Farmteam Community Church

American Idol’s amazing popularity makes it a very interesting subject for cultural criticism. This year’s win of a former worship leader over an androgynous rocker raised the following question on GetReligion, an insightful blog:

Has Sunday morning in megachurch America already turned into the American Idol minor leagues?

Now I add my own questions: is the American church so worldly that such a question even makes sense? Why would worship leaders in Christian churches be potential powerhouses of pop? Pop is an ever-evolving ode to the ephemeral: can the church afford to communicate with its music that what matters is ever now and not then? What does music sound like when it’s produced by those who have their minds “set on things above” (Col 3:1)?

Losing the Gospel

Recently I spoke to a man from the depressed neighborhoods surrounding my church, a man who, sadly, had utterly no understanding of the gospel—and a man who recently became a baptized member at the nearest Southern Baptist Church.

Many leaders of the SBC have been troubled by this widespread problem, too, and the recent “Great Commision Resurgence” document is part of their response. The document recognizes that parts of the SBC are in danger of losing the gospel. I pray that the GCR call to Bible and gospel fidelity will be heeded.

Of course we Independent Fundamental Baptists must be just as mindful, lest we lose the gospel ourselves. Here’s a Twitter tweet I recently read from the feed of an IFB college president, an elder brother who stands significantly to my right:

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He was relating the testimony of someone who was on a mission trip to the southeast Asia. But does that make it more or less likely that 200 public school children were truly and miraculously regenerated?

Jesus let the rich young ruler go. And He said the kingdom of heaven was like a treasure for which you are eager to give up everything. But the gospel this man preaches has been co-opted by or mingled with an easy-believism which refuses to let go of those who won’t heed Jesus’ all-encompassing call of discipleship.

Jesus also said that the Holy Spirit in regeneration is like a wind blowing where it wills (Jn 3:7-8). God’s Spirit can blow life into the hearts of 200 public school kids through one translated sermon. I pray that He has. But I cannot in good conscience claim that “there was over 200 saved” until it’s clear that those 200 aren’t merely those who “anon with joy” received the word but those who “bear fruit” (Mt 13:18-23).

And what is fruit? It’s the evidence in progressive sanctification of the regeneration which God’s Spirit has brought about. It’s the thoughts, affections, and actions which God promised would spring from the heart of every member of the New Covenant. It’s obedience to the one who said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

I’ll be preaching to about 20 public school kids tonight. I pray that God would bring fruit for His glory from those hearts, fruit that remains.

Words of Controversial Wisdom from Someone Else Don’t Blame Me I Just Repeated It But I Do Think They Are Wise So Take Them Under Advisement and May the Lord Grant You Wisdom

Here are two arguments I took down from a conversation I had with a musically oriented older man who has significant seminary training. I offer them for your consideration; I thought they were wise:

  • When people are dancing and acting without inhibition at a rock concert they’re not dancing to a cultural association. And it’s probably not primarily the text that’s driving them.
  • If someone says that the Scripture says anything about musical style, you might ask whether or not there are any dancing styles they consider wrong. The Bible says nothing about bad dancing styles.

Terrorism and Evangelism

Here’s another little helpful and challenging quote I read in Total Church.

At present the military and economic might of Western nations is struggling to counter the threat of international terrorism. It is proving difficult to defeat an enemy made up of local cells working toward a common vision with high autonomy but shared values (p. 109)

The parallel should be obvious. The problem with the Christian church is that it doesn’t exactly have shared values. May God by His grace and for His great glory change our sad state of affairs!