A Chord in Tune-Why or What?
Tags: Church Growth, Church Growth Movement, Frank Pooler, existentialism, hedonism, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Saint Augustine, entertainment, worship
Frank Pooler would regularly tell his students, Once you have been a part of a chord in tune you will be seeking it for the rest of your life. Once you have been a part of a wonderful music experience that is surrounded by the praises of God, you can never forget it. Remember that its not about the art. Its all about the heart. Its not about the complexity of the music, the style, the period of music or the instrumentation. Its about a chord in tune. Its about beholding God.
The Church Growth crowd will tell you that it is all about special effects when in reality it is about how God will affect people when His servants place their full reliance on Him. It is not about pump. It is about power. Its not about stuff. Its about doing the stuff.
Its about getting down to the nitty-gritty with people where they live and applying the Gospel to it. Its about ministering with sincerity and a true heart. Its about connecting with souls while revealing the truth of Scripture. Its about caring for needs and lifting each other up in prayer and supplication. Its about building and maintaining the traditions that glue people together and remind them of their Great God. It is about bringing in new and fresh things that breathe life into the soul. Its about body life. That is what a chord in tune is.
And its not about snake oil, I can assure you.
For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (II Tim 3:2-5 MKJV)
The world today is run by very pragmatic ends justifies means philosophies. The goal of self is the all-important god. The philosophies of existentialism (experience orientation) and hedonism (pleasure seeking) have created an environment where the goal is to experience that which feels good above all other things. Whatever leads to that goal, no matter what it costs, is the ticket. Even things that are supposedly done for others habitually have self in mind. The why lying behind the things that are done has no value other than what is good for me. What can get me to the point of fulfilling me is the focus of all non-Christian behavior today.
This self-centered philosophy that drives the world is the force behind the things that unbelievers do and the way they act. Therefore, the inevitable assimilation of the self-love outlook of modern society is the inherent danger that awaits the church that embraces the ways of the world in order to relate to the world. And the fact that the church has already melded with the I gotta be me culture that surrounds it is a primary reason why we see so much living for self rather than God amongst Christians today.
But Christians are called to a different
purpose with a distinct why underpinning their entire behavior. Therefore Jesus
proclaimed, . . . seek ye first the
This God preeminent why we do things must always provide the basis for what we do. The crux of biblical Christianity is that the why Christians do things is not self-centered but God centered. And this concept of God first is an important factor that distinguishes Christian righteousness from the self-righteousness of an unbelieving world.
The world loves for what it can get out of it. Christians love for an entirely different reason. And why do we, as Christians love? Is it for our self-serving interests? Is it to get something from somebody else or even from God? Absolutely not! This is because the why that we do things is all about Gods supremacy in our lives. We love because God first loved us. (I Jn 4:19)
When John Calvin and Martin Luther
rediscovered the truth that Christians are justified by faith, they went to the Bible and
As demonstrated in Augustines confession above, responding to Gods love is the order of the day for Christians. And it is the why for everything we do. Hence, all of our whys are simply our responses to God for what He has done for us. Though we are all called to good works, we do so because we are saved and not to get saved. Hence we give because God has given to us. We serve because God first served us. In contrast to society, true Christianity is all about putting others before oneself because God put us before Himself by sacrificing His Son for us. This life response of thanksgiving to God for who He is and what He has done is the foundation of our praise and worship.
Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. (PS 86:8-10 KJV) True worshippers worship with an attitude of gratitude to put God first in everything.
Entertainment aims for the senses and thus focuses on self-pleasure. Worship honors God and thus focuses on the spirit. And so, regardless of the media context or aesthetic style utilized, though two artistic endeavors may look the same on the outside, the why things are done makes all the difference in the world. If the work is done for entertainment reasons the result will be anemic, unpersuasive and shallow. Though amusing, its surface level clamor will fall short of meeting people at the point of their spiritual needs. Furthermore, it will inevitably be accompanied by an egocentric self-serving attitude that will ultimately diminish the ministry significance of the artistic work. On the other hand, if the expression of artistry is presented unto the Lord from the hearts of servants as they declare their thankfulness to Him, then the power of God will manifest itself and use this offering of praise to unalterably change lives.
Therefore, above all set your goal to minister to people for the sake of others rather than impressing them to satisfy yourself. Set your heart on worship. Set your mind on God.
If then you have been raised up with
Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (
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