Why we Worship

PSALM 47

Clap your hands, all peoples!
  Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
  a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
  and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
  the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

God has gone up with a shout,
  the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
  Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
  sing praises with a psalm!

Why Sing?

God reigns over the nations;
  God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
  as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
  he is highly exalted!


Why Scripture?



 


God has a standard that he requires of his creatures. And when we fall short of the mark, he anoints prophets to be his mouthpiece. So just where are today's prophets? And will we pay attention in time?


Recent Entries

God? Who Needs Him?
May 31, 2013
Self-sufficient humanism. Paul saw it coming ā€“ ā€œlovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.ā€

Imago Dei
September 12, 2012
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Why Can't I Pray?
August 18, 2012
The bible gives us several reasons, but according to Jeremy Taylor, a deceitful heart is at the root of prayerlessness.

It's Not Rocket Science
July 23, 2012
To keep in step with the Spirit should be our daily quest. And if we are successful at that, all of life falls into place.

Theological Steak
April 10, 2012
These words by P. T. Forsythe on the magnificence of Christ's work are to theology what Ruth's Chris is to a good steak.

Describing the Indescribable
February 11, 2012
What we have in Christ will take all eternity to describe. But for one segment of one sermon, a great preacher made a mighty attempt.

Making Sense Of It All
January 30, 2012
Where are things headed? Is there rhyme and reason to the endless cycle of summer, fall, winter and spring? Is there a plan in place, or is randomness the explanation?

A Voice Crying In The Wilderness

November 2, 2008



I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. Ezekiel 22:30

The book of Jeremiah is a page-turner! Written six hundred years before the birth of Christ, it shows a man representing God, speaking to the present condition of society and condemning it, reminding that society that "we can do better," and that God is watching until we do. Or else.

True prophets have a view of this world that is based on another world, and are not afraid to point out the disparity, often dethroning idolized persons and dearly held beliefs.

Malcolm Muggeridge was one such person in the Twentieth Century, and he is greatly missed. His somewhat late conversion to Jesus was the missing piece to a life filled with insight. While stationed in Russia in the Thirties, he saw through the mask of Stalin when Eleanor Roosevelt and the New York Times didn't, and all his life he maintained a distinct insight into the human heart, and his ability to put it into words, coupled with a healthy dose of cynicism turned him into a prophet for his times.
   
Even the Beatles didn't fool him. In a 1968 article in Esquire magazine, he called them "four vacant youths...dummy figures with tousled heads no talent". (Well, maybe the talent part he got wrong) But a new biography on John Lennon by Philip Norman seems to more than support his suspicions.
   
As rector of Edinburgh University in the tumult of the late sixties, Muggeridge was confronted by a demand by the Student Representative Council that they be provided with "pot and pills" and in 1968, he chose to resign, rather than cave in to their demands. In a dramatic sermon before the student body at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, he resigned his post. The sermon, entitled 'Another King," would do Jeremiah proud.
   
"The students here in this university, as in other universities....are supposed to be the spearhead of progress, flattered and paid for by their admiring seniors, an elite who will happily and audaciously carry the torch of progress into the glorious future opening before them."

"Now, speaking for myself, there is practically nothing that they could do in a mood of rebelliousness or refusal to accept the ways and values of our run-down, spiritually impoverished way of life, for which I shouldn't feel some degree of sympathy or, at any rate, understanding. "

"Yet how infinitely sad; how, in a macabre sort of way, funny, that the form their insubordination takes should be a demand for Pot and Pills; for the most tenth-rate sort of escapism and self-indulgence ever known! It is of one of those situations a social historian with a sense of humour will find very much to his taste."

"All is prepared for a marvellous release of youthful creativity; we await the great works of art, the highspirited venturing into new fields of perception and understanding—and what do we get? The resort of any old slobbering debauchee anywhere in the world at any time—Dope and Bed."
   
"......So, dear Edinburgh students, this is likely to be the last time I address you, and this is what I want to say—and I don't really care whether it means anything to you or not, whether you think there is anything in it or not. I want you to believe that this row I have had with your elected officers has nothing to do with any puritanical attitudes on my part."

"I have no belief in abstinence for abstinence's own sake, no wish under any circumstances to check any fulfilment of your life and being. But I have to say to you this: that whatever life is or is not about, it is not to be expressed in terms of drug stupefaction and casual sexual relations. However else we may venture into the unknown it is not I assure you on the plastic wings of Playboy magazine or psychedelic fancies."
   
And then, like any true prophet, he laid out the grand and glorious to them. He gave them Jesus. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
   
"May I commend this Beatitude to you as having some bearing on our present controversies and discontents. To see God is the highest aspiration of man, and has preoccupied the rarest human spirits at all times. Seeing God means understanding, seeing into the mystery of things. It is, or should be, the essential quest of universities like this one, and of their students and their staff. Note that the realisation of this quest is achieved, not through great and good deeds, nor even through thought, however perceptive and enlightened, certainly not through sensations, however generated, nor what is called success, however glittering. The words are clear enough— Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."

And then, classic, prophetic, razor-sharp Muggeridge.....

"What are we to do about it, this crazy Gadarene slide? (Quick Bible lesson - a reference to the herd of pigs that Jesus cast the demons into. They went rushing over a cliff as a group and were drowned in a lake) I never met a man made happy by money or worldly success or sensual indulgence, still less by the stupefaction of drugs or alcohol."
   
"Yet we all, in one way or another, pursue these ends, as the advertiser well knows. He offers them in Technicolor and stereosound, and there are many takers. The politician likewise, often with a nondescript retinue of academic and clerical support, offers the same package in collective terms."

"Underneath, we all know how increasingly hollow and unconvincing it is— the Great Society, mankind coming of age, men like gods, all the unspeakable cant of utopians on the run. Our very art and literature, such as they are, convey the same thing—the bad dreams of a materialistic society. Bacon and Pinter tapering off into the sheer incoherence of a Burroughs and a Becket, with the Beatles dancing on our grave, and Allen Ginsberg playing his hand harmonium, and that delectable old Hindu con-man the Maharishi, throwing in his blessing."

"Communist utopianism produced Stalin; the pursuit of happiness, American style, produced Richard Nixon, and our special welfare variety has produced Harold Wilson. If that doesn't put paid to all three nothing ever will. As for the scientific utopia looming ahead, we have caught a glimpse of that, too, in the broiler houses, the factory farms and lately the transplant operations, with still warm bodies providing the spare parts for patching up others, and so ad infinitum."

"So I come back to where I began, to that other king, one Jesus; to the Christian notion that man's efforts to make himself personally and collectively happy in earthly terms are doomed to failure. He must indeed, as Christ said, be born again, be a new man, or he's nothing. So at least I have concluded, having failed to find in past experience, present dilemmas and future expectations, any alternative proposition. As far as I am concerned, it is Christ or nothing."
   
May God in our day give us men and women who stand in the gap.  who remind our culture of what true folly is, and reawaken in us the desire to be pure in heart, so that we can see God, and taste of His goodness and grace.









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