Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Dear Friends---For our second message for 2012, I wanted to cover some ground that I have covered before, but in a different manner. I hope you find this message of interest. I think it is vital that the churches hold to biblical standards in all areas, especially worship. I hope if you don't agree with me, you will at least consult the scriptures regarding these issues, especially music. It is very important that we get back to Bible standards in all that we do if we are calling ourselves Christians. Please read, and be sure and leave comments, pro or con. Your comments are welcome here. Any questions, or requests will be addressed also. Also, check our Sermon Audio site and hear some of the messages. We have nearly 400 there. Our address at Sermon Audio  is as follows:

 BY CHARLES WOODRUFF                                                          
Certainly there was nothing forbidden in using Psalms in worship as the Puritans did. To do so exclusively is not commanded however. As a matter of fact the Bible does tell us exactly what should be done in private and corporate worship. It does so without specifying in minute detail. For instance in Psalm 150 we are told various instruments, besides the human voice, may be used in praising the Lord. The key verse is Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 150:6). Some want to restrict this to the Old Testament, but I see no warrant in them doing so. If you do that, you had better do away with “a pulpit of wood” for it is only found in Nehemiah 8:4; or “storehouse tithing” which is found only in Malachi.

First, we are to sing unto the Lord:  Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2).

We are to sing psalms -- unto Him: Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works” (Psalm 105:2).    

Sing with understanding. This means doctrine, or teaching should be in the praises and songs:  “For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding” Psalm 47:7).

This is in the New Testament as well as old: Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms” (James 5:13).

Secondly, hymns are to be sung as well as Psalms. “Greek= humnos; which denotes a song of praise addressed to God” W.E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of NT Words.
“Songs -- joyous lyric pieces on sacred subjects; contrast the reveling, licentious songs of pagan feasts (Amos 8:10).”  Fausset’s Bible Dictionary on “hymn”.

“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives” (Matthew 26:30).

“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them” (Acts 16:25).

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19).

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).

These verses should be most instructive to us on what kind of singing in Christian assemblies is acceptable to God. I found Fausset’s words “contrast the reveling, licentious songs of pagan feasts” very alarming. He was speaking of pagans back before 1877 when his dictionary was originally published. What would he have to say about the modern pagans in England and America today and their so-called church music?

Thirdly, the verses above are saying “spiritual songs” as opposed to worldly or pagan songs. How do you define the difference? “All music is to be offered to God. Johann Sebastian Bach, perhaps the greatest musician of all time, said that the aim of all music is the glory of God. In his own life and work the great composer and organist sought to live out that aim, frequently initialing his works S.D.G.: Sola Deo Gloria--to the glory of God alone. Whenever believers sing, they must constantly remind themselves that their song should be a gift of praise to the Lord. Every word of every song should be biblical, rightly reflecting God's own thoughts and attitudes. It is tragic that much of the music today classified as Christian is nothing more than theological mishmash.”  John MacArthur on Ephesians 5:19; from Monergism.com.

Some of you may say “Oh, it is just a matter of choice. A ‘Christian rock’ or ‘Christian rap’ song can praise the Lord as much as a hymn.” Be careful now, Christian friend! First of all, as we have said, the lyrics should be biblical. Also, the song should be offered to God. I can’t get too detailed in this issue, but hope to expand later. Suffice it to say, there is a certain amount of latitude in types of songs. Rhythm in itself is not wrong. The Hebrew songs certainly had rhythm. But, to take the rhythm that serves the devil so well, put a few Christian sounding phrases with it, and call it “Christian rock.” or “Christian rap” or “contemporary” is a misnomer. I used to listen to Elvis, Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Lynryd Skynyrd and many other rock singers, and you can’t take the same tunes and styles they sang, give them religious lyrics and call them Christian. They may be religious, but not Christian -- certainly not spiritual songs! So many young people (and some older ones as well), are being fooled today by contemporary Christian music, most of which will not, and cannot help you worship the true Sovereign God aright. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)

                                             WHAT ABOUT NEW SONGS?

Likely some will get angry and puffed up with me, but think about this; I am not saying every song must be an old hymn written before 1900. I am saying our worship songs in our churches should meet our chief end---which is to glorify God! I am not saying every good song must have been written by a Calvinist. Charles Wesley, although an Arminian, wrote some great hymns. Some modern songs are good. It is just the trend to throw out the old songs, along with the old paths---the old biblical theology of Sovereign Grace. Our songs, whether old or new, should be scriptural.

“O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day” (Psalm 96:1-2).
I am sure someone will point out the preceding verse to defend all contemporary songs, but as you see the new song here was also to be a song of praise to Jehovah. If we in the New Testament are “showing forth His salvation from day to day.” our songs must present Jesus Christ, whose very name means salvation. He is our salvation (see Isaiah 12:2).
“Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).

Here is an example of a good modern song IMHO.
                              WE SHALL BEHOLD HIM (Words and music by Dottie Rambo)

The sky shall unfold, preparing His entrance;
The stars shall applaud Him with thunders of praise.
The sweet light in His eyes shall enhance those a waiting,
And we shall behold Him then face to face.
And we shall behold Him, we shall behold Him
Face to face in all of His glory;
And we shall behold Him, Yes, we shall behold Him
Face to face, our Saviour and Lord.

The angels shall sound the shout of His coming,
The sleeping shall rise from their slumbering place.
And those who remain shall be changed in a moment,
And we shall behold Him then face to face.

And we shall behold Him, we shall behold Him
Face to face in all of His glory;
And we shall behold Him, Yes, we shall behold Him
Face to face, our Saviour and Lord.
We shall behold Him, our Saviour and Lord.

                                 THE TRUE CHRIST IS STILL THE ONLY WAY

Jesus warned us there would be false prophets and false Christs. “Then if any man shall say
unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and
false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they
shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:23, 24). Regardless of what new agers such as Oprah
and Eckhart Tolle may say; regardless of what post modern “organizer” preachers like Rick
Warren and Bill Hybels may say; regardless of what hatemonger preachers like Jeremiah Wright
and company may say; no matter how apparently successful, and extremely wealthy some of
them are. As Chuck Norris, quoting from another, reminded us; “Christ is either who He claimed
to be, or He is the most notorious liar who ever lived!” Remember Jesus said “I am the way, the
truth, and the life; no man cometh unto to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). (cw)

                                             PROBLEMS AND PRESSURES

Do you ever feel like God is sifting you? Are you puzzled by the purpose of pressures and problems in your life? None of us are without them. Some have more and some have less. If we are Christians we have to keep in mind Romans 8:28; "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." These blessed words are written only for Christians. It has been a comfort for believers since Paul wrote the inspired words nearly 2000 years ago. The unbeliever knows nothing of this, and could not claim this truth (if he would even be interested), without first being regenerated. It is a blessed tonic for the children of God, called a "Divine Cordial" by the Puritan, Thomas Watson, in his classic book on the subject. There are many things in our lives that do not seem to be working for our good, but God says through His apostle that they indeed do work for good. Often we cannot see the good when going through a trial. We may even ask God to remove the trial, and often He does not. We are called according to His purpose, and He has a purpose in our trials and tribulations. Jesus said "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). (cw)

                             BY THE WAY, OUR ELECTION IS COMING IN NOVEMBER

There are many, even in America, who believe socialism is the answer. I don’t believe it. I have seen what it does to a people. It drains their resources, destroys their ambition, makes them live in fear and tries to make all but the elite leaders the same---poor, and dependent on the government. I do not want that here. I do not believe that is what people have fought for in all our wars. It certainly was not the vision of the founding fathers of our nation. I do not want it for my children, or my grandchildren, should the Lord not return soon.

There is another sticky little issue that we cannot ignore if we are Christians. The USA has had perhaps more gospel truth preached since its founding than most any nation in the world, except perhaps England during the times after the reformation, and the revival that came there in the 1700’s. Alas, look where England is now! She is a country largely devoid of true gospel churches. There are a few, thank God! These are overwhelmed and outnumbered by the dead, social gospel, churches, but praise God, there are some holding the truth. America is going down the same road. Fewer and fewer standing for the old and true gospel.

Is God’s judgment going to bring this nation of aborticide, sodomy, adultery, riotous living, and ungodliness to a finish? What can we true believers say if He does? Even those that profess His name are often “Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more that lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4). God brought down Israel and Judah when they turned from Him. Why would He not do that with this soiled, formerly great, nation? Oh America! America! Will thou not repent and believe the gospel of Christ before you are made ashes? Oh why will you die? Oh America!  Obama is not the answer! Gingrich is not the answer!  Ron Paul is not the answer!  Nor is Mitt Romney our answer! Christ is the only answer! He has always been the only answer!  Christians pray! Point your children and grandchildren to the savior! You cannot save them; you can only pray that He will do so by His sovereign grace. (cw)

“Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?  Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land” (Psalm 85:6-9).

Published by Charles Woodruff- email: oursong2000@yahoo.com


Marianne Lordi said...

Another great message, Charles. It is sad that so many are looking to others for the answers in life when Jesus is the only true answer! I believe the enemy has filled this world with so many distractions so that no one will notice that the darkness has completely filled this earth. If only we could understand that our troubles are working out a far greater purpose and that they have no power to stop God's perfect plan for our lives. We need to pray for the strength to stand in faith!

charles said...

Thanks for your visit, Marianne. Yes, it is sad that so many have no spiritual light. Only God can open their eyes. So we must pray for them. One of Satan's main tricks today is to make churches and preachers look just like the world. It makes them acceptable and fashionable, but useless. So many are that way in our day. They have no heavenly standard. The banner must be held high, where God originally placed it. No compromise. The truth must prevail! God bless you!

charles said...

(I wanted to share some comments on this article from Gary in South Carolina. I have pasted them here for you to read)
"Dear Sir, i certainly agree with you concerning contempary church music . my former church, a baptist church, moved to the contempary stuff by singing "blended music"- an old hymn then a contempory song, sometimes blended together . special music or singers were brought in , very talanted, semi professional, etc. it seemed like the congregation was reduced to spectators watching a show."
(Thanks Gary. I think you are quite correct in your observations).