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Praise and Worship and Today's Church

Holy Wars

Guru Woo Woo

Church Babel/With My Mind

Tags: Church Growth, Church Growth Movement, Church growth consultants, worship leader, conservative, liberal, Conservative Christian, Conservative Christian theology, Evangelical, evangelism, post modern church, modernism, praise and worship, hymns, hymn singing, New Worship, Evangelical Church, charismatic, renewing of your mind, Faith Mind, Third Patriarch of Zen Buddhism, Chien-chih Seng-ts'an, 19 Sermons on Praise Charles Spurgeon, Tommy Walker, Let's Think About Our God, new age, draw near unto God

Church Babel

mantraMy first introduction to this repetitive dogma came early in my Christian music career. Though a Christian and churchgoer I had been playing in a so-called secular band for years. After attending a number of Christian concerts I looked into joining a Christian band. After a while a music group approached me to ask if I would like to join their entourage. It all sounded good to me so I packed up my piano to rehearse with them in one of their band practices. I came from a pretty conservative background so what I was about to witness in this charismatic gathering came as a bit of a shocker.

Now I was used to getting together to pray with people in a manner that one person prayed at a time in some intelligible fashion. This would not be the case here. Even during the first rehearsal with this charismatic band I found that prayer had taken on quite an unfamiliar ring to it. As soon as we entered into prayer the whole group started babbling some phrase or another. Everyone did this at the same time.

Some would say, “Praise You, Praise You, Praise You” over and over and over again. Others would be chanting “Hallelujah,” “We worship you,” “Jesus, Jesus,” and so on. It seemed weird to me. But I got used to it soon enough. In fact, I eventually got pretty good at chanting mantras. It’s not all that difficult, which is the point.

Later I learned that people do this in tongues as well. A certain pastor in a charismatic church that I was ministering in would always speak in his “prayer language” throughout the entire prayer time. This would occur even when one person was praying an intelligible prayer aloud. His chant was: “Roah, roah, roah, roah. . . .” That was with a trilled “R.” And as the prayer became more intense the trill lengthened and dramatically increased in volume. Though the speaking of tongues is encouraged in the Bible, (I Cor 14:39) this didn’t seem to be it.

After years of that I finally landed in the Evangelical Church where I thought I wouldn’t be hearing of it anymore. However, one night the church brought in a group from a local charismatic congregation. They were doing a conference on feeling and healing the needs of the hurt and oppressed. After a bit of teaching the praise band got up to the front and started up the “worship.” It was not long before I heard people wailing and screaming in a horrifying fashion. Some of the people were walking around shaking their hands in the air, moaning and repeating incantations. Others laid shivering hands on each other and screeched in agony with blood curdling shrieks. The room sounded like a haunted house filled with ghosts. It was quite a disturbing experience to say the least.

mantraI stuck it out though. But after a while I heard this repetitive quick knocking as if someone was at the door impatiently trying to get in. After a while I looked up to the platform and saw a man standing erect while knocking the back of his head against the wall over and over again. A new mantra I suppose.

 

With My Mind

But God wants us to do more with our heads than bang them against a wall.

Jesus commanded us to love God with our mind. (Matt 27: 37) When speaking of Christian worship Paul followed up that we are to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Rom 12: 2b NIV) He also added to the Corinthian church, “I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.” (I Cor 12: 15b NIV)

The Poem Verses on the Faith Mind supposedly written by the Third Patriarch of Zen Buddhism, Chien-chih Seng-ts'an (in Japanese, Kanchi Sosan), who lived in the late 500's AD, demonstrates what little value the mystic places on the mind: "The mind does not have a shape, it does not have a form, it is not a thing, it is a no-thing."

But to the Christian, the mind is everything. Therefore in his 19 Sermons on Praise Charles Spurgeon disagreed with the pagan mindless worship contention when he wrote, "Instead of cavilling at the Lord because of certain stern truths which we read concerning Him, we are enabled in these to worship Him by bowing our reason to His revelation.” The mind of reason is not an inhibition to worship. It is the very thing that inspires it as we acknowledge God as He is revealed in His Word.

 Tommy Walker - Let's Think About Our GodIn that vein Tommy Walker penned in his song of praise:

 “Let’s think about our God, our Savior and our King,

The One who gave it all, He gave up everything.

Let’s think about the Man who shed His precious blood,

So we could be His friends, His friends until the end.

And give our love and praise to Him,

He is our Savior and our Friend.”

 The message is clear here. Though the pagan seekers of mysteries enter into some mind altering state through the use of vain repetition, the Christian, as he worships God, does so consciously with his mind fully intact and involved. His concentration is focused on the nature and provision of God for the purpose glorifying Him and thanking him. Worship to the Christian is an intelligent and rational position. That is why it is imperative to have sound doctrine and lots of it in our music repertoires. It is also why many of the hymns throughout the centuries have carried with them such magnificent declarations that tell us of God, His characteristics and His works in a very articulate and biblical fashion.

Notice that when Paul said, “I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind,” He spoke of prayer and singing in the same breath. Praying and singing have a lot in common with each other. They are times of emotion and of quietness. They are times to be still and know He is God. (Ps 46:10) We live in a very fast-paced, hectic world and need to spend quiet time with God just as Jesus needed to go off by Himself and pray. (Matt 14:23) There is a special way that God reveals Himself when we pray or sing songs to Him. It is a very special personal and intimate place that we go to when we turn away from the cares and distractions of the world to fellowship with Him.

Though it is a spiritual activity to pray and sing unto the Lord, where our emotions rise, as they should, Paul is telling us here that we need to remember to keep our minds involved. Intimacy is about knowing someone else and “knowing” is based upon communication that reveals what that other person is all about. How many of us would believe that it is becoming intimate with another person by getting together and chanting repetitive statements to each other? Rather, intimacy is about learning who that other person is through the use of intelligible dialogue.

The pagans believe that God is an undefined force. To them God does not have a personality, nor does He have attributes. To them He does not have a nature nor does He have intelligence. To the pagan, God is just some spiritual feeling in the air. Therefore the New Age folk seek to find God through means other than what we know as communication. That is why they need to transcend into another state of mind that circumvents the natural state.

But in reality God is a Person. He has specific attributes that can be recognized. We can talk to Him and He will answer. We can sing to Him and He will receive our praise and bless us in a way that we can understand with our minds. We can communicate with Him through natural means. We can get close to Him in the same manner that we draw near to each other. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (Jas 8:8b KJV 2000) God has a mind brimming with intelligence and knowledge. Thus we can only communicate with Him intelligently.

Consequently, though God is supernatural and communicating with Him is a spiritual event, He is a Person and we worship Him with our mind. The difference here between paganism and Christianity does not have to do with the fact that people desire to see and experience God. To know God is a basic human desire that cannot be ignored. The difference lies in the manner in which this communication is accomplished. The pagan worships in order to find God. The Christian has been found by God and therefore worships and fellowships with Him in everything he does. It is only the Christian who can know God.

 

Stay Tuned for More!!!!

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Wigtune Company offers free mp3 Jesus based praise music and song along with traditional Christian hymns performed in a contemporary fashion in order to encourage the body of Christ to blend the old with the new in a scriptural fashion.  An on-line Bible study is offered that goes into the biblical and historical foundation of worship for music ministries, the music minister, praise leader, pastor and serious Bible student.  The study is presented in outline form with relevant scripture references and questions.  Download this helpful work for free! was formed as a service to the body of Christ to encourage scriptural worship. To accomplish this goal Wigtune Company offers free praise words, worship music, free hymn downloads, Christian mp3, Christian rock, contemporary praise music and hymn mp3 and chart material along with a free on-line worship study book for personal devotions, Bible study groups, Sunday schools, pastors, music ministers and ministry training.  In order to bridge the gap between the old and the new the worship study book gives solid theological and historical support to the use of traditional Christian hymn-singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing.

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Wigtune Company believes that the current contention among Christian generations over church music is unnesessary.  One does not have to chose between the classic traditional hymn and the contemporary praise chorus and song.  Solomon declared that there is a place for everything under the sun. The worship musical material and the worship Bible study book offered at the Wigtune website support this theme. Vision Statement    Don and Vanessa Wigton share the vision of Wigtune Company.  Going to this page will inform the WEB surfer the circumstances that lead to the Wigtune offering of praise song and hymn along with the worship Bible study book that lends theology and history based support to the use of traditional Christian hymn singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing.   Wigtune Story    The Wigtune Company free on-line worship Bible study book is a manual for the use of the pastor, teacher, music minister, Bible study group, sunday school and any situation where a theological and historical lesson regarding worship is desired.  The Bible study is presented in outline form with questions that require thoughtful answers to the biblical and history based information that is presented.   Free On-Line Worship Studybook   

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Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use. Wiggy's Top Ten Praise MP3s Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.

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Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.    Wigtune Praise Worship and Hymn CD's

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