The Influence of Calvinism in Our Song Books

It Is Well With My Soul

Recently at the congregation where I preach, we concluded a study on the subject of Calvinism. We discussed the five major tenets of this false doctrine (often remembered by the TULIP acronym) – total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints – along with some other ideas that are connected to Calvinism.

Over the years, I have noticed that certain ideas that can be found in lyrics in our song books reflect an influence of Calvinism. When someone else made a comment to this effect during our study, I decided to put together an additional lesson at the end about the influence of Calvinism in our song books. That is how this article originated.

Note: The point of this is not necessarily to make a list of songs we cannot sing in worship. We can make some allowance for “poetic license.” However, we ought to be mindful of the influence of Calvinism that can be found in our song books. We teach one another through singing (Colossians 3:16) and we are to sing with understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15). Therefore, it is important to evaluate the songs that we sing to see if they convey the truth.Continue Reading

Singing That Glorifies God

Singing

Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His name; make His praise glorious” (Psalm 66:1-2).

Singing is a way for us to praise and glorify God and is a regular practice in our assemblies. If we are going to glorify God through our singing, it is important that we do it in the right way. This requires certain things from the songs, the singers, and the song leaders. Let us consider some points that will help us sing in a way that glorifies God.Continue Reading

Singing Only? (Sermon #10)

Singing Only? (Sermon #10)

 
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Singing Only? (Sermon #10)

We’re in between season 5 and season 6 which will start on April 25th. During the break we’re posting audio sermons each week instead of the regular episodes. The sermon for this week was preached on December 11, 2016 at the Eastside church of Christ in Morgantown, KY.

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Why We Do What We Do in Worship

Communion Trays

As Christians, we have an obligation to “do all in the name of the Lord” (Colossians 3:17). This means to do things by His authority (cf. Matthew 7:21-23). When it comes to the worship of the church, abiding by what has been authorized in God’s word means we will do those things that we can read about in the New Testament.

So what did the churches in the first century do when they assembled together to worship the Lord? There are five “acts” we can read about in the New Testament:
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Walter Scott: My Bible, My Head, and Brother William Hayden

Walter Scott and William Hayden

Walter Scott (1796-1861), one of the early figures in the Restoration Movement, spent much time preaching in the area known as the Western Reserve (northeast Ohio). In discussing his preaching work, he told the brethren that he needed three things in order to be successful:

Brethren, give me my Bible, my Head, and Bro. William Hayden, and we will go out and convert the world” (Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, p. 111).

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The Psalm of the Word (Part 22): Praise

The Psalm of the Word

Let my cry come before You, O Lord;
Give me understanding according to Your word.

Let my supplication come before You;
Deliver me according to Your word.

Let my lips utter praise,
For You teach me Your statutes.

Let my tongue sing of Your word,
For all Your commandments are righteousness.

Let Your hand be ready to help me,
For I have chosen Your precepts.

I long for Your salvation, O Lord,
And Your law is my delight.

Let my soul live that it may praise You,
And let Your ordinances help me.

I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant,
For I do not forget Your commandments.

(Psalm 119:169-176)

This final stanza focuses on the need to praise God because of His word. We noticed this point a little bit in the previous lesson. The thoughts expressed in these verses are a fitting conclusion to the psalm and our study of it. Given all that we have learned about God’s word, we should praise Him.
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Mediocre Christianity

Swamp

The church in Laodicea was condemned for being “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:16). They thought they were in “need of nothing” (Revelation 3:17), but they were not healthy spiritually. Jesus told them they needed to “be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19).

At times, we may be like the Laodiceans – not what we should be as Christians, but not completely unfaithful either. We may not be zealously serving God, but are also not willfully rejecting Him either. Instead, we are in a state of spiritual mediocrity. What does this look like in our individual lives? When we find ourselves in such a state, how can we change it? That is what we will consider in this article.
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