Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Before Christ's Church had "worship wars"...

...She was embroiled in "food fights", "circumcison conflicts", and "day debates". Sinful man loves to quibble over adiaphora and he will stomp all over the Ten Commandments to do it. With about 2,000 years to calm down over these three ancient divisions, most of us can see how silly it all was. What will the Christians of 4008 AD say about this essential arguement we are having today about what style of music a Christian should exclusively use to worship God?

With the modern hot topic of the "worship wars" in mind, read the following passage of Romans 12 & 13. Look at the instructions on how to resolve this conflict over the cleanliness of some kinds of food and the observence of certain holy days. What can we apply to our current situation about the appropriateness of some kinds of music? What do they have in common?

Quite alot if you ask me. After all, nothing goes together to make a good time like holy days, music, food and............circumcision. You get the idea.

Romans 12

1 As for(A) the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 (B) One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and(C) let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 (D) Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master[a] that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

5 (E) One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike.(F) Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since(G) he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For(H) none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then,(I) whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ(J) died and lived again, that he might be Lord both(K) of the dead and of the living.

10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For(L) we will all stand before(M) the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written, (N) "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess[b] to God."

12 So then(O) each of us will give an account of himself to God.

13 (P) Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide(Q) never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus (R) that nothing is unclean in itself,(S) but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, (T) you are no longer walking in love.(U) By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 (V) So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 (W) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but (X) of righteousness and (Y) peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18Whoever thus serves Christ is (Z) acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us (AA) pursue what makes for peace and for (AB) mutual upbuilding.

20 (AC) Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God.(AD) Everything is indeed clean, but (AE) it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 (AF) It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. [c] 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God.(AG) Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

Romans 15

1(A) We who are strong (B) have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 (C) Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For (D) Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, (E) "The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me." 4 For (F) whatever was written in former days was written for our (G) instruction, that through endurance and through (H) the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you (I) to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify (J) the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

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