HILLSONG WORSHIP ON TOUR, BUT DON'T CALL IT WORSHIP

This abbreviated article by JONATHAN AIGNER JANUARY 31, 2020 again from Patheos Discussions about Worship for Thinking People. You can go to the Patheos website to view the entire article. See also my posts Praise and Worship and More on Praise and Worship.

True worship doesn’t capitalize on entertainment pop culture.

According to ticketmaster.com, pricing for a general admission seat begins at $29 and goes up all the way to $61.50. Hillsong doesn’t come cheap!

If you want to shell out a mere $206 per ticket, you can achieve true worship bliss with the Awake package, which includes:

  • Meet and Greet
  • Photo Opportunity with Hillsong Worship
  • Refreshments (I’m assuming no beer and wine.)
  • Devotional with Hillsong Worship
  • Reserved Floor Seating
  • Dedicated ‘Awake’ Entrance
  • Pre-show Merch Shopping Opportunity (Additional fees apply, of course.)
  • Custom Lanyard
  • VIP Host Exclusive Gift Bag, including sticker, lyric book, Awake hat, pen, digital download

It’s not worship. That’s blatant false advertising.

That’s why I shout, “Wake up! It’s a huge deal!”

These sorts of acts, promoted by the so-called “worship industry,” have hijacked the authentic worship gathering, the beautiful liturgy of the Christian church, the source and summit of the Christian life, and using the same strategies as secular entertainment, they’ve turned it into a commodity. That is a grievous thing.

They might as well be calling it the “Awake and Give Us All Your Money” tour.

Worship Is Costly, But Admission Is Free

You’ve probably all heard the analogy that we’re all equal at the foot of the cross. There’s room on that level ground, of course. Admission is free. But it demands much of us, certainly more than a few bucks. When I hear people claim that they’ve gone to events like this, found momentary euphoria, and have worshiped as never before, I don’t just feel sceptical, I feel a sense of dread. The words of Bonhoeffer frequently echo in my mind.

“The word of cheap grace has been the ruin of more Christians than any commandment of works.”

This kind of worship goes part and parcel with cheap grace. They claim to bestow the gifts of God on whoever buys a ticket and shows up. After you’ve paid your admission, it requires absolutely nothing of you. The historic liturgy of the church has a different offer. “Come and participate in the life of the church, but be prepared to give of yourself.”

Worship is not a product. It cannot be bought and sold. That’s the grace of it all. The grace available to God’s people in worship is not something that can be bought, but once it’s bestowed, it is all-consuming.

PRAISE AND WORSHIP

Each of us is told to sing praises to God. Worship is corporate, it is not having someone with a microphone singing at them.

The worshipping church doesn’t consume music, it makes music. But the modern concept of a lead singer arose from commercial pop music, written for a soloist or a small group. It’s no wonder, then, that most live pop worship sounds quite similar. A “leader” singing with pop inflection and affected tone, while ad libbing and improvising rhythm and melody, doesn’t ask of a congregation, “Sing with me.” It says, “Approach congregational singing like it’s a concert.”

We are living in the days of the celebrity Christian. We have witnessed the advent of the “worship superstar,” especially over the last two decades. Granting a microphone to a musician is offering them a whole lot of power and prestige. Some take the opportunity to showcase their own affected pop styling and build their celebrity in the mould of so many others. Some have exploited the vulnerability of an emotionally-compromised congregation  Just look at the record sales for the so-called “worship industry.”

Because our culture is so used to listening to music for entertainment, we make our own celebrities. Make no mistake about it. The church does this, too. We begin to associate worship with a person and a performance, rather than corporate prayer through Word and Sacrament.

Listen to the attached performance and understand why Pastor Andy Savage. said the following: “And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason you never give a worship leader the microphone. This particular Sunday will be forever chronicled on the internet and known as the Sunday Lowpoint, certainly not the Highpoint…

MY HOUSE WILL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER

At Jesus resurrection, the Scriptures clearly reveal that God, our Heavenly Father, enthroned Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all government and authority, all power and dominion, and any title or sovereignty that can be named.

“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesian 1:17-21

The amazing thing is we share this position on the throne with Jesus, “even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” Ephesians 2:4-6

Sadly, most have not received this revelation which the Holy Spirit, through the scriptures, makes available to us, so instead of reigning as kings, we find ourselves still toiling as slaves.

Similarly, God declared to Israel in Exodus 19:6, the purpose for which he redeemed them from Egypt; “And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” “A kingdom of priests” speaks of a dominion restored – kingship in place of slavery. God offered Israel a double privilege: to minister as priests and to reign as kings. For the most part , the nation failed to live up to God’s gracious promises. A few of the OT  saints were the exception such as Daniel.

To those redeemed by faith in Christ, God renews the calling He gave to Israel. In 1 Peter 2:5 Christians are called “an holy priesthood” and our ministry is “to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” In 1 Peter 2:9 Christians are further called “a royal (or kingly) priesthood. In the book of Revelation the same phrase is applied twice to those redeemed by faith in Jesus Christ (Rev. 1:5-6 and Rev. 5:9-10).

Such is the double ministry that Jesus now exercises at the Father’s right hand. As King, He rules. As Priest, He intercedes: “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25

The “spiritual sacrifices” offered up by us are the various forms of prayer – particularly worship and intercession. As priest we share Jesus ministry of prayer and intercession. If we would rule as kings, we must serve as priests. The practice of our priestly ministry is the key to our exercise of our kingly authority. It is through prayer and intercession that we administer the authority that is ours in the name of Jesus.

In Psalm 110: 1-4 David paints a picture of Christ reigning as king and priest together with His believing people. Verse 2 describes the way in which Christ’s kingly authority is exercised: ” The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion; Rule in the midst of Your enemies”.

This is the situation in the world today. The enemies of Christ have not been finally subdued, they are still actively at work opposing His rule and His Kingdom. However Christ has been exalted and given authority over them all. Thus He rules now “in the midst of His enemies.”

In the world the forces of evil are rampant on every hand rejecting the authority of Christ and opposing the work of His kingdom. But “in the midst” Christians (the church) need to assemble in divine order as kings and priests. Out of our assembly the rod of Christ’s authority, exercised in His name “is sent forth” through our prayers. 

Want to be challenged on role of prayer in the lives of Christians then listen to Jim Cymbala on My House Shall Be Called A House Of Prayer.

JESUS – YOUR GREAT NAME (Lyric video by Todd Dulaney)

After so many posts on end times prophecies, all of which indicate Christians will have their faith tested during the tribulation prophesied by many of the O.T. prophets, particularly Daniel and in Revelation, I thought I should include this video of Todd Dulaney rendering POWER IN YOUR NAME. I was inspired and reminded of the following verse of Scripture which clearly shows that at the soon coming of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all He created. I should acknowledge Emeka Ofili’s website which is where I saw the YOUR GREAT NAME video.

“God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 2 Philippians 2:9-11

‘Your Great Name’ Lyrics – Todd Dulaney

We love to, Call Your Name
It’s something, We cannot Explain
That Happens, When We Proclaim
Your Great Name, Your Great Name

King Jesus, No Other Name
King Jesus, None Stronger
We can Call on You
Thing Changes
When we call on Your Name

There’s Power in the Name of Jesus
Power in Your Name
Things Change when we call You Jesus
Things when we call Your Name

I’m Free when I call You Jesus
I’m Free when I call Your Name
I’m Free when I call You Jesus
I’m Free when I call Your Name

Call; When I call Your Name
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call; When I call Your Name
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: Demons Trembles at that Name
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: I feel much stronger when I call You
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call; I’m healed When (x2)
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: I’m set Free (x2)
Resp: When I call Your Name
CAll; I’m alive when I call You
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: Yes God, Yes God
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: I Feel much better when I call
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: I Feel much stronger when I call
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: I Feel like blessing when I call
Resp: When I call Your Name
Call: I Feel my Victory when I call
Resp: When I call Your Name

Call: I Feel a shifting when I call
Resp: When I Call Your Name
Call: I Feel a blessing when I call
Resp: When I Call Your Name

AWAKEN THE DAWN RALLY WASHINGTON DC, OCT 6th – 9th, 2017

PRAY FOR THE ORGANISERS OF AND PARTICIPANTS IN THIS SIGNIFICANT EVENT COMING UP THIS WEEKEND ON THE NATIONAL MALL IN WASHINGTON DC. FIFTY TENTS WILL BE ERECTED ON THE MALL. ONE FOR EACH STATE. BE ENCOURAGED, WATCH THE SHORT INSPIRATIONAL VIDEO BELOW.

Tens of thousands of Christians from every state  are expected to attend this weekend’s event, Bradshaw (Awaken The Dawn) told Christian Post, and he believes that the time frame of this event is significant and strategic.

America’s Tent of Meeting happens to coincide with the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, which began Wednesday, and marks the 20th anniversary weekend of Promise Keepers, where hundreds of thousands of Christian men gathered on the National Mall to rededicate themselves to God and recommit themselves to their families.

“We really just want to gather around the work of Jesus and the presence of God,” said David Bradshaw in a phone interview Tuesday with The Christian Post. Bradshaw is the director of the Fredericksburg, Virginia-based Prayer Furnace, one of ATM’s organisers, who will be speaking on stage. The goal is “to throw a public, audacious, bold, visible celebration of Jesus’ worth,” he said, noting that worship and prayer are at the centre of the event.

Awaken the Dawn, Bradshaw added, is on a “rescue mission” for this generation and he believes we are living in a time when the Church of Jesus Christ must come together to stand in the gap and pray and proclaim the Gospel in order to see a substantive spiritual shift in America and reach the youth of today with “a new Jesus movement.” Patterned after this weekend’s event in the nation’s capital, ATD hopes to visit every state capital and as many university campuses that they can in 2018 for a subsequent prayer initiative called “Tent America.”

WORSHIP THAT EXALTS ALL THREE MEMBERS OF THE TRINITY

So many worship songs are simple or cliche. This one from Hillsong will astound you. All three members of The Trinity are acknowledged in this worship song. How important it is we know the roles of each member of The Trinity.

Our heavenly Father sent His Son to pay the price of our redemption, to bring us back into a relationship with God. The Son made it possible for our heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirit.                               

“The spirit of a man is the lamp of God. Proverbs 20:27 and “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the spirit of God.” 1 Corinth. 2:11.

All three members of the Trinity are involved in our salvation. It is essential we understand their roles. To know that the Holy Spirit is our counsellor, our comforter, our teacher. How often have we quenched His work in us and grieved Him. He is the third person of the Trinity. He will indwell us forever including our resurrected body. We cannot be holy with the Holy Spirit indwelling us.

The Gathering in Jerusalem

Gathering in Jerusalem

 

It is now the second day of The Gathering. It is impossible to explain with words what I have experienced over the one and half days of the conference. Go to The Gathering website and connect to the conference ” live stream”. You will be blessed mightily – you will experience what worship will be like in heaven. It is also being videoed so you will be able to get a copy to bless your church.

The most amazing thing is the number of Chinese worshippers that are here from mainland China, at least 1500 hence the conference is being broadcast in English and Mandarin. Translation is available to many other languages as well.

God is acting in HIStory in His city and nation in a new and world transforming way. To see Israeli  Jewish and Arab Christian pastors impacted by the presence and passionate  worship of so many Asians was remarkable. They came on stage repenting of past sins and committing to unite to take the Gospel forward in a new way led only by the Holy Spirit. Only God is able to do what happened at this conference last night and this morning. I can’t wait to experience the worship again and to see what God will do with the rest of The Gathering.

You need to go online and experience it yourself.