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"Christian" art and "Christian" music? #3201
Sat May 24, 2003 11:04 AM
Sat May 24, 2003 11:04 AM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,578
Kentucky
MarieP Offline OP
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There's an interesting discussion om another discussion list about "Christian" art and "Christian" music. The question is whether or not something has to have a Bible verse on it to be Christian art, or if a song has to mention Jesus to be Christian music.<br><br>One person posted an interesting point, and I will post the message if he says it is ok. His basic idea was that God creates sunsets, animals, constellations, etc, without emblazoning "Jesus Saves" or "God was here" on them. Here is a reply I made, and hopefully it will start some discussion!:<br><br>I forget where I first heard it, but I<br>have heard the saying that nothing is "secular" to a<br>Christian. There's no line that seperates our<br>"spiritual life" from a "nonspiritual life." As 1<br>Corinthians 10:31 says, "Whether, then, you eat or<br>drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."<br><br>Of course, there are guidelines set up for this in<br>Scripture. For instance, at an Easter sunrise service<br>a few years agoat my parents' church, we were in the<br>middle of silent prayer when someone spotted a deer<br>right outside and soon the whole congregation drifted<br>over to the window to see it. I asked my mom what she<br>thought of the pccurence, and she thought it "aided"<br>the worship service. Don't get me wrong- I like to<br>watch God's creation. But not necessarily in the<br>middle of corporate worship. It's one thing to thank<br>God for His creation, but this seemed to be a<br>distraction more than thankfulness.<br><br>Thoughts? Opinions?<br><br>


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
Re: "Christian" art and "Christian" music? [Re: MarieP] #3202
Sat May 24, 2003 4:32 PM
Sat May 24, 2003 4:32 PM
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MarieP Offline OP
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Here is the post Don made:<br><br><blockquote><br><br>I started this thought in another thread, but I figured I'd move it back<br>here.<br><br><br>Someone could make the argument that their is no such thing as Christian<br>music, Christian radio, Christian schools, Christian peanut-butter, etc.<br>Only people are Christian. But we do use the adjective "Christian" to<br>describe just about anything these days. My posting of the 3 photographs was<br>to get people thinking about how they come to the conclusion of an object<br>being Christian or not. I have been really surprised by the answers.<br><br><br>I really was not looking for a "correct" answer, but I wanted to raise the<br>issue of what makes something "Christian." For many, its seems that if we<br>slap a Bible verse on something or mention the name of Jesus in a positive<br>light, then it is "Christian" no matter what the quality. It seems this view<br>is pervasive in our popular Christian culture. Walk into even our Lifeway<br>stores and you will find cheap trinkets, tooth-brushes, plastic combs, and<br>sometimes even cigarette lighters with "Jesus Saves" or a Bible verse<br>stamped into it. We gobble up sub-standard quality music just because the<br>lyrics say "Jesus-Jesus-Jesus." I agree with the title of Franky<br>Schaeffer's book when he says that modern christianity is "Addicted to<br>Mediocrity."<br><br><br>Out of the three pictures, I figured most of you would balk at the third<br>one. It is an intentional caricature of contemporary Christian views of what<br>makes art Christian, but so is the second. I'm not an artist or an expert in<br>typography, but I do know that the font and color choice for the text is<br>hideous and mars the esthetic of the picture. I snapped the picture of the<br>raccoon a couple of weeks ago. While I admit I'm not an artist, I liked the<br>picture and to me it gave me a sense of the majesty of God's creation. I<br>didn't need any text slapping me in the face telling me what I ought to<br>see.<br><br><br>"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his<br>handywork." (Psalms 19:1) Notice that the heaven's declare the glory of God<br>even though He chose not to write out the name J-E-S-U-S in a constellation.<br>If God can color the sky with blues, whites and subtle grays, sunsets with<br>brilliant reds and oranges without the need of hanging an evangelistic neon<br>sign in the middle; if He can cloth the parrot, the peacock and the lilies<br>of the field without tagging them with cheap slogans, if he can draw a mask<br>on a raccoon or the stripes on a Zebra, or the spots on a Giraffe without<br>tattooing their [img]http://the-highway.com/Smileys/censored.gif[/img] with "Jesus Saves" or "God was Here," why do we feel<br>compelled to do the same in order to legitimately call something<br>"Christian?" Don't forget, "The Earth is the Lord's, and the fullness<br>thereof;" (Psalm 24:1) So why do we call all things secular unless they are<br>stamped with Christian jargon?<br><br><br>This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears<br>All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.<br>This is my Father's world: I rest me in the thought<br>Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;<br>His hand the wonders wrought.<br><br><br>This is my Father's world, the birds their carols raise,<br>The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker's praise.<br>This is my Father's world: He shines in all that's fair;<br>In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;<br>He speaks to me everywhere.<br><br><br>This is my Father's world. O let me ne'er forget<br>That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.<br>This is my Father's world: why should my heart be sad?<br>The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!<br>God reigns; let the earth be glad!<br><br><br>This is my Father's world, dreaming, I see His face.<br>I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, "The Lord is in this place."<br>This is my Father's world, from the shining courts above,<br>The Beloved One, His Only Son,<br>Came-a pledge of deathless love.<br><br><br>This is my Father's world, should my heart be ever sad?<br>The lord is King-let the heavens ring. God reigns-let the earth be glad.<br>This is my Father's world. Now closer to Heaven bound,<br>For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.<br>No place but is holy ground.<br><br><br>This is my Father's world. I walk a desert lone.<br>In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.<br>This is my Father's world, a wanderer I may roam<br>Whate'er my lot, it matters not,<br>My heart is still at home.<br><br><br>Don't get me wrong. I'm not implying that we ought not be explicit in our<br>evangelism and vocal in our proclamation of the good news of the gospel, but<br>as St. Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary<br>use words."<br><br><br><br>by grace alone,<br><br><br>Don A. Elbourne Jr.<br>http://elbourne.org<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br></blockquote><br><br>


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
Re: "Christian" art and "Christian" music? [Re: MarieP] #3203
Sat May 24, 2003 7:22 PM
Sat May 24, 2003 7:22 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Sorry if I come across as being dense...... but I fail to grasp the point in all of this. Truly I would like to know. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/smile.gif" alt="smile" title="smile[/img] Perhaps there are others who have easily grasped what is being asked, and if so, they will hopefully respond. But in the meantime, could you humour an old man and extrapolate just a wee bit so that I might understand the question, issue or whatever? [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/grin.gif" alt="grin" title="grin[/img]<br><br>In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: "Christian" art and "Christian" music? [Re: Pilgrim] #3204
Sat May 24, 2003 7:59 PM
Sat May 24, 2003 7:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,578
Kentucky
MarieP Offline OP
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MarieP  Offline OP
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Must we have to explain EVERYTHING to you Canadians? [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/frustrated.gif" alt="frustrated" title="frustrated[/img]<br><br>Just kidding! [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif" alt="laugh" title="laugh[/img]<br><br>I'll admit that my question was not very well posed. I was asking mainly whether or not the Easter incident I described was appropriate or not.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
Re: "Christian" art and "Christian" music? [Re: MarieP] #3205
Sat May 24, 2003 8:29 PM
Sat May 24, 2003 8:29 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,436
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Pilgrim Offline

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Pilgrim  Offline

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BTW, I'm only "living" (read: existing) here in [Linked Image] as a true-blooded Yankee! [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/grin.gif" alt="grin" title="grin[/img]<br><br>Now, in regard to the Easter worship service and the woman getting up to admire the sunset... hmmmm! My initial response would be negative. Why? Because it appears to conflate the creation and the Creator, Who is to be the object of worship. Additionally, in a corporate worship service, God is to be comprehended through His preached Word, by and through which the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind and heart of God's children. As Paul says so marvelously in Romans 1:19, 20, et al, the natural creation, although it clearly reveals the Creator, it is impossible that it can speak of Him as Saviour. This is and should be the Christian's focus; God as the Creator-Redeemer Who has bought us by shedding His own blood and desires that we worship Him in Spirit and Truth, not through the elements which He has made. God has provided us with those elements which HE deems sufficient and necessary in worship; e.g., the preaching of the Word and the two sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Table. Today, there is this notion that "things" are good and necessary as aids to help us worship God. Man has introduced myriads of novel "things" into the worship of God and in so doing they have diminished the value and validity of worship that flows from the heart and which is spiritual, e.g., puppet shows, skits, dancing, worship bands, etc., etc... It seems that the awe that one should possess in knowing who God IS is insufficient for these ecclesiastical entrepreneurs. They are easily "bored" with the pure worship of God and need "things" to give us some kind of "boost"; an emotional jump starter.<blockquote>It is an inexpressible grief to me to see the church spending its energies in a vain attempt to lower its testimony to suit the ever-changing sentiment of the world about it. - Benjamin B. Warfield</blockquote>In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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My parents' church [Re: Pilgrim] #3206
Sat May 24, 2003 8:47 PM
Sat May 24, 2003 8:47 PM
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Kentucky
MarieP Offline OP
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MarieP  Offline OP
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Those were some of my own thoughts too. I no longer go to my parents' church because there are a lot of people there who are into the whole "easy believism" gospel. The former pastor, who is basically a universalist diguised as a pastor, left for another church, and the new pastor is better, But I will need to ask him some things about his beliefs on Jesus as the only way. I will also see what he says about the youth pastor at the church, who denies hell and thinks all will go to heaven. My hope is that the youth pastor is removed from that church, but the denomination (Disciples of Christ) has n unifying creed and is liberal.


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
Re: "Christian" art and "Christian" music? [Re: Pilgrim] #3207
Tue May 27, 2003 8:17 AM
Tue May 27, 2003 8:17 AM

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It is very refreshing to hear to speak of the worship God desires. If anyone would like to read a good book on this topic and along the same lines as this, "Worship in the Melting Pot, by Peter Masters is a good one.

Re: "Christian" art and "Christian" music? #3208
Tue May 27, 2003 9:56 AM
Tue May 27, 2003 9:56 AM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Pilgrim  Offline

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Linda,<br><br>There are 7 chapters from that book on The Highway that have been used by permission of the author, Dr. Peter Masters himself. [Linked Image]<br><br>They can be found here: Worship in the Melting Pot<br><br>In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: "Christian" art and "Christian" music? [Re: MarieP] #3209
Mon Jun 02, 2003 8:23 PM
Mon Jun 02, 2003 8:23 PM

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I think that one of the reasons the church is so weak today (apart from the obvious ones, i.e., lack of discernment and sound doctrine), is that it has missed the boat at both ends on the issue of secularization. The church either tries to *copy* the world (the seeker-sensitive movement), or abandon it by isolating itself in its own little "Christian" communities. Paul's teaching had admonished us to do two things: (1) associate with unbelievers, but (2) not become like them. The church today has done the exact opposite. It has (1) not associated with unbelievers by compartmentalizing itself in its own little "Christian communities" or (2) has become like the world (i.e., the seeker sensitive movement). The Puritans had it right - they saw all of life as the Christian life, but they still abhorred and stayed away from worldliness. Nevertheless, they were involved in many areas of society. <br><br>


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