Worship Leaders, Drinking, Culture

I recently talked with a couple people on the topic of worship leaders who also drink. They could not understand how they could be leading worship and doing this at the same time. The reality is we all have faults and short comings in our lives. Until we allow God to convict us we really wont change. Some of our faults are private and some are out in front. The Bible says to not be drunk with wine or come into a different state of consciousness. The Bible also states to not do things that make your brother stubble. Yet another place speaks of your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

In a society that says it is cultural acceptable to be a Christian and drink is just that a cultural acceptable standard. But that is culture. The biblical standard is far different. Holiness is the ultimate standard and the things we do should not affect that. Drinking does not lead us to holiness. I know you will say well what about TV or this and that. I will tell you the same things. Much of what we fill our spiritual well with does not lead us to holiness. What you put in, is what you have to draw from. Much of what we fill ourselves with has demonic agendas attached to it. Stating what you believe to be a justifiable truth because it is culturally acceptable with no Biblical basis does not make it Biblical standard nor acceptable to God. Especially if you were once enlightened and now have fallen away from that truth.

We want to see God move in America but America is the vilest self justified nation of the world. Much of the evil other nations face can be directly connected to what originates here. This is not my opinion but a repeated opinion my host in the nations I have traveled to have told me. I have had it explained repeatedly how American culture has adversely affected them and the life of the church, reducing spiritual life in individuals. Every time I hear of why it is not happening here, like over there, it brings me to one thing. We don’t realize they follow biblical standard and we follow cultural standards. In the church we change biblical standards and replace them with cultural standards. We don’t live a holy life and justify our self indulgences. In Africa, where things are happening like we desire to see, if a man drinks he is not fit to be in any role in a church but to sit under the word for a change from the addiction. In America we are willing as leaders to have no standard, so we can have a natural gift appointed to a position, even though their life is not whole. We have made what God has said is holy as common, and thus made it unholy, so we can be relevant to culture. And we wonder why God does not show himself in our meetings as His stamp of approval.

The desire to have a culture of entertainment in the church has made the church to become another club with a “spiritual option” attached to it. The desire to please people and not confront their lifestyles carries greater weight that pleasing God. Homosexuals in pulpits, or teaching classes, people drinking on worship teams and leaders in sin are not biblical standards. They actually remind me of philistines, Baal, and other enemies of Gods people in the Old Testament that He said come out and be separate from them!

When leaders are placed in a leadership role it is because their life is an example to be modeled after. I have heard of people becoming alcoholics because they say their brother in a leadership role, at a checkout line buying alchol and thought it was ok to drink because they were buying. The person eventually fell away from God and died in sin. The real problem is the senior leaders standards are not biblical, more so than the individual who drinks. A person might be leading worship, or on a worship team but the reality is what kind of worship they are experiencing. Is it throne room and people are moved by the spirit of God or is it entertaining and based not on spiritual life but natural ability? Remember God will anoint things sometimes because he loves people and desire to meet with them. But how much higher or better could something be if the person leading had their life right.

We want to see a move of God. Many do. But few want to pay the price of living a life that would release that kind of move in America. When this next move of God comes I guarantee it will have deep heartfelt repentance with it. Christians will be awakened to lifestyles they are living, that are contrary to Gods heart. They will repent not because of being caught or found out but because they realize THEY have broken His heart and made the heart of God sorrowful. The move of God is coming. Right now it is unfolding with those living contrary to culture, living a lifestyle of repentance. For those with mixture a moment of repenting for a lifestyle will suddenly come and they will be overwhelmed with it. Drop the culture society is trying to dictate and live a life contrary to it and you probably will be living a Biblical culture.

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Thanksgiving … A National Christian Holiday?

Thanksgiving is more than turkey, pilgrims, or pumpkin pie. it is actually a Christian event of thanks ordained by “Fathers” in our nation. Here is the original proclamation by those who came to the USA seeking religious expression. Then George Washington, and finally Abraham Lincoln in the midst of a divided nation. perhaps his is most relevant to us today!

The First Thanksgiving Proclamation June 20, 1676

On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established. By unamimous vote they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a day of thanksgiving. That proclamation is reproduced here in the same language and spelling as the original. While the proclamation quoted on this page is the oldest existing thanksgiving proclamation, the thanksgiving being announced was by no means the first thanksgiving. The Plymouth Thanksgiving traditionally regarded as the first thanksgiving took place in 1621, the fall after the Mayflower pilgrims arrived. “The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as notstanding before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions: The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God’s Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being persuaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and souls as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ.”

George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving  Proclamation

 Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted’ for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us. And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d dyof October, A.D. 1789.(signed) G. Washington

Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

 The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful Providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nationand to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth. Abraham LincolnBy the PresidentWilliam H. Seward, Secretary of State

 

Comparison of Congregation Verses Apostolic Center

This was such   good teaching I decidedd to post my notes from listeing to it. May we all gain understanding.

Comparisons of

Congregation Church to Apostolic Center

By Peter Wagner Sept 2012

The Apostolic reformation is now growing faster than the world population. This movement actually started in Africa around 1900 as churches moved from denominational oversight to independent African Churches. Current Apostolic Kingdom Centers are moving to the forefront to become places of regional impact. Denominational structures are territorial. Apostolic Centers are regional. Apostolic Centers are hubs for other like faith churches and ministries. All things in the following charts are not black and white but are Peter Wagner’s observations of ideals and patterns that have emerged.

Congregation (typical church)

Apostolic Center (Ecclesia)

Name

Reflects inward dynamic

Reflects outward dynamic

Government

Pastor    – cares for needs

Apostle – mobilizes people

 

Elders supervise the pastor

Final authority a group

Elders support the Apostle

Final authority – Apostle

 

Little authority designated to people

Large amounts of authority designated   to people.

Staff

Pastors and teachers

Apostle Prophet Pastors teachers evangelist

 

Pastor Employee

Apostle lifetime leader

 

Leadership style is conformity

Leadership style is creativity

 

Rules/ followers

Expression/ risk takers

 

Tries to not make mistakes

Plans for mistakes

 

Mono Task

Multitask

 

One speaker

Many speakers

Focus

On the congregation

On the kingdom

 

Self and the structure

People connected with the kingdom

 

Self centered = small vision

Kingdom centered = large vision

 

One mountain forming culture –   religious

All 7 mountains forming culture

 

Pastor supports the church

Center supports the Apostle

Operation  

All social expectations must be meet,   worship, prayer, care, etc. This comes natural.

All social expectations must be meet,   worship, prayer, care, etc. This must be worked at.

 

Fellowship groups

Ecclesia, legislative body

Profile

More passive and peaceful, weaker

More aggressive and stronger

Prayer

Petition, self needs

Decreeing and Kingdom needs

 

Avoid demonic confrontation

Creates demonic confrontation

Worship

Intimacy, bedroom type, loveaholics

Throne room, productive, workaholics

 

Planned out, love songs

Free flowing Throne room songs

 

Feminine

Masculine

Revelation

Interpret the written word

Written word and prophecy

Money

Maintenance decided by committee

Advancement decided by apostle

Training

Saints trained to fit into program

Saints trained to find destiny

 

Jobs assigned by gift

Gift creates opportunity

Joining

By people you meet

By common vision

 

Worship Leading not Performing, Selahs, Moravians

I felt like I needed to write some things about worship and specifically worship leading. Just like a leader who oversees a service so a worship leader is overseeing a segment of that service. Worship is about 50% of every service and good flowing worship will either prepare hearts or make hearts distant from God.

Worship is to be an expression of the heart and for a worship leader their heart must be right to lead others and release others hearts as well. If a worship leader is distant from God or not connected then the only place you can lead people is into that disconnect as well. As my son says the only place you lead people is to the place you are at.

In scripture the worship leaders in David’s Tabernacle were called “masters of the song”. This in Hebrew translates “Carries of the prophetic burden” Worship is more than songs being sung or a time for a person to perform or showcase themselves, but worship is fulfilling an ongoing plan of God of connecting with His people and His people connecting with him.

The practical’s need to be in place before we go into deeper veins of spontaneous free flowing worship. Some of these are introducing new songs after familiars songs are sung. Avoid long instrumentation, unless an atmosphere of reflection has been established. Seeing what songs are “connecting’ or have an anointing upon them for that time and then working around these. Also songs with lots of words, or musical transitions, a lot of times stop the flow of worship in a person heart. This has more to deal with selection and song writing but is something to be aware of. Also knowing when a set is over by judging the room and if people are connected or not. Just because there is a song set does not mean that set has to be done.

The goal of worship is not to practice worship, perform worship, or get your own way as a worship leader, but to bring people into an encounter with God and make an atmosphere that people can express their hearts. In other words the practical’s need done before we move onto greater things.

There are three descriptions about what we sing in scripture. A psalm is a prewritten set piece of music. A hymn is a spontaneous singing of past songs. A spiritual song is spontaneous singing of a new song. A new song is the place of life, and the breath of God is released into people’s hearts.

Once we are doing the practical’s we then can move on into spontaneous songs and specifically the technique of the Selah’s. The word Selah is generally translated a pause or reflection. A further examination of the word we actually see it has those descriptions but it means to hold the musical pause or reflection under tension until the next prophetic dimension is released. It actually has nothing to do with mediating upon what has been said etc.  Since worship leaders are carriers of a prophetic burden it would make sense that prophetic tensions would be part of leading in songs. Worship leaders need to learn to hold these tensions until the next one is released to maintain an ongoing ever expanding dynamic of worship in a worship set.

The Moravian’s were skillful in both creating these spontaneous songs and also in holding prophetic tensions with instruments. Their understanding of these tensions made them seek ways to hold tensions with instruments and hence they invented the pipe organ and the trombone among others.  The Moravian’s were the first to establish 24 hour worship and maintained it for almost 100 years! To be a worship leader in their meeting you had to be able to connect 15 hymns in a row with a spontaneous song in between each one! This creative flow they operated in, led them to building instruments for musical tensions, and the spontaneous creative flow opened a door way of 3500 new songs being released yearly. Because of the heart of worship being so deep in them they memorized both the music and words to all of these. Think of that next time you have to look at an overhead while in worship and let’s open up greater dimensions of worship in our hearts much like the Moravian’s and their followers.