This post from John Piper argues that the defining sound of worship is congregational singing. I would agree, perhaps with a twist of congregational participation mostly expressed through singing.
They link to this article where the writer says
1. If we the congregation can’t hear ourselves its not worship.
2. If we can’t sing along its not worship
3. If you, the praise band are the center of attention, its not worship.
Yes! Well said! There are many more corollaries that could flow from John Pipers definition.
4. Sing songs together. Don’t just give us a few.
5. Teach us how to sing at home so that we don’t take up time learning in the service.
6. Judiciously, introduce new songs.
7l Make sure our congregations repertoire is rich.
8. Remind us that singing is a command and a fruit of being filled with the spirit.
I have long loved the doctrines of grace. But I have been unwilling to call myself a Calvinist. Why? There was baggage associated with a Christian culture that I did not like. – Pride, Hypercriticalness, Lack of concern for the lost, Stuffy worship. In recent years, some of that has abated.
But now Tim Challies highlights a new book where the author takes Calvinists to task for killing Calvinism. His concern is that some Calvinists:
- By loving Calvinism as an end in itself
- By becoming a theologian instead of a disciple
- By loving God’s sovereignty more than God himself
- By losing an urgency in evangelism
- By learning only from other Calvinists
- By tidying up the Bible’s “loose ends”
- By being an arrogant know-it-all
- By scoffing at the hang-ups others have with Calvinism
1 Peter 4:15 – Meddling – allotriepiskopos, lit. “overseer of the affairs of another,” In a sinlist with murder, thief, criminal.
Other English definitions – to interest oneself in what is not one’s concern : interfere without right or propriety
The actual act of meddling also means that the meddler is not a neutral party. Typically the meddler gets involved without understanding the whole picture. The meddler tries to portray themselves as a nice person who is “just trying to help” while they, in fact, make things much worse.
Mediation is different than meddling.
Websters 18:28 – 1. To have to do; to take part; to interpose and act in the concerns of others, or in affairs in which one’s interposition is not necessary; often with the sense of intrusion or officiousness.
He does not differentiate between the mature person who falls into this sin in your presence. And the person who is characterized by this sin. This list seems abrupt and more for the latter.
I especially like #4 and 5 and have used them.
Summary, I am free but not obligated to share anything with wife, elders, authorities.
Brian Croft has 10 Practical Tools for Effective Hospital Visits
I might also add:
Bring a Bible that you can leave.
Don’t stay too short. Don’t stay too long.
Quick Post on “Good” and Bad Gossip
Bad gossip – talking to someone who is not part of the problem or solution about an issue or a person. Not even to “pray” about it. Gossip is saying things in private you would not say in public. Flattery is saying things in public you would not say in private. – (Not original with me, can’t remember where I saw it.)
“Good” gossip – I am using the term loosely to describe the Biblical command to talk to spiritual authorities about issues in the body. In 1 Corinthians 1:11 Paul says that some from Chloe’s household have, in addition to delivering a letter asking questions, have also reported problems in the church. They reported real spiritual problems to real spiritual authorities.
Church members need to be encouraged to talk with those in authority when they have a concern. We cannot operate on a Dont Ask Dont Tell policy.
Biblical Confidentiality – In addition, the church needs to be instructed about biblical confidentiality. Some have sought to manipulate others by saying, “I am going to tell you something but you have to promise not to tell.”
The biblical response is “I cannot make that promise. I can promise you biblical confidentiality. I am not going to run out and tell others. But I cannot not nor should not promise absolute confidentiality.” (Seem Matthew 18:15ff, 1 Corinthians 5:1ff). If this is a manipulative situation, you might even need to add, “And you should not ever ask this of anyone. It is wrong.”
Our people need to be clear that we do not needlessly pass on information. BUT we do bring in spiritual authorities as warranted. Pastors are not just church event coordinators. They are real shepherds of God’s flock.
Another post on this subject here at the blog Sunday Women.
NEVER share your negative speculations. There are people in ministry who are tough to love, but it’s destructive to share assumptions about their motives.
RARELY share information particularly disturbing to your spouse. Me? I can’t stomach details of substance abuse, so my husband loves me by keeping silent.
RARELY share hurtful information that has no solution. If it can’t be fixed, don’t bother sharing.
SOMETIMES share hurtful information that has a solution. These things can be fixed or, at least, helped.
SOMETIMES share hurtful information because its burden is too great. Some secrets need the additional comfort, wisdom, or prayer that only your spouse can give.
OFTEN share information that will soon be public knowledge. This gives your spouse a chance to mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepare.
ALWAYS share encouragement. Spiritual fruit, progress in holiness, and success in gospel labor are things every spouse needs to hear.
Good thoughts for us as elders/shepherds. Read the whole thing.