13 February, 2015

Free Music Preview

No, not from us, we're none of us musical though Victor is learning the cello & improving every week. Some friends of ours have undergone some trying times. They lived in a communal Christian house when we met them & they have (the whole group, not just this family in their community) had to pack up & scatter.

 I've been following all of the families through blogland as they post, & this one has stayed in state & after 2 years, felt led to turn to music. They're releasing 12 songs this month for free to view. They are Brackin & Lindsey Kirkland & have 4 videos on youtube so far, they're calling their music Sounds Like Reign. Give them a listen & drop a line of encouragement. Here is their intro:

And their first song:

02 January, 2015

A Fun Start

We had a fun New Years. Mike had to work so it was just us. We had a festive supper on the china of sweet potato fries, deviled eggs, & cranberry sauce. Showers & baths followed until 8 when I lay Leora down & then the 8 o'clock goody bag was opened. I had brown lunch bags w/ every hour written on them to keep them awake. The 8'oclock bag was full of muddy buddies, the only time of the year we make/ eat them. I figured it best to get the sugar out of the way. I read a chapter out of our 2 read alouds, Winnie the Pooh & Farmer Boy, while they ate those. We then set up a campsite/ nest under the dining room table for them to sleep in. They're getting so big I don't know how long this tradition can continue, I had to put both leaves in the table. That took up the whole hour & the 9'oclock bag was opened. Miranda was feeling impressed w/ herself by this point for staying up. Mike had raided his old GI Joe stash so they each got a vintage Joe & finished watching the last 2 episodes of season 2 as Netflix was removing it on the first. They had a Joe battle & a cobra squadron lined up to watch themselves on the big screen. The 10'oclock bag was an activity to make a hat. I had cut up a malt o meal box into different crown shapes & they covered them w/ foil & glued some jewels on that I had swept up & saved. There was a strip of fabric in each bag to tie the crowns on. Victor had been wanting to watch Men in Black for New Years, & after our fussy VCR/tv decided to work he started that while the Girls watched Gruffalos Child. Theirs was only 1/2 an hour long so they finished his movie w/ him. The 11'oclock bag had a glow stick & a punch balloon. My sister & I always had fun w/ these & called them boom boom balloons when we were little.They had a lot of fun w/ those. Charlotte' glow stick split when I cracked it for her & glowing greeness sprayed everywhere. I was very tired by this point & they were all pretty impressed w/ themselves.It made the aliens more fun. MIB ended right on time. We had 5 min. to brush teeth & open the midnight bag. I got some pretty Irish coffee cups at the Dollar General on clearance for .75 & filled them w/ glitter confetti. We watched this countdown: & threw the confetti up in the air. Rapturous delight ensued as glittery messes are generally never allowed. We went to bed straightaway & had a marathon vacuuming session before Mike got home at 7:30. No one was hungry after eating Muddy Buddies all night so we just had toast & hot chocolate in our new Irish mugs for breakfast.

26 December, 2014

Why the Regulative Principle is Neccessary


Church history has shown that God's covenant people have often been 
drawn away from the simplicity of pure gospel worship into all manner 
of manmade innovations. Because of man's fallen nature and proneness 
to sin, it was inevitable that human autonomy in worship would pervert 
and then force out true worship. "And it shall be unto you for 
a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments 
of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own 
heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: that 
ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto 
your God" (Num. 15:39-40).


Many argue that God's regulative principle is too strict. They argue 
that it confines the human spirit and stifles human creativity. They 
teach that it is an overreaction to the abuses of Roman Catholicism. 
But let us look at the logical implications of allowing anything into 
God's worship, as long as it is not forbidden in the Word of God.


The first thing is that the simplicity and transcultural nature of 
pure Gospel worship are replaced by a virtually infinite variety of 
manmade innovations. Since God no longer draws the line for worship 
content and ceremony, man will draw and redraw the line as he pleases. 
A church that does not obey God's regulative principle finds it impossible 
to stop new-fangled ideas and innovations in worship. The Presbyterian 
and Reformed denominations which abandoned the Regulative Principle 
in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century prove this point. 
The pattern of perversion goes something like this: First, man-made 
hymns (not commanded) are sung along with God's inspired Psalms (commanded); 
then, within a generation or two, the Psalms are completely replaced 
by hymns and grossly paraphrased Psalms. The old fashioned hymns, 
after a while, are replaced by "charismatic" campfire songs. 
Initially, the Reformed churches would sing the Psalms without musical 
accompaniment, because musical instruments were used only in association 
with God's temple and therefore ceased as one of the aspects of the 
ceremonial law. Many Reformed churches abandoned a capella Psalm singing 
and brought in organs. Then, within a generation or 
two, churches were using folk guitars, orchestras and even rock groups. 
The innovations just described are only the tip of the iceberg. You 
can find the following in so-called Presbyterian and Reformed churches: 
celebration of holy days (Christmas, Easter, etc.), choirs, intricate 
liturgies, liturgical dance, rock groups, drama, rock videos, the 
church calendar, pictures of Christ, crosses, etc.


If you give sinful man the autonomy of choosing how he will worship, 
the historical pattern is clear. Man will choose man-centered worship. 
Sinful man is drawn to entertainment (thus the popularity of the clap-your-hands, 
stamp-your-feet "charismatic" style worship, rock groups, 
drama, choirs, music soloists, pop and country singers, etc.), and 
sinful man is drawn to ritual and pomp (cathedrals, incense, candles, 
bells, holy days, popish vestments, liturgy, etc.). When will man-made 
innovations stop? They won't until the church obeys God's regulative 
principle of worship. God has given a command which man is not to 
ignore. "[T]he acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted 
by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, 
that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices 
of men. . . or any other way not prescribed in the holy 
Scripture."12 False worship originates in the mind of man, 
according to his imagination. True worship originates in the mind of God 
and is revealed in the Bible. "But this thing commanded I them, saying, 
Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk 
ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. 
But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the 
counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, 
and not forward" (Jer. 7:23-24). Calvin, in his commentary on 
Jeremiah, uses this verse to condemn all the perverse innovations 
of papal worship: "Moreover, if the origin of the whole Papal 
worship be considered, it will appear, that those who first devised 
so many strange superstitions, were only impelled by audacity and 
presumption, in order that they might trample underfoot the word of 
God. Hence it is, that all things are become corrupt; for they 
brought in all the strange figments of their own brains. And 
we see that the Papists at this day are so perversely fixed in their 
own errors, that they prefer themselves and their own trumperies to 
God. And the same is the case also with all heretics. What then is 
to be done? Obedience, as I have said, is to be held as the basis 
of all true religion. If, then, on the other hand, we wish to 
render our worship approved by God, let us learn to cast aside whatever 
is our own, so that his authority may prevail over all our reasons" 
(Emphasis added).13

24 December, 2014

Other Examples


The idea that only what God commands in His word is permitted in worship 
is taught throughout the Bible. There is king Saul who offered sacrifice 
before the Lord without divine authorization. God commanded the priests, 
not kings, to offer burnt offerings. The kingship was taken from Saul 
and his family forever (1 Sam. 13:8-14). Consider king Jeroboam who 
ordained his own feast day, his own holy places and his own offerings 
"in the month which he had devised of his own heart" (1 Ki. 12:32-33). 
King Jeroboam was a pragmatist. He did not see any 
need to follow the express commands of God in worship. And his unauthorized, 
autonomous worship, and the idolatry associated with it, is presented 
in the book of Kings as the very paradigm of false worship. If it 
is wicked for Jeroboam, a king, to make up his own feast day (holy 
day), then certainly it is wicked for popes, bishops and the people 
to set up Christmas, Good Friday, and so on.


Paul, in his epistle to the Colossians, concurs with the Old Testament's 
teaching on worship. Paul condemns those who seek to impose Judaical 
food laws and holy days upon the church (Col. 2:16). Because the ceremonials 
laws were "shadows" that pointed to the "substance"--Jesus 
Christ--they are done away with. They are no longer authorized 
and therefore are forbidden. Paul's warning regarding human philosophy 
is the backdrop of his condemnation of false worship and man-made 
laws (legalism): "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy 
and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the 
rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Col. 2:8).


Paul condemns manmade doctrines and commandments: "Wherefore if 
ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though 
living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste 
not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;) after 
the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed 
a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting 
of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh" 
(Col. 2:20-23). Paul says that adding to God's Word is a mere vain 
display of "will worship and humility." It is "will-worship" 
religion instead of worship-according-to-God's-will religion. Manmade 
laws take away the liberty we have in Christ. God's moral law is perfect; 
it does not need additions. Manmade rules and regulations are "not 
in any honour" to the believer.


God has given His church a Psalm book and a holy day (the Lord's day). 
Can man improve upon the worship and service that God has instituted? 
Of course not. It is the height of arrogance and stupidity to think 
that sinful men can improve upon God's ordinances. "It is provoking 
God, because it reflects much upon His honor, as if He were not wise 
enough to appoint the manner of His own worship. He hates all strange 
fire to be offered in His temple (Lev. 10:11). A ceremony may in time 
lead to a crucifix. Those who contend for the cross in baptism, why 
not have the oil, salt and cream as well."11 

22 December, 2014

Vain Worship

"Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, 
saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? 
for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered 
and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God 
by your tradition?" (Matt. 15:1-3).


The Pharisees were the respected religious leaders of the Jewish people. 
They believed that they had the liberty to add to the commandments 
of God. The law of God did contain various ceremonial washings to 
signify the unclean becoming clean. The Pharisees simply added other 
washings to emphasize and "perfect" the law of Moses. There 
is no express commandment forbidding these ceremonial additions, except 
the regulative principle (e.g., Deut. 4:2; 12:31). These additions 
have no warrant from the Word of God.


Jesus Christ is the champion of the regulative principle. He strongly 
rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for adding to God's law. What happens 
when sinful men add rules and regulations to God's law? Eventually 
man-made tradition replaces or sets aside God's law. "Thus have 
ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition" 
(Matt. 15:6). The ancient Christian church added its own rules and 
ceremonies to the worship of God and degenerated into the pagan and 
idolatrous Roman Catholic Church. If we do not draw the line regarding 
worship where God draws the line, then, as history proves, the church 
will eventually degenerate into little better than a bizarre pagan 
cult. Christ's rebuke to the scribes and Pharisees applies today to 
practically every (so called) branch of the Christian church. "This 
people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with 
their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they 
do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" 
(Matt. 15:8-9).

19 December, 2014

Autonomous Worship Condemned

"And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the 
valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters 
in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into 
my heart" (Jer. 7:31; see also, Jer. 19:5).


The Lord condemns the children of Judah's idolatry and pagan worship 
with the statement, "which I commanded them not, neither came 
it into my heart." Idolatry, murder and child sacrifice are explicitly 
condemned in the law and the prophets. Yet, Jeremiah cuts to the essence 
of idolatrous worship. Judah was worshipping in a manner that did 
not originate from God's heart. Judah's worship was not founded upon 
God's command. Rather than worshipping God according to His command, 
they "walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil 
heart, and went backward, and not forward" (Jer. 7:24). If the 
people of Judah had consulted the Word of God and obeyed it, they 
would have been spared God's fury. "We have to do with a God who 
is very jealous; who will be worshipped as He wills, or not at all. 
Nor can we complain. If God be such a Being as we are taught in the 
Holy Scripture, it must be His inalienable right to determine and 
prescribe how He will be served."10