Thoughts from the Christian perspective: discernment issues as they relate to the current state of the church and society.
We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12
One of the problems with so many apologetics ministries is the propensity to nit-pick every little detail of someone’s teachings, or lifestyle, or productions. I have been a wee bit guilty of this myself at times and when I notice it in my older articles I delete them for that cause — or at least clean out the nit-picking part.
There is no such thing as a perfect Bible teacher, be it a pastor or layperson; everyone — and that includes me — has made some type of error sometime in their teachings. I know I have changed some of my beliefs over the years as I have done more studying of the Word or have received correction/counsel from godly men. If we nit-pick people for every thing they do or say wrongly, then we will have no one who isn’t guilty!
This is true of movies. There are no perfect movies; they all have some sort of problem, even if it is just a story line which doesn’t make sense or poor direction. Some have technical errors, some have historical or social errors, and even some theological errors. If we criticize movies for minor errors then we may as well not watch any of them! I understand that we expect higher standards for Christian movies, but these producers are also sinful humans.
Now, I’ve read too many reviews of “War Room” and decided that if I watched the movie I would just be irritated the whole time. I expected to see lots of Beth Moore, lots of contemplative prayer, lots of aberrant spiritual warfare, etc. However, my wife decided she wanted to rent the movie so she could be able to discuss it with her Bible study group. As “luck” would have it, we got called by Family Video a few days ago to tell us we won the drawing to get a new movie rent free and two weeks of 1/2 price movies (we have rented about a dozen movies there in the past 2-3 years), so we decided to get War Room and watched it last night (30 Jan). It certainly wasn’t what I expected from all the nit-picking criticism I’ve read.
Before I give you my commentary (not a “review) on the movie, let me make a few general statements about the Kendrick Brothers’ movies:
1. Every prayer is answered just as requested and in very short times (as in this movie Elizabeth prays for her husband to fail in his adultery attempt and he immediately gets sick). Nothing ever goes wrong; no one ever gets a “no” answer to their prayers. I understand this is movie-making and story-telling and that the idea is to promote the faith and not bring in any possible negatives, no downers to the story, etc, but it gets rather annoying to me to see all the perfect answers to prayer when in my own life we have been waiting for years for prayers to be answered in the affirmative, and we know many families with similar issues! I think it is a wrong-headed teaching to say God answers every prayer the way we want it answered and He doesn’t take long with it! (They almost make God into a personal genie!)
2. Some important issues in their story lines are often left unaddressed (for example the emotional adultery and other disrespectful behavior of the wife in “Fireproof”) while they focus on the main topic. This leaves some “unfinished business” which can be distracting from the point of the movie.
3. In “Courageous” they began bringing in aberrant teachings when they promoted the patriarchy ideology. While it was a very small part of the story, it opened up a problematic ideology for leading people astray.
4. The marketing leads to items for sale promoting the various ideologies in the last three movies. This strategy is just like Hollywood.
Okay, now for my commentary on the movie itself, starting with my negatives.
Right at the top of my list is their use of Beth Moore as an actress. Beth Moore is a false teacher (much worse than Priscilla Shirer), and this movie gave her such a personal promotion (albeit in only two cameo scenes) that she is bound to gather more followers.
As with the other Kendrick movies, War Room had a very contrived story to make its point. I think this movie was more contrived than the others, making it more difficult to accept as a real situation. That’s just the way I saw it.
I think the idea of going to war with prayer is aberrant, and I believe it comes from the whole aberrant spiritual warfare ideology. Nowhere in the Bible does it say we are warring with our prayers. I would really like to know where the term “prayer warriors” began — it never is found in Scripture!
The “prayer closet” teaching is really an abuse of Matthew 6:6. Jesus was not saying we needed a private room; what he was teaching was that we are not to be out “on the street corners” so as to be seen as holy and righteous and “show-offy.” Our private “inner room” could be in the middle of the house all alone, or it could be in an open field, or even in a bedroom while everyone else in the house is elsewhere. The movie made the necessity of a private “prayer closet” (“war room”) virtually indispensable.
Toward the end of the movie, when a couple was looking at Clara’s house, the pastor could feel that Clara’s closet was a “prayer closet” — he said that the prayers were “baked in.” This is superstitious nonsense; no one is able to discern where people were praying just by “feeling” something.
The continual joking about Elizabeth’s stinky feet was very, very irritating to me. The movie’s “har har” about stinky feet was, to me, at the same level as Hollywood’s use of scatology. There was absolutely no reason for that story line — or the scene with her having bad breath! It was a juvenile attempt at humor.
Clara telling the crook to put his knife down “in the name of Jesus” is totally absurd. Nowhere are we to find in the Bible that using Jesus’ name will force bad guys to be unable to harm us. I think this was a very dangerous scene, as many non-discerning people may think they can just use “in the name of Jesus” if they are ever assaulted and the assault will not happen. I think it was irresponsible for the writers to put in that scene.
The teaching of Clara was that Satan is directly responsible for all the sins and all the problems between Elizabeth and her husband. The first problem with this is that Satan is not omni-present! Oh, Satan is responsible for sin coming into the world by his temptation of Eve, and he certainly puts temptations in front of humans with the help of the demonic realm, but he isn’t the cause of our sins. James 1:14-15 says that we are tempted by our own evil desires, dragged away and enticed by them, and the desires once conceived give birth to sin.
One of the worst scenes in the movie was Elizabeth’s railing against Satan, commanding him to leave her house and yard: “I don’t know where you are devil, but I know you can hear me!” Oh, really? Satan is now omniscient? What if he was bothering someone in China at the time? Elizabeth continued, “You are done…Go back to hell where you belong!” Satan will never be “done” tempting man until he is thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). And he doesn’t live in hell! The point is that we are nowhere told to rail at Satan, and Jude 9-10 even teaches against it.
Clara has a similar scene where she says, “Devil, you just got your butt kicked.” I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but Satan got his “butt kicked” by Jesus when He rose from the dead and paid for our sins.
While the movie has Clara being super-spiritual in her prayer life, I didn’t see any hint of contemplative prayer as claimed by some of the reviews, but they did make her knowledge of things to border on the mystical.
Clara had a framed document showing all the answered prayers she’s had; and it appeared that all her prayers are answered. My question was what the purpose was for that document; was it an award to God? was it for bragging? I thought it was something silly, but sure to show up in the “Christian” book stores.
There were many other more minor issues I found irritating, but not important enough to detail.
The end of the movie had a real smell of New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism to it, especially when 2 Chron. 7:14 flashed on the screen. It really irritates me when Christians take this passage out of context (I addressed this abuse in an article), but it is even more irritating when it is taught in a movie reaching millions of people!!!
Okay, now for the positive. Overall, I think the movie did a good job pointing to the necessity of Bible study and prayer in the lives of Christians. It also showed the necessity for parents to be available for their children and to know what is going on in their children’s lives (it would have been better if they showed Elizabeth give up her job so as to raise her child, and give up their huge mansion!). It also taught that God is active in our lives.
The best review I read about War Room is the one by Fred Butler. He isn’t as nit-picky as others and still remains quite objective with his criticism and praise, and he points out problems I agree with but don't feel like writing about -- especially about Clara!
As with Courageous, I would not recommend this movie to anyone who has little discernment skills; they could easily pick up the wrong ideologies.
As a “P.S.”, the last issue I have with the movie is the DVD version’s “special features.” There were some unbiblical statements made, as well as some Scripture twisting. I expect better than this from a group of pastors. Here are the major problems:
All through the specials there is lots of talk about “soaking” things in prayer and having issues “saturated” with prayer. These are very common charismatic phrases which really need to be put into the ash can. We don’t “soak” or “saturate” anything with prayer, and I think it is a trite analogy.
From “The Heart of War Room”:
Priscella Shirer said, of prayer, “It’s what opens up the flood gates for God to come down and be involved in our every day circumstances.” Really? Without prayer God can’t be involved in our lives? What happened to His sovereignty? And didn’t he already “come down” as Jesus?
Beth Moore said, “He has us fight, not human flesh and blood, but fight the war that is in the heavenlies. That can only happen on our knees.” Um, I don’t see from scripture where we are to fight a war in the “heavenlies.” And prayer can be done standing, sitting, laying or in any configuration.
From “The Making of War Room”:
“We had no idea that the Mitchell home [Elizabeth’s house in the movie] and everything they went through would really need somebody to pray over that home and rebuke the devil in that scene.” Oh, so a pretend rebuke of the devil in the movie scene acted as a real rebuke of the devil? Again, where are we told in Scripture to rebuke the devil?
From “From Auditioning to Acting”:
Alex Kendrick: “The Lord first gave us the plot in the summer of 2012 and I was on a speaking trip with T.C. Stallings.” Isn’t this a claim to special revelation? Couldn’t this just be from their own imaginations?
T.C. Stallings continued the discussion: “And he says, ‘And for the character, Tony Jordan, T.C., I have you in mind. That’s what… The Lord has put you on my heart.” How can Alex know that dogmatically? Alex had apparently known about T.C. and his talents which fit into the story, so why couldn’t Alex have just came up with the idea?
It’s no wonder the Kendricks like Beth Moore — they use her schtick of claiming revelations from God!
From “The Church On Its Knees”:
They claimed they could feel the Holy Spirit come into the room where they were holding prayer sessions. Just what does this feel like, and how do you know it’s the Holy Spirit?
They pray over doors, seats, entrances, exits, the sanctuary, choir loft, church sections, etc. Where is the biblical warrant for this, and what do they think they are accomplishing praying over these objects?
“There are some things that are not going to happen apart from prayer. It’s not that God can’t, it’s that God has sovereignly chosen to say, ‘If you don’t pray, I’m not going to do it.’” Where do we find this in Scripture? How can he speak for God when Scripture doesn’t say this?
Scripture abuse other than the 2 Chron. passage:
The final frame in “The Church On Its Knees” showed Mark 11:17, And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?” This passage is about the TEMPLE, not about buildings where Christians assemble.
At the end of “Molly Bruno: Modern Day Miss Clara,” Revelation 3:20 was displayed. This is a commonly abused passage. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” I have previously addressed the abuse of this passage.
Well, there you have it. I think the movie was worthwhile as a reminder to where our priorities should be, but needs some discernment to watch, even though it wasn’t as bad as I was led to believe.
We [Christians], on our part, believe the angels to officiate herein for God. The embryo therefore becomes a human being in the womb from the moment that its form is completed. The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion, inasmuch as there exists already the rudiment of a human being, which has imputed to it even now the condition of life and death, since it is already liable to the issues of both, although, by living still in the mother, it for the most part shares its own state with the mother.
Do you want to know what true greatness is? Do you want to see something of the majesty and the glory of the person of our Lord? Here it is: “Who, being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Phil. 2:6). That is an unfortunate translation. It means, “He regarded not his equality with God as a prize to be held on to and to be clutched at all costs.” Rather, he “made himself of no reputation.” Words are utterly, ridiculously inadequate! There was an attempt at the turn of the [20th] century to change that translation into “He emptied himself.” That is wrong! He could not empty himself of the Godhead. That is a contradiction in terms; it is a sheer impossibility. He did not empty himself. What he did—and it is much more marvelous, much more glorious—was to divest himself of the signs, the insignia, the manifestations of that external glory that he had shared from eternity with the Father.
You read at times of a king traveling incognito or of some great person traveling as a private individual, calling himself Mr. Smith or something like that. That is what our Lord did. He is the eternal Son of God, the effulgence of the glory of God, always a part of his being. He somehow—I say somehow because it was a miracle—stripped himself of that. He remains the eternal Son of God everlastingly. He cannot change himself. God cannot deny himself. God cannot empty himself of deity. The glory, the marvel, the mystery of the incarnation is that, remaining God in all the fullness of the term, he “made himself of no reputation.” He was born as a baby “and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil.2:7). That is it. He was in the likeness of God, but he came into the world in the likeness of men.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Experiencing the New Birth: Studies in John 3,” pg.347-348
It often really gets disheartening to see all the false teachings followed by Christians who refuse to use discernment! Yet here we go with another episode exposing the WOLVES -- false teachers and groups who are leading so many to spiritual dangers.
My first example is Jen Hatmaker, who is just as dangerous as Beth Moore. Avoid her like the plague.
Why do the leadership of the United Methodist Church even allowthese people to remain as members? If they are sanctioning homosexuality, excommunicate them. Period. This has been a growing apostasy in the UMC and they don’t do a thing to stop it because the are more interested in preaching the false social gospel!
One of the heresies of the United Church of Christ Satan:
More on David Barton, who is a favorite with many homeschoolers. He is NOT to be trusted for historical information, and now he even has own show on the heretical Trinity Broadcasting Network. The fact that Barton thinks Mormon Glenn Beck is a Christian says a lot about Barton’s ignorance of history. Even worse is his praying an anointing over Beck! So, along with not being able to trusted with things historical, he also can’t be trusted with things spiritual.
Doug Evans has a short examination of the Disciples of Christ denomination as he exposes “The Christian Left.” The “C Left” say they agree with DoC theology, which is liberal enough for them as they try in vain to maintain their claim to real Christianity.
“Pray for ‘traveling mercies’” is a request which has always driven me crazy. What does it mean?!?! What is a “traveling mercy”?!? Please, Christians, quit using this fad phrase.
I’ve been warning about false teacher Jonathan Cahn for quite some time. He just gets worse.
Charisma magazine has long been known for promoting false teachings of every kind. Now they think Jesus wants to give you golden tickets.
False teachers don’t know what real “church” is for. This is a perfect example of the demonic ideas false teachers come up with. I have to really wonder what sort of “pastor” she was married to.
Lastly for today, Liberty University really should confess that they couldn’t care less about the true Christian faith. They were upset about the professor’s statements about Christianity and Islam worshipping the same God, but they are excited about continually bringing in false teachers[link gone by 7/16/18] of every ilk! HT to Marsha.
I think every Christian should try to read through the Bible once a year at least. But there are dangers even there, and the danger is this: you have your system of Bible reading; you read so many chapters or so many verses each day; you get out your little guide and you say, “Ah, I am going to read this,” and you rush through it. Right! Tick it off. Read the Scripture portion for today, and all is well. Or sometimes it is more than that with a little commentary, and you think you have read your Bible and that you know it. But you many be completely ignorant at the end.
We must read the Bible in the Spirit. We need to be prepared to read the Bible; we must pray before we read the Bible; we must pray for the Spirit of God to come upon us. We must “Take time to be holy,” as the hymn says, but we must also take time to read the Bible. I suppose modern men and women need this exhortation more than they need anything else. Why are you reading the Bible? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Are you only reading it because you have been told by somebody to do it, somebody who instructed you? They say, “Every Christian should read the Bible.” I agree, but is that your only reason for reading it? Are you reading it merely to say that you have read your daily portion and so you will have completed the Bible in a year?
Indeed, let me go further. Are you reading the Bible only so you may have a knowledge of the contents of the Bible so that if somebody says to you, “Well now, what does Genesis teach? What is the teaching of Matthew? Mark? John?” you can give an account of the content? Is that the way in which you read the Bible? My dear friend, that is merely to read the letter, and if you put the letter before the spirit you are missing the whole value of Bible reading. The whole object of reading the Bible is so we may get at the spirit of the teaching and so the spirit of the teaching may get hold of us. And that is why I say it is essential that we should take our time in reading the Bible.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Experiencing the New Birth: Studies in John 3,” pg.317-318
If you want to be odd in the Christian church today, preach the New Testament gospel. It is regarded almost as something new and something strange. This is the extraordinary thing that can happen to good religious people in the realm of the church. They can get so far away that when the true message is presented, it is resented because it seems to be a novelty, something different and strange.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Experiencing the New Birth: Studies in John 3,” pg.267
Since about the middle of last century [1800s] the churches’ thinking has been dominated by the institutional idea. The controlling idea has been to find means of holding the young people who do not like sermons but like drama and entertainment and games. So the institutional church came in: and for a while it seemed to work; but only for a very short period. All this because of failure to understand the doctrine of the Christian Church! You cannot maintain the Church, the body of Christ by such means and methods. Christ is the life of the Church, and if their is no vital relationship to Him there will be no life, and the Church will be dead.
It is essential that we should be clear about the crucial importance of spiritual life. But the Church is not talking about life, she is interested in numbers, and is convinced that if we could but get rid of denominational barriers and divisions and become one, the world would then listen to us and marvelous things would happen. But that is not spiritual thinking. To believe that numbers, or the size of the Church, is what counts is a contradiction of the whole teaching of the Bible. …
What matters in the Church is not numbers, but our relationship to Him, and the purity of our doctrine, and the purity of our life and living. What matters is that the sap should be flowing into the branches from the Vine.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Christian Unity: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16,” pg.271-272
This week one of my regular readers emailed me surprised that I had other blogs. I was sort of amused because when someone posts a comment on my blog (which isn’t “anonymous”) I always first look at their profile and their blogs (if any). I’ve always been interested in the worldview of those who follow me, and because of this I’ve found many blogs to follow!
So this post is just to let everyone know what my other blogs are, even though a couple of them are mentioned on the right side of this blog, with links to them.
The Watchman’s Bagpipes is my first blog, and it was started in the fall of 2007 with the help of a pastor who said I needed a blog for my apologetics ministry. I started another blog a year later because I wanted to expose all the weird stuff in the news; it was titled Sanity In An Upside-Down World. It was taking too much of my time so I deleted it after a couple years.
For the first year of TWB, my wife was a contributor with articles of encouragement and such directed at women. After a while we decided the theme of her posts and the theme of the blog were too different and she started her own blog, transferring all her previous articles to that one. Some of my followers already know about her blog, but for those who don’t, it is Encouragements From the Piper’s Wife. Jill leads a weekly ladies’ Bible study as well as having a weekly ministry to elderly women.
We have a hobby of photographing old 1-room schools, which we began in the spring of 2003. In 2010 my brother gave me the idea to make a blog posting our photos. Originally it was one blog with Iowa and other states, label-sorted by states. However, since we live in Iowa our collection of Iowa schools became 10 times that of other states so I split them off. Our Iowa school collection is at Iowa One Room Schools and they are sorted by county. Schools in other states are at Old One Room Schools, and sorted by state. We discovered that some country schools were 2-room, and even 4-room, so we’ve added those without changing the blog titles. (The reason for the hobby is noted at the top of each blog.)
In January 2014 I decided I needed a worldview blog where all I do is post quotations from conservative or Christian sources. I try to post a quote daily but have missed some days. I get the quotes from many of the books in my library, from other blogs, from articles, etc. This blog is titled The Thought-Provoker. The idea, of course, is to make people think about their worldview. There have been occasions when I post the same quote on TWB.
One of the things I use my blog for is cutting and pasting in other writings so as to save time. I do a lot of email correspondence with people around the world who have found my blog, and a lot of times I deal with Mormons. Some of the Mormons also were contacts in our street ministry we had for 12 years. Well, the problem with trying to find a topic I needed on TWB is that all the articles about Mormonism were under the label “Latter-day Saints” — and there were well over 100 articles with that label so it took a lot of searching. So in October 2014 I decided to make a separate blog regarding Mormon teachings, etc, and then post the articles by topic. All articles about the LDS were transferred to this blog (sometimes I left a copy on TWB). This blog has been very useful for me, and it is titled The Anti-Mormon Blog. I don’t post as often there, and I’ve gotten very few comments so far. It gets a bit of traffic, but nothing like TWB. I’ve been able to just link to it for many conversations I’ve had via email or Facebook.
My newest blog is A Reference Blog, and this was started a year ago. I started it for the simple reason that every time I’ve had a computer crash I lose all my favorite links. My first idea was to paste every link into a document and have it saved with other documents, all of which are automatically backed up. Well, I didn’t have access to that document with any other computer, whether it was my lap-top or a friend’s computer, so I figured I’d make a blog with posts of links of topics I wanted to have reference to. In some communications I’ve pointed to a particular post and the individual really liked it. These posts take a long time to build, so are only done infrequently as the opportunity arises, which is why there are only 30 posts so far. My last one is in reference to aircraft — I do a lot of historical research on aircraft I’ve photographed and I am an administrator for a site where “dossiers” on aircraft are posted, and I do a lot of research to build those dossiers (I only get about 4-5 hrs a month time to do this). Anyway, I’ve done one other aviation post, but most are dealing with theology and social issues. Take a gander at that blog sometime; you might find it of use.
I’m hoping to some day start another one about the National Road; the first federally-funded highway, which we’ve toured a few times.
So there you have my blog collection.
Another link people may find interesting is my Flickr page. In dealing with a lot of aviation friends I would often talk about my favorite museum: The National Museum of the United States Air Force. This is the largest and most visited military museum in the world. It was suggested to me that I do a Flickr album, so I took the suggestion and almost all the photos I've taken there over the years are in this album, so those looking at it get a virtual tour. For aviation enthusiasts, I also have a gallery of aircraft I've photographed.
Love does not mean that we smile at everything and show ourselves indulgent, saying that nothing matters as long as we are all one. Love is one of the most virile, strong, magnificent qualities in existence. And love is so powerful that it is prepared to hurt its object in order to win it and to save it and to safeguard it from a dreadful fate. “Love is strong as death.”
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Christian Unity: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16,” pg.253
Fasten your seat belts, ladies and gents — this is going to be a wild ride!
Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd, was a featured speaker at the NAR IHOP conference. Mr. Floyd has done nothing but give credence and tacit approval to false prophets and false teachers, and he should be rebuked for such actions — but the SBC remains silent.
Mary Dalke has been working on adding more to her post on discernment. She has some good information and videos about various heretical church leaders — leaders undiscerning people listen to with baited breath while following them like any other cult leader. The “fun” part is that these heretics are nothing but a mutual admiration society.
Someone sent me this video, thinking it was really good. That person was totally lacking in discernment, since the video is heretical. First, it presumes to speak for God. Secondly, right off the bat it teaches a God who is not omniscient - he is surprised by what humans do! Then we have him walking hand in hand with God; um, how can he do that since God is spirit and no one can see him? The whole thing is feel-good cliches — nothing but a secular motivational video. Oh, and we don’t “forgive ourselves.” That is nothing but psychobabble.
Gary Gilley has a good series on The Bible Translations Debate.
“Pleading the Blood of Christ” is unbiblical nonsense. I have in the past had comments on posts where the person either says they are “pleading the blood of Jesus” or that I should do so, and too many e-mails making the same claims. Whoever first came up with that idea should have been horse-whipped!
I’ve read things here and there about Sid Roth, but nothing really explicit. This post is a great exposure of this false teacher. This guy is just as scary as any false teacher in the charismanic cult. Those he “interviews” are all brainwashed into these lies and are part of the problem in that they also teach the lies. They don’t hear God - they hear Satan.
I recommend Mary Dalke’s latest “Warning You With Tears Wednesday,” with a huge collection of videos examining all sorts of heresy and aberrations in the Church. Some of the things she reports on have also been reported by me either in this post or past posts, but that just shows we follow some of the same sites!
“Speaking” about worship, why do we even need a “National Worship Leader Conference”?!? Seriously! Can’t the people who lead the “worship” (i.e. songs) just use their own intellect about what songs to choose and how to arrange things? Why is it the Church never used to have such a position as “worship leader”? At any rate, this article makes one really good point: the idea promoted by “worship leaders” and conferences like this is “performancism” — “The worship leader as the performer. The congregation as the audience. The sanctuary as the concert hall.” Then he makes an outstanding suggestion: “Sing songs people know (or can learn easily). Sing them in congregational keys. Sing and celebrate the power, glory, and salvation of God. Serve your congregation. Saturate them with the word of God. Get your face off the big screen .… Use your original songs in extreme moderation.… Err on the side of including as many people as possible in what’s going on. Keep the lights up. Stop talking so much. Don’t let loops/lights/visuals become your outlet for creativity at the expense of the centrality of the gospel. Point to Jesus. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Don’t sing songs with bad lyrics or weak theology. Tailor your worship leading, and the songs you pick, to include the largest cross-section of your congregation that you can. Lead pastorally.”
A friend who sent me the link to the above article gave me this testimony about his assembly: “This was very evident last week - I pointed it out to lots of folks. [The worship leader] and gang sang a song for the congregation. In the middle he pauses and quotes from [O.T.] and then finishes the song. I wrote down the artist and title. I went home and looked it up - listened to a "professional" recording of the artist's cut. Sure enough, [the worship leader] COPIED it verbatim....pause, citing of [O.T.] text, finish song. This is what I call a copycat performance. Its not worship. He's just copying what's on the top 40 cause its popular. Its so obvious people are blinded to it.”