Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Awakening, Style Of Music, And Opening Our Eyes

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. — Colossians 3:16

Love that verse! It's talking about edification and worship with musical accompaniment.. yes, in the New Testament!

Where words fail, music speaks! ~ Hans Christian Andersen

Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. ~ Psalm 57:9

Come, Thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace; streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise! ~ Robinson

With some random musings on prayer and what this Nation needs most, I've also been enjoying some new musak today. What kind do you listen to? You knew that musical instruments will be in heaven throughout all eternity right (See Rev. 14:2; 15:2). I got a negative comment about a certain style of music today ..regarding what was acceptable to God or not. I have a lot of exotic hand drums and like to play them in worship, but today I'm just listening.

There is a lot of confusion and bad teaching out there about the music Christians should or should not listen to. Was told today that the fresh techno-electronica style that I was enjoying wasn't right at all. My question in reply:

With all due respect sir, what is your Bible verse/passage on music to basically back up your incorrect statement that all techno is wrong for everyone (granted, it could be wrong for some people who maybe had a loose unholy lifestyle connected to some worldly subculture of secular techno music, but we Christians can also be so out of order at times to quickly impose our personal grey area convictions on other Christians who have different grey area convictions. And of course there are some non-negotiable things that the Bible is clear about i.e., no drunkenness).  

Bottom-line: God never created a sinful note. Isn't it the spiritual condition, the personal lifestyle and the specific lyrics in a song that determines if it's good or bad to listen to? Sure these are the parts that can influence people for good or for bad?

Personally, I'm not into listening to secular music with evil lyrics that encourage people to do what the Bible tells them not to do. Why should I tear down what God is trying to build up in me?

Like money, music is amoral—it can be used to glorify the Lord or to hurt Him. I won't tell you what style of music to listen to or avoid. You'll just have to pray about that for yourself. God's mouth still works.

I actually thinking that righteous musicians with right hearts and attitudes can be used of God to produce fishing bait if you will.. for say young people who can't stand tired moldy traditional church music.

I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.  Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to You among the nations. ~ David, Psalm 108:1-3

There's wondrous music in my soul since Jesus' blood has made me whole; now my heart sings His songs of praise for all His blessings all my days. ~Hess

I was reading in Habakkuk 3:1 today with says, "A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. According to Shigionoth" (Psalm 7). Man, do you know what that Old Testament word.. Shigionoth ..really means?

Hint: The Amplified Bible says this can be translated as: "A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, set to wild, enthusiastic and triumphal music." or good rendering could be with "wild enthusiasm"! Sure, why not?

Habakkuk was earnest for God, for the things of God and for God's genuine revival. He was basically pleading, Lord, renew.. in our day! Do you need renewal, awakening or genuine revival? Sounds like the prophet was expecting the Lord's so called manifest presence or His intervention to come with great glory! Man, isn't it indeed time for that?

People groups and people are different. Vanilla Chucky Monkey ice cream doesn't appeal to everyone! I say it's time to boldly use different styles of music, sports, other skills (i.e, your social networking savvy) to uncompromisingly to bless the Lord! I say we use this stuff more for the Kingdom and for harvesting! Too many Christians today are sitting on their blessed assurance watching TV for 8 hours a day, focused on finding something wrong with other Christians, when they could be focused on the Lord and obeying His Great Commission and Greatest commandment! Are you too passive and distracted? I was born in Southern California during the fiery days of a real revival called the Jesus Movement and it was marked by wonderful contemporary music (in fact Church historians say this was the last revival to his our American shores). And I say it's time for another great spiritual revival/awakening that includes excellent music etc ..yes, that's fully biblical in its expression! I invite you to pray with me for God to do it again!

There have been three spiritual Awakenings in America earlier. You need to prayerfully study about the 1st Great Awakening from 1740 to 1743 with Jonathan Edwards and Whitefield. Edwards clearly preached and explained the Gospel to sinners who were instantly blessed with deep conviction that was accompanied by true confession, forsaking of sinful habits—repentance—and faith towards God! There are no better gifts for us and salvation is still God's greatest miracle!

The young humble Anglican preacher George Whitefield was also used of God to spark a spiritual (not merely religious) conflagration during this period. Whitefield already had a good reputation as a sound pulpit and open-air orator of truth. He actually traveled throughout the colonies from 1739 and 1740 serving well. Everywhere Jesus led Whitefield, the Spirit attracted large crowds and he would faithfully cast the net, seeing countless irreligious people won to faith in Christ. God did it and like Edwards, Whitefield gave the glory to Him.

Man, the First Great Awakening led to wonderful changes in American colonial society! It affected things for a long time. It was so cool! In New England, the Great Awakening was quickly and powerfully influential among the Congregationalists. In the Middle and Southern colonies, especially in those "Backcountry" regions of this Land, the Awakening was impacting and influential among the Presbyterians. In the southern Tidewater and so called Low Country, there were zealous but balanced northern Baptist and Methodist preachers fishing and winning both whites and blacks to Jesus Christ. Yes both, enslaved and free.. becoming spiritually F-R-E-E!

Then you need to go read about the 2nd Great Awakening that went from 1790 to 1840 and then beyond to 1860. It was another time of massive spiritual revival that extended into the antebellum period of the United States, with widespread winsome Christian evangelism happening. Sure, wanna see this happen again. I pray, "Here, now.. please forgive us of our iniquities and "progressive"-bloody wickedness that we quickly justify. Do it again Lord. Send what's real. What am I to do or believe? Lord do save the elect and then elect some more today! Let me honestly testify, accurately witness, sincerely sow seeds, diligently water and reap. People are so valuable and the time is short. Let me have a small part in this.. any size you want really, but do get all the glory and please start right now!"

"Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters.. so our eyes look to the Lord our God…" ~ Psalm 123:2

My Prayer: Father God we need a full-on awakening here! Touch now our sleepy eyes and make em clear. Cozy-warm feels with this dangerously deep slumber. We've toiled too long.. we've striven with men too long.. we've organized, planed and caucused far too long ..in the flesh.. just to make it all happen for good. Wood, hay and stubble kindling! Wanting to please You sure, but it's also kind of been for our own advantage. How religious and wrong, but we turn from it! Make us more than aware and awake if you dare, but first of all spiritually, under your watchful care!

Man, you've already read about Charles Grandison Finney I'm sure, but have you read about Lyman Beecher, Barton Stone, Peter Cartwright, and Asahel Nettleton? They were all used of the Spirit to fish for souls with passion! Evangelical participation was encouraged for all Christians and American life in areas such as prisons, abolitionism, and temperance were changed. The two results of real revival and awakening are unity and division. Real Spirit born Christians unify tightly together in fellowship and they also divide themselves away from all worldliness and evil (not from those in the world they are trying to compassionately reach).

New movements of churches were formed that became denominations. Some of them were the Evangelical Christian Church in Canada, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Churches of Christ, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. And as I'm sure you already know this cultural/spiritual phenomenon also contributed to massive growth in non-denominational churches even with the huge multi-site churches that we are seeing today. What was changed long-term? American society and church life were transformed. What else? Well, prisons filled with base and rebellious people that in Christ simply quit rebelling. Also the ongoing care of the handicapped and mentally ill people changed as a result. Question: What cults (i.e., the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Science people, Unity etc), or even secular intuitions have ever brought something so good like this about, here in America? None of em. God did a work through Spirit-controlled Bible believing Christians and He wants to use you too! I love good education, but what politics or higher learning has ever brought this kind of good about? America needs Christ the most.. ahead of all other things today! We've got to get back to Him and what He says in the Bible!!!

Then go read about the 3rd Great Spiritual Awakening! It brought with it not only the Gospel being preached, it also brought practical Christian activism into American history like never before. The awakening happened from 1857 to 1859 and even into the early 1900s. It affected pietistic Protestant church movements and denominations powerfully and it worked its way out as a natural (or should I say supernatural) outgrowth into many good social works that helped the poor and then onto different mission fields. New groupings of believers also emerged, such as the Holiness movement and the Nazarene movements. Jesus Christ was exalted and magnified as He always should be and guess what.. great music of several different styles were also used along with relevant Gospel proclamation!

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