological creativity, volume, skill, excellence, or an “atmosphere.” We’re to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly.The “word of Christ” is the message about him we often call “the gospel.” It’s the good news that Jesus Christ took on flesh so he could bear our sins and punishment to justify us before God and bring us into his family. Those truths are meant to dwell in us richly as we sing.

Why Jesus Is Better

If we’re honest, though, musical sounds can easily push the word of Christ to the outer edges of our hearts. And when they do, a gift becomes an idol. How do we know that’s happening? From my experience, here are some indicators:We tend to respond emotionally more to arrangements and instruments than content.Singing on Sundays often feels boring.We care more about how songs make us feel than what they say.We actually don’t think much about what we’re singing.We have a hard time connecting with God apart from music. Especially music we like.If one or more of those statements is true of you, I have good news: music is great, but Jesus is greater. Consider five reasons why.

1. The Giver is better than any gift.

One Christmas, I surprised my wife with a large dining room table. When she saw it — I’ll never forget her response — she ran over to the table and started hugging it, caressing it, kissing it, saying over and over, “Oh, table, I love you. I love you.”Just kidding. But she did do that to me! It’s foolish to treasure music so much we lose sight of Jesus. Paul says we’re to “count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). We’re to view the music as rubbish (or worse) compared to Jesus.Even greater than the gift is knowing and loving the Giver.

2. Eternal comfort is better than temporary.

Who hasn’t turned to their favorite playlist, artist, or song to find encouragement in a time of difficulty, sorrow, or loss?But music isn’t Jesus. Only he can give lasting, profound, life-transforming comfort. In 2 Thessalonians 2:16–17, Paul prays, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”Who comforts us? Jesus Christ. By what means? The eternal comfort and good hope of grace. If singing or listening to worship music doesn’t lead us into a clearer, deeper, truer relationship with Jesus, it’s misleading us.

3. The Truth is better than the pointer.

The harmonies, rhythms, melodies, arrangements, dynamics, textures, and sounds of music can inspire us and move us. They can motivate us to greater effort or calm us during turbulent times.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good — better even than his best of gifts.”

But music itself can’t articulate the amazing news that “Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free.” Nor can mere melodies lead us to understand that “He’ll not let my soul be lost; his promises shall last.” On its own, music will never replace the granite facts and eternal realities in which we place our faith. Those can only be found in Jesus, the living Word.

4. Actual unity is better than feelings of unity.

It’s a powerful experience to sing at the top of your lungs in the midst of a crowd. Everyone knows the lyrics, no one is distracted, and the feeling of oneness is overwhelming. But unlike music, Jesus actually makes us one. And our singing expresses that unity Jesus decisively made possible through the cross (Ephesians 2:14–15).And by the way, singing together with other believers is massively different from singing at a rock concert, sporting event, or karaoke party. And if we don’t know the difference, we’re probably valuing music over Jesus.

5. Only Jesus can save.

Music can’t pay for our sins and reconcile us to God. Jesus can.
Music can’t raise us from the dead. Jesus can.
Music can’t defeat Satan. Jesus can.
Music can’t bring us into God’s presence. Jesus can.
Music can’t transform our hearts. Jesus can.
Music can’t restore our losses. Jesus can.
Music can’t ensure we will enjoy pleasures at God’s right hand forever. Jesus can — and has.We’re only tempted to see music as greater than Jesus because we haven’t realized how great Jesus really is.

Take a Full Swing

So, what steps can we take to cultivate a love for Jesus that is greater than our love for music?We might more intentionally focus on the lyrics that we’re singing, rather than the accompaniment. When we’re feeling discouraged or anxious, we can dig into the words of a biblical psalm before putting on our headphones. We can try not listening to music when we’re driving and simply pray or recite Scripture.Whatever we do, it’s worth the fight. Jonathan Edwards encourages us with these words:

If we choose Christ for our friend and portion, we shall hereafter be so received to him, that there shall be nothing to hinder the fullest enjoyment of him, to the satisfying the utmost cravings of our souls. We may take our full swing at gratifying our spiritual appetite after these holy pleasures. Christ will then say, as in [Song of Songs] 5:1, “Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” And this shall be our entertainment to all eternity! There shall never be any end of this happiness, or any thing to interrupt our enjoyment of it.

We cannot fill ourselves too full with the glory of Christ, even in eternity. Are you ready to take your “full swing” at being satisfied in Jesus? Then I encourage you to let music take its rightful place as the gift from God it was meant to be. Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8) — better even than the best of his gifts.

Article by : Bob Kauflin. Pastor, Louisville, Kentucky.

Bob Kauflin (@bkauflin) is director of Sovereign Grace Music. He equips pastors and musicians in the theology and practice of congregational worship, and serves as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He writes at worshipmatters.com and is author of True Worshipers: Seeking What Matters to God. Bob and his wife, Julie, have six children and a growing number of grandchildren.

Source: DesiringGod.org

True Definition

“We have made a
religion out of Christianity, but it is not a religion.”

Source: @FaithinksOrg

Christianity is not a religion. I have said it before, and I shall say it again: “We have made a religion out of Christianity, but it is not a religion.” Christianity is a man—Jesus Christ. It is a way of life, and that way of life is the way of faith.

– Dr K.C Price

Most times, I happen to wonder about what Christianity is by definition. I often question my intuition from the stance of either Christianity is merely what a believer is doing, or is it entirely the question of how a believer is doing

And I have come to answer this intutition by how this ‘how’ is not only of how he/she is doing the what, instead it more importantly how he/she is doing as a way of patterning one’s life to Christ Jesus. 

Be Reminded

I think it is important for us to start opening the eyes of our minds to comtemporary sensitive issues on rampage across the human societies. The question is not who brings what or who influences who.


John Lennox charging believers to be socially relevant in being diligence to make their election and calling sure. 

“[Be reminded from today] of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”

-Rev’d Martin Luther King Jr

Now is the time to make real and sure the promises of  our calling in answering  to a purposeful cause as believers.

I think it is important for us to start opening the eyes of our minds to comtemporary sensitive issues on rampage across the human societies. The question is not who brings what or who influences who. It is about who will speak out, whose voice will echo the resonating sound of truth. An instance of this is seen in how to a reasonable extent, the initial court verdict on the #ProtectJamesYounger case has been amended to accomodate the father’s interest against the disturbed of a mother.

Photo sourced from twitter: @abbyjohnson

This was made possible because somebody spoke out, many of which are of the Christian worldview. This compels on you and me the neccessity of furthering this awakening by positive responsive actions. No wonder the Bible says, “Wisdom is on the street” and not in the closet. It is there not because it does not have a home or may be it’s useless, but it is there because that’s where it is needed and where it would be heard. 

“No one indeed lights a candle and put it under the bushel,  but instead shall bring it out to give light to the room.” 

Blessed is that servant whom when his MASTER shall come shall find him so doing. Dont stop!
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THE OMNIPOTENCE OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL (4)

we are His workmanship, created in  Christ Jesus for GOOD works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them, and every creature of God  is good

 In His Image   

     God’s Omnipotence is not the debate about the potency of God being able to be and do good and able to do and be evil at the same time. But God being omnipotent is how good those things He’s created are without any alteration of evil in its nature. They’re predated on God because that’s who He is and He doesn’t change. But it is fatal now as humanity has forgotten that,

‘we are His workmanship, created in  Christ Jesus for GOOD works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them, and every creature of God  is good,…’

   Lets come to face the truth here, even our so-called ‘reason’ if sincere with its prowess, it leads and points us to a living Maker, which is not just one ‘mother nature’ and not one big bang theory of evolution; but rather to the one and only good living God of all creation! But some however takes this ‘leap of faith’ in doubt through the use of reason or whatsoever to knock that out. What evil! As commented by Ravi, some went to Jesus seeing Him as a teacher of Legalism, asking if it lawful to pay tax, and Christ answered them that whose image is on the coin, and they responded, Caesar’s. Then Christ said, give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and God his own. However Ravi noted that there ought to be a follow up question from the inquisitors if they were sincere enough with their inquisition, and such would be, what is God’s? Same which Jesus would have answered, 

    “whose image is on you?”

The notion that we are made in God’s image is not just a cajoling phrase to lure people in and start feeding them with opio-filled meat of the ‘spirit’, which Richard Ogunlusi noted as, “the whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless”. However this notion that we are made in His image is the truth beacuse God is! 

This claim with critical analysis give answers to the possible dimensions of human life, including the spiritual and the social aspects, that is if there is that distinction we all seeks to strike out between the acclaimed forms of human life just like a ‘good’ friend; Ayobami would state it. And on that I quite agree with him that,

“we are not physical beings having a temporary experience of the spiritual, instead we are Spiritual beings having a temporary experience of the physical”. 

 *footnote: Richard Ogunlusi is a Pastor in the Anglican Communion, and presently in-charge of ‘The Church of The Messiah’ in Ile-Ife Osun State of Nigeria.

      …to be continued.

I STILL BELIEVE!

THE OMNIPOTENCE OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL (3)

Justifiably, it is evidential that pride is the attempt to alternate the essential purpose of one’s existence as designed by one’s creator (God), such in itself is the evil of all times. 

​Note: If you’ve not being following this recent post, I want to implore you to kindly give your few minutes to this one. It’s an important piece you will not want to afford missing.



☆》The Notion of Evil
     Evil in all its dimensions is not determinate on God being omnipotent, rather its seen as a consequential instance in human life and experience. God is not evil, He is solely good, evil is the consequence of disobedience and disobedience is doing contrary to God’s nature as much as His will (God’s will) is of the total expression of the nature of God being ‘good’. And disobedience is the descendant of ‘self-emphasis'(the I-Syndrome), that is, Pride. May be one can be sincere enough to ask Lucifer-turned-Satan to shed more ‘light’ on that. 

Here, it is known that we often bear the responsibility of the consequences of our individual actions and decisions that we take and make with this good life God has given us. So it is in my conviction that it is never in the will of GOD for there to be evil, just as it is not in the will of God for Lucifer to become Satan.

Justifiably, it is evidential that pride is the attempt to alternate the essential purpose of one’s existence as designed by one’s creator (God), such in itself is the evil of all times. 

Give it a thought, Even if we are determined as a programmed machine such that we are not responsible to the maxim of our own volitions, then we should consider it plausible too in this context when I tends to say that it is only a crazy manufacturer like God that would in the first place design a machine which would only be determined to see to His own alienation. I mean such is as absurd as saying one’s mother gave birth to him or her in other for her to be rejected as being one’s mother, or worst of all, to kill her (giving birth to one’s death).

The biggest evil is not the wars in Iran, or Iraq, it is not same sex crisis, nor is it pro-life on abortion issues, and other social menace that poses threat to our society.

“The evil of these all is how we have removed God as the core of our governmental, ethical, and religious lives”.

It’s so obvious how we are so religious but yet still Godless, and as rightly asserted by Sunday Adelaja, “life loses its meaning without God!” Isn’t that the obvious case now in our so-called egalitarian society , where equity is being misconstrued for equality? That is the evil! 

And it is so funny how we make rational attempt to disprove the authenticity of this because it is too God-centred and religious, even if it is, does it disqualifies the originality of it truthfulness!? As much as it is contrary to God’s nature, nothing we then have to say about God being ‘omnipotently’ evil. 

(Continue on the thought later)



footnote: Sunday Adelaja is the founder and senior pastor of the Embassy of God, an evangelical-charismatic mega church in Kiev, Ukraine.