Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jeff Meyers on Christmas

Christians that attack Christmas and Easter as pagan holidays, usually go to churches that make a big to-do about New Year's day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and the Fourth of July. The annual cycle in America is truly becoming paganized. The Baalism of nationalism that commemorates the victories of the nation and celebrates all kinds of political "saints" (George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., Christopher Columbus, etc.) is in the process of replacing the festivals of the church commemorating the life and work of Jesus Christ and the triumphs of his Church in history. ~ Jeff Meyers

One of my favorite articles on my favorite time of year. Read the whole series and get rid of some old sacred cows, silly myths, and your inner scrooge, starting here:


and continued here:
















Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Religion Externalized

from George Grant's blog:

Culture is simply a worldview made evident. It is basic beliefs worked out into habits of life. It is theology translated into sociology. Culture is a very practical expression of the common faith of a community or a people or a nation. Culture is, as Henry Van Til famously quipped, "religion externalized."

...the remarkable prosperity of the West was directly attributable to the cultural, personal, and ethical prevalence of the Christian tradition. In contrast to so many other cultures around the globe, where freedoms and opportunities were severely limited and where poverty and suffering abounded, Weber found that faith brought men and nations both liberty and prosperity.

I wish the church would remember this!!!

read the rest here:


Is The Gospel in The Gospels?

"I believe the Gospel is clearly stated in the Gospels and that we are often in danger of misunderstanding Paul's teaching because we have marginalized the Gospels. Otherwise stated, the Gospels ought to constrain our reading of Paul. To reverse this is backwards. For example, Matthew tells us that Jesus preached the "Gospel of the Kingdom" (Matt. 4:23), then he gives the content of his preaching of the Gospel in the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount. If we don't like that, then we ought to change our narrow definition of the Gospels."

Read the rest here:

Monday, November 12, 2007

A More Sure Word!

"Peter treasured the memory of the Transfiguration for many years, and he brings it up in his second letter. Consider the thought presented in 2 Peter 1:16-21. The Word was confirmed with certainty from heaven, and we who have the Scriptures have a more certain word than that. If we think about this for a moment, we should realize we do not really understand our gospel privileges." ~ Doug Wilson

Sunday, November 11, 2007


It must be noted that worship is not praise and it does not consist of "feeling worshipful." In both Hebrew and Greek, worship means service. When Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac, he said that he was going to worship. He did not mean that they were going to go to Moriah, break out the guitars and overhead projector for a little P & W. He meant that he was going to serve God, by doing what was commanded. When Isaiah said, "Here am I, Lord, send me," that was worship. And this helps make sense of Romans 12:1-2 — the presentation of our bodies to God is our spiritual worship. –D. Wilson

‘Worship’ is identified today with singing songs at church. This is unfortunate because it leads us to think that if only we have the right techniques, get all happy with goose bumps and “feel worshipful,” then we are having “a time of worship.” But worship is not singing. Singing can be an expression of worship, but worship is not singing…or clapping or shouting or dancing. What, then, is worship? Worship in general is a certain kind of life, expressing itself as a result of the recognition and acknowledgment of God as GOD. One biblical definition of worship is given in Romans 12:1-2. When we offer ourselves as living sacrifices we declare that God is God, that He is the Sovereign, Loving, Creator and Sustainer of life. We declare the supreme worth of God, not just by saying that He is worthy, but by giving up everything to Him. Worship is not just the offering of a few sentiments. Worship is offering yourself, putting yourself at His disposal, prostrate before Him. It is not something you tack on to the rest of your busy life. It is your life – your whole life offered to God.

But just a word of caution here, “The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.” (Psa 87:2)

“I think that what people sometimes mean when they say "all of life is worship," is that corporate, Lord's Day worship is no more special than our everyday devotions during the week. That is not true. The Lord's Day assembly is central, and what happens in "formal worship" on The Lord’s Day orients one's entire life. We learn how to think and act in a distinctively Christian way by participating in the weekly rituals of worship. Sunday is special. On the Lord's Day we are called together as the bride and body of Christ for corporate worship. “All of life” is worship only in a metaphorical (though real) sense. You can work with a worshipful attitude. That's fine. You can and should, by faith, work for the glory of God, keeping His law! That's great, too. But working with that motivation, goal, and according to God's standard comes about as the result of proper Sunday corporate worship. This highlights a dangerous tendency these days towards individualizing and mentalizing "worship." If a person can "worship" God in everything he does, then worship has been reduced to something that happens inside an individual's head rather than what they do - hearing, speaking, singing, kneeling, standing, eating, drinking, etc. - with the body of Christ in the assembly.” ~ Jeff Meyers

The result is nothing less than metamorphosis, transformation, being conformed to the Image of Christ. REAL, LASTING CHANGE. If you are not being transformed then you aren’t worshipping.

Where the confusion comes in is the English word "worship" is much closer to the idea of praise. Worship comes from the Middle English worshipe, worthiness, honor, from Old English weorthscipe: weorth, worth. See worth + -scipe, -ship.

Plainly, "to ascribe worth to." Which is much closer to the Biblical concept of praise.


1. 4352. proskuneo, pros-koo-neh'-o; from G4314 and a prob. der. ofG2965 (mean. to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (lit. or fig.) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adored—worship. 60x
a. 4353. proskunetes, pros-koo-nay-tace'; from G4352; an adorer:-worshipper. 1x

2. 1391. doxa, dox'-ah; from the base ofG1380; glory (as very apparent), in awide application (lit. or fig., obj. or subj.):-dignity, glory (-ious), honour, praise, worship. 1x

3. 3000. latreuo, lat-ryoo'-o; from latris (a hired menial); to minister (to God), i.e. render religious homage:—serve, do the service, worship (-per). 4x

4. 4576. sebomai, seb'-om-ahee; mid. of an appar. prim. verb; to revere, i.e. adore:—devout, religious, worship. 6x
a. 2151. eusebeo, yoo-seb-eh'-o; from G2152; to be pious; i.e. (towards God) to worship, or (towards parents) to respect (supports-show piety, worship. 1x
b. 2318. theosebes, theh-os-eb-ace'; from G2316 and G4576; reverent of God, i.e. pious:—worshipper of God. 1x
c. 4573. sebazomai, seb-ad'-zom-ahee; mid. from a der. of G4576; to venerate, i.e. adorer-worship. 1x
d. 4574. sebasma, seb'-as-mah; from G4573; something adored, i.e. an object of worship (god, altar, etc.):—devotion, that is worshipped. 1x

5. 2356. threskeia, thrace-ki'-ah; from a der. ofG2357; ceremonial observance:—religion, worshipping 1x
a. 1479. ethelothreskeia, eth-el-oth-race-ki'-ah; from G2309 and G2356; voluntary (arbitrary and unwarranted) piety, i.e. sanctimony:—will worship. 1x

6. 2323. therapeuo, ther-ap-yoo'-o; from the same as G2324; to wait upon menially, i.e. (fig.) to adore (God), or (spec.) to relieve (of disease):—cure, heal, worship. 1x

7. 3511. neokoros, neh-o-kor'-os; from a form ofG3485 and koreo (to sweep); a temple-servant, i.e. (by impl.) a votary:—worshipper. (only used as "worship" of Diana) 1x


1. 7812. shachah, shaw-khaw'; a prim. root; to depress, i.e. prostrate (espec. reflex, in homage to royalty or God):—bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship. 99x

2. 5647. 'abad, aw-bad'; a prim. root; to work (in any sense); by impl. to serve, till, (caus.) enslave, etc.:- X be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, do, dress, ear, execute, + husbandman, keep, labour (-ing man), bring to pass, (cause to, make to) serve (-ing, self), (be, become) servant (-s), do (use) service, till (-er), transgress [from margin], (set a) work, be wrought, worshipper. (only used as "worship" of Baal) 5x

3. 6087. 'atsab, aw-tsab'; a prim. root; prop. to carve, i.e. fabricate or fashion; hence (in a bad sense) to worry, pain or anger:—displease, grieve, hurt, make, be sorry, vex, worship, wrest. (only used as "worship" of The Queen of Heaven) 1x

4. 5457. cegid, (Chald.), seg-eed'; corresp. to H5456:-worship.
a. 5456. cagad, saw-gad'; a prim. root; to prostrate oneself (in homage):—fall down. (only found in Daniel) 12x

* includes all forms of the word, Worshipping, Worshipper(s), Worshipped, Worshippeth

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Praise-- (from The American Heritage Dictionary) 1. Expression of approval, commendation, or admiration. 2. The extolling or exaltation of a deity, ruler, or hero.

Approval is "to consider right or good; think or speak favorably of."
Commend is "to represent as worthy, qualified, or desirable."
Admiration is "a feeling of keen approbation." (an expression of warm approval)

Where the word comes from:

Middle English: preise, from preisen, to praise, from Old French preisier, from Late Latin pretiâre, to prize, from Latin pretium, price.

So in "praise" we are attempting to "price" God and we are "prizing" Him.

Praise is also a very well defined term in scripture. Basically there are seven Hebrew words translated as “praise” in the King James Bible and lay a foundation for discovering what this concept entails. Briefly defined:

Barak--to bless (kneel is the root) the New Testament equivalent is "eulogeo" which means "to speak well of"

Halal--to boast about, (in a clamorously foolish manner) --yadah, towdah and shabach combined

Yadah --lit. "hands to God" (hands representing our lives...all that we are, have, and do) offering ourselves to God

Towdah--also "hands to God," but the idea here is "with thanksgiving," acknowledging Him as THE Source of all

Zamar --with song, lit. to pluck a stringed instrument; with music. This is where singing praises comes in.

Shabach--LOUDLY! The idea here is "unashamedly" and "boldly" without reservation.

Tehillah--is to "sing halal" (Halal + Zamar)

And to further narrow it down...
The first two words in the list, Barak and Halal, are the precise ideas of what is meant by praise, i.e. 'to bless' God and 'to boast' about God...He being "the object and subject of our praise," His attributes and actions being the primary source material...Praise is to be about Him! Everything else is simply an accompanying action or attitude we take while we praise Him. The other 5 words above are actually “accompaniers” of praise...with our lives, in gratitude, with singing, with music and loudly.

Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. {2} Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. {3} Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. {4} Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. {5} Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. {6} Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. --(Psa 150 KJV)

Every word for "praise" in the preceding Psalm is the Hebrew word "halal." And the Psalm describes how we should boast about Him or what should/may accompany our boasting about God. Thus, much of what we call "praise" in our corporate gathering is not necessarily "praise to God."

Also note that simply playing any of the instruments listed in the above passage or dancing or singing or merely lifting our hands does not constitute praise in and of itself, (unbelievers do those things at parties, concerts & sporting events all the time,) unless it is accompanying our boasting about God--"halal." Even repeating the phrases, "Praise the Lord" or "Hallelujah" is not praise per se, but rather they are exhortations or commands to do so.

Telling God of our intention to praise Him, or how we will praise Him, is NOT the same as praising Him. What ends up happening many times is we praise our ability to praise, or we are in essence, "praising praise."

Now, where do we get our source material\words for praise? From Scripture and Scriptural ideas, of course. But, and this may surprise you, not all of Scripture is meant to be subject matter for "praise to God". There are even a number of the Psalms that do not qualify for "praise to God." And some Psalms may be intended for the privacy of the individual prayer closet. Some are not intended as "Praise to God", unless they are adapted for that purpose. In fact, many of the Psalms are simply instructions on "how to" praise the Lord, or exhortations/commands to praise the Lord. And some are imprecatory prayers, ie. curses upon enemies.

So then, this is what many have done with praise... they’ve read the instructions on how to praise... and they even know how to praise, but they are content with just simply rehearsing, repeating, singing and even raving about the commands, exhortations and instructions to praise, but then never really get around to actually praising Him. So they end up rejoicing in their knowledge about praise or rejoicing about their ability to praise, and never actually do the thing they claim or intend to do...boast about and bless God. This is the difference between "worshiping worship" and "worshiping God."

“If often surprises people to learn that God is not always pleased when people worship him. We might be inclined to think that God should be thankful for any attention we give him out of our busy schedules. But worship is not about God’s thanking us; it is about our thanking him. And God is not pleased with just anything we choose to do in his presence. The mighty Lord of heaven and earth demands that our worship- indeed, all of life- be governed by his word.” ~ John Frame