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Modern Worship

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Too Much Joel, Not Enough Jesus

Writer: Joel Engle
Category: Modern Worship

Lately, I have been dealing with the issue of preferences over Biblical commands. For instance, many older people prefer Southern Gospel music over contemporary Christian music. Some (a minority) think that listening to “Christian Rock” is a sin. Their preferred music style is “of God” and the other is “not of God.” This is illogical and ridiculous.

The younger generation scoffs at the structure, formality, and language of the older generation. They don’t like Southern Gospel or piano and organ music. “Hate” might be an even better term for their views on that type of music. Some in this camp think that just being old is a sin! I hope it’s not – I’m getting older every day! This mindset is equally illogical and ridiculous.
This goes on forever in the church; people who make their preferences into LAW. I know how this works because I used to do it. I once took a buddy of mine to Uncle Julio’s in Fort Worth. I think they have the best chicken fajitas on the planet. He ordered an enchilada. I was furious at him because I very clearly explained to him that the chicken fajitas were the way to go. “Liberal,” I thought to myself as I quietly condemned my friend. Of course, I was being an idiot.
As I study the Bible I find that Jesus, Paul, and the other writers usually attacked those who made their human preference the LAW for all to follow while ignoring the Spirit of God’s heart on certain issues. There are commands in the New Testament for sure. Some are negative:
Don’t murder. (I hope you believe in this one!)
Don’t commit sexual immorality is another big one.
Don’t add works to the gospel of Christ.
Don’t hate others.
Don’t cause dissension over personal issues.
Some are positive:
Be filled with the Spirit.
Show respect for others.
Submit to one another.
Set your mind on things above.
Fix your eyes on Jesus.
Today we have many people (including me) who demand that everyone embrace the things that they like and believe EXACTLY what they believe. If you don’t, you are a bad Christian. I have lived that way and am not proud of it. I am a zealot by nature and can go way overboard. Too much Joel, not enough Jesus.
Do you know anyone else like this?
Christ has set us free from trying to measure up to God in our own power. He is now our life. There is more freedom in Jesus Christ than the human mind can ever understand. Yes, there are commands, but the commands fall under the authority of the Lordship of Christ. It begins there as He rules us from the inside out.
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