Image credit: User TBIT on Pixabay
Image credit: User TBIT on Pixabay
Westminster Shorter Catechism: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:14
Let your light shine before people in such a way that they will see your good actions and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Every believer I know agrees that every thought and action should glorify God; many with a shrug. because it should go without saying. But many who call themselves believers simply are not living this way.
However, when the woman saw that the tree produced good food, was attractive in appearance, and was desirable for making one wise, she took of its fruit and ate it. Then she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate some, too. As a result, they both understood what they had done, and they became aware that they were naked. Genesis 3:6,7
“If you think it’s the wrong thing for you to serve the Lord [Wrong; certainly not. Inconvenient at times. It’s just that serving the Lord isn’t always the thing I want to do.], then choose for yourselves today whom you will serve—the gods whom your ancestors served on the other side of the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose territories you are living. (Certainly not. My gods were only invented a few years ago.) But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
There will be suffering and anguish for every human being who practices doing evil, for Jews first and for Greeks as well. But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who practices doing good. Romans 2:9,10
Who are you to tell me that doing what I enjoy is evil?
I therefore urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but continuously be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is—what is proper, pleasing, and perfect. Romans 12:1,2
“To the messenger of the church in Laodicea, write:
‘The Amen, the witness who is faithful and true, the originator of God’s creation, says this:
‘I know your actions, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. Since you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth. You say, “I am rich. I have become wealthy. I don’t need anything.” Yet you don’t realize that you are miserable, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore, I advise you to buy from me gold purified in fire so you may be rich, white clothes to wear so your shameful nakedness won’t show, and ointment to put on your eyes so you may see. I correct and discipline those whom I love, so be serious and repent! Look! I am standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he will eat with me. I will give a place to sit with me on my throne to the one who overcomes, just as I have overcome and have sat down with my Father on his throne. Revelation 3:14-21
All Scriptures are from the International Standard Version (ISV)
Public domain image from a painting by John Rogers Herbert
Jesus and the disciples attended Jewish synagogues and temple worship. These services included stringed, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The book of Psalms was the hymn book of the second temple. After finishing the Passover meal they sang a hymn, presumably not a Psalm, and presumably without instruments, before walking across the Kidron Valley to the garden of Gethsemane. Until forced out, first century Christians continued to worship in synagogues and follow Jewish customs.
Paul wrote to the new Gentile converts “Let the word of the Messiah inhabit you richly with wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and singing to God with thankfulness in your hearts.” Colossians 3:16 and “Then you will recite to one another psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; you will sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts,” Ephesians 5:19. This admonition was taken by some to mean antiphonal singing, with either two choirs or dividing the congregation into two parts and alternating the parts of the hymn or song.
Pliny the Younger wrote a letter to Trajan (61-113) about the proper punishment of Christians. “They had been accustomed to come together on a fixed day before daylight and to sing responsively a song to Christ as God.” (AD 112?)
Five times in the book of Revelation a song is sung in heaven; 5:9, 5:11, 14:1, 14:3, 15:3. Harps are played heaven. Revelation 5:8, 14:2, and 15:2. The musical instruments of Babylon are condemned, Revelation 18:22. Trumpets in heaven are sounded, but not used as musical instruments. Zechariah 9:14, Matthew 24:31, 1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Hebrews 12:19, Revelation 1:10, 4:1, 8:2, 6,7,8,10,12,13, 9:1,13,14
Justin the Martyr wrote (AD 155?) in his Apology to the Emperor Chapter 13 “to use [material possessions] for ourselves and those who need, and with gratitude to Him to offer thanks by invocations and hymns for our creation …”
“Chapter 41. The crucifixion predicted And again, in another prophecy, the Spirit of prophecy, through the same David, intimated that Christ, after He had been crucified, should reign, and spoke as follows: Sing to the Lord, all the earth, and day by day declare His salvation. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, to be feared above all the gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols of devils; but God made the heavens. Glory and praise are before His face, strength and glorying are in the habitation of His. Give Glory to the Lord, the Father everlasting. Receive grace, and enter His presence, and worship in His holy courts. Let all the earth before His face; let it be established, and not shaken. Let them rejoice among the nations. The Lord has reigned from the tree.”
Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus of Rome, approximately AD 235? “Then, rising up after supper, the children and virgins having prayed, they shall sing psalms. Then the deacon, holding the mixed cup of the offering, shall say a Hallelujah Psalm. Then, the presbyter having commanded, ‘And also such-and-such Psalms,’ after the bishop has offered the cup with the proper thanksgiving, all shall say “Hallelujah” as the Psalms are sung. And they shall say: We praise Him who is God most high; Glorified and praised is He, Then, when the Psalm is completed, he shall give thanks over the bread, and shall give the fragments to all the believers.”
Music had only two purposes in the earliest Church. It was used to instruct, build up, edify, believers. It was also used in direct address to God to worship God. There are no recorded instances of performing music to please those who listened. Performing music just to please the listeners has been condemned as a sin by thousands of pastors for over 1500 years. At the same time, music to glorify God is essential to worship in the Christian Church. The Spirit of the prophet must be controlled by the prophet and this includes music.
Thoughts on Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (from one who has not seen the movie) after just re-reading the book.
I personally believe that Disney did us a favor by removing all mention of God from the movie version. The name Jesus is only mentioned one time in the book, and in that instance as an equal with Euclid, DaVinci, Einstein, Gandhi, and others opposing evil. It is not a Christian book, though it promotes many Christian doctrines such as family, love, and faithfulness. It seems to be on a similar level to Harry Potter, but with Bible verses.
The writing style is very interesting. Like most books based on feelings, L’Engle gives just enough thought to the serious issues (raised on almost every page) to drive me crazy. It is well paced, with interesting action. For a very short book, Meg’s character is well developed.
Why did Disney wait so long to make this movie? The book seems to be founded on every modern Disney ideal. The protagonist is a teenage girl. Her parents are not together until the very end. Dad is a prisoner whom the children must rescue. The three spirit guides are female (Think Sleeping Beauty and her fairy guardians). One actually dresses in black like a witch. They are more powerful than any human. One of them used to be a star. Stars are living, spiritual beings in the book. There is a medium with a crystal ball, and she is called a medium. Discipline suppresses individuality. The universe is filled with planets, each one inhabited. The three children, with Calvin added to make three, all have psychic powers. Psychic powers are not only good, but necessary, to fight evil.
The book is told through Meg, the protagonist’s, feelings, a Disney’s standard formula. She is unsure of herself, yet attacks and beats up an older boy to defend her siblings. His mother calls her mother complaining that Meg injured her son. In the end it is Meg’s love for her 5 year old brother that breaks the hypnotic spell and saves him. Her love is a feeling, an emotional outburst, rather than any deeper concept as in the Scriptures.
Like C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength, earth is a silent planet being attacked by an evil psychic force. But Meg’s father is held prisoner on another planet in another solar system which is completely controlled by an evil disembodied brain called IT, which hypnotizes and requires complete obedience. In the end, they barely escape with her 5 year old brother Charles Wallace and return home to earth. Evil is left unchallenged, which cries out for a sequel.