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Gamaliel's Desk
Friday, March 12, 2004
 
Issues Facing Pharisees Today

In an effort to expand our e-ministry into the modern age, I have decided to embrace technology and make my most important sermons available on DVD, VHS and CD ROM. You can order the entire collection comprising over 900 minutes of the finest Pharisee fire-and-brimstone philosophy available. With the spirit of compromise and worldliness holding our churches in thrall, it is vitally important that you order this pack of 5 DVDs, 12 VHS tapes or 7 CD ROM discs containing audio and PowerPoint outlines of my 9 most important sermons. Here is a brief selection of some of the most important titles:


BIBLICAL SEPARATION AND ITS NEGLECT AMONG PHARISEES

The outline of this 120 minute sermon is:
• Separation: What sets Spiritual Christians apart from Carnal Christians and the rest of the world
• The Basis of Separation: The power of having and "us vs. them" mentality
• The Method of Separation or "Why Ostracism is Still a Good Idea"
• The Reason for Separation: Establishing why we are better Christians than everyone else
• The Attitude of Separation: Why nothing spiritual is ever accomplished without the power to judge and condemn others.
There are a great many examples throughout the sermon on why we need to be separate in such things as staying away from Christian bookstores, contemporary Christian radio stations, non-Pharisee mission activities and modern Christian scholarship.

THE CALVINISM DEBATE: MAKING MINCEMEAT OF THE OTHER SIDE

This 45-minute feature focuses on why we need to have this debate. It is vitally important for us to take a stand on our historic position with regard to our understanding of the mind of God. We must be able to articulate a position that dots all of the appropriate i's and crosses all the relevant t's in such a way that we are acceptable to our peers. It is vitally important that we not frame our arguments in a way that deviates one inch from our Pharisee tradition. I also explain at great length the benefits of spending time talking about evangelism, witnessing and sharing the faith without actually going out and doing any of those things.

DANGERS IN CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORES

Sadly and strangely, one of the great spiritual dangers facing Bible-believing churches today is the unscriptural material that lines the shelves of the typical Christian bookstore. This video message carefully exposes several of these dangerous philosophies that permeate the average Christian bookstore. An expose of dangerous authors to avoid includes such names as Robert Schuller, Kay Arthur, Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah, Billy Graham, Chuck Colson, John Maxwell, Philip Yancey, Jim Cymbala, Max Lucado, Elisabeth Elliot, Jerry Bridges, Jack Hayford, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, James Dobson, and C.S. Lewis. Since none of these wild-eyed radicals are True Pharisees, we need to avoid reading anything they have written. And just to prove I am a good Pharisee myself, all of my research is taken from the dust jackets of the books, the opinions of Pharisees who have read the books and my own personal prejudices and biases based on e-mails I have received from others.

DANGERS OF CONTEMPORARY WORSHIP MUSIC (Part 1 of a 2-part series on music)

I have put in more research on this series of messages than anything I have ever done, including the subject of eschatology. I have read about 30 books on the subject of contemporary praise, and I analyzed about 500 of the popular contemporary praise albums even though listening to all this garbage caused excruciating pain, severe hallucinations and an infection with a spirit that wanted to make me "joyful" in spite of my judgmental, condemning attitude at the moment. Through the years I have studied contemporary praise at large ecumenical conferences where I have attended with press credentials because I did not one anyone to think for a moment that I was a participant in such godless mayhem. I have attended services at congregations that are influential in the Contemporary Christian Worship movement, including Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in California, Bill Hybels' Willowcreek Community Church near Chicago, the Anaheim Vineyard Church, lately pastored by John Wimber, Carpenter's Home Church in Lakeland, Florida (where Michael W. Smith recorded his largest-selling worship album), and other congregations that are influential in this movement. Here are the main warnings I divulge in this sermon:
• Contemporary Christian Worship is built upon the false philosophy that music is neutral. Everyone knows that any music that is melodic, has a beat and uses non-spiritual instruments only excites the flesh and not the spirit.
• Contemporary Christian Worship is largely a rock & roll feeling-fest. It does not convey timeless doctrinal truth or inspire platonic, intellectual, non-emotional worship.
• Contemporary Christian Worship is not separated from the world. In fact it is so comfortable in the world that a number of musical groups and songs are being played on secular stations. This is clearly a sign of compromise with the world; not evangelism as they claim.
• Contemporary Christian Worship is one of the most insidious means of promoting the ecumenical movement. As we know, Pharisees cannot be associated in the least with any false denomination or we succumb to the spirit of compromise and violate the tenets of Biblical Separation by listening to this drivel.
• Contemporary Christian Worship goes hand in hand with a worldly philosophy of Christianity and a gradual lowering of all standards. It mixes worldliness and Christianity in such a way as to negate the message of purity and holiness necessary for maintaining our pious attitudes. It teaches that we are all equally loved by God and undermines the idea that of all God's children, he does have favorites - us Pharisees.
• Contemporary Christian Worship is confused about true biblical worship. It seeks to introduce elements of emotion and feeling when true worship is all about the intellect and the mind. Anything that appeals to emotion is strictly forbidden in true worship. We learn in the book of John chapter 4 that God is Truth and they that worship him must worship him in Truth. They seem to think that they must include the "Spirit" when worshipping God, which is far from what the Bible teaches.

THE DANGERS OF SOUTHERN GOSPEL MUSIC

This is part 2 of my extensively researched multi-media video presentation on contemporary worship music. It is a professionally produced documentary with a multiplicity of photographs and other visual and audio aids mixed into the presentation to illustrate the message. It is necessary to clear up misconceptions about Southern Gospel Music for a number of reasons.
• Southern Gospel is big business today and is very influential in Bible-believing churches, not only in the South, but also throughout the country, Canada and elsewhere.
• Many like Bill Gaither and other prominent names, are rapidly adopting the "music is neutral" philosophy of the Contemporary Christian Music world. In fact, any walls that once existed to separate Southern Gospel from the Christian rock world are rapidly being torn down.
• Commercial Southern gospel today is now nothing more than one of the branches of the larger CCM tree.
In this presentation I relate the history of Southern Gospel music from the quartets in the early 1900s and its spiritual foundations. I then go on to describe the evolution of the music toward commercialism and entertainment, particularly in the 1940s and 1950s and explain why Christianity should never be a financially viable enterprise. I describe how Southern Gospel quartets adopted the sexy dance music of the early 1900s, adopting the rhythms from ragtime, jazz, western swing, honky tonk, boogie woogie, and the blues. I never explain why this is wrong because it should be self-evident that anything done in bars and nightclubs should never be done in church. I distinguish between the two streams of Southern Gospel - a conservative (Spiritual) stream and a contemporary (Carnal) stream and explain how to tell the difference. I also explain how Southern Gospel (the carnal version) laid the foundation of rock music in the 1950s and show how many early rock & rollers got their start singing in churches. We explain why this is proof that the church is worldly instead of being evidence for how Christian art can have an impact on the world. We describe the vast influence that Bill Gaither, his minions and imitators have wielded on the Southern Gospel field since the 1980s. We document his rapid transition into the contemporary pop sounds and expose his ecumenical philosophy and show how this unscriptural philosophy is permeating Southern Gospel. I conclude with 10 practical suggestions on "Avoiding the Siren Sound of Southern Gospel Music."

(To Be Continued next week…)

Gamaliel/rjp

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.

John 4:23-24 (NIV)

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