Monday, January 09, 2017


One of these days VERY SOON I'm going to post a lengthy study and research paper I've done on the biblical materials about the subject of WORSHIP, particularly as it relates to what is commonly called the Regulative Principle and the Normative Principle. Put in simple terms those principles are respectively, “One can ONLY do things in worship services that the Scriptures give clear warrant to do," [Regulative] or, "One can DO anything they please in worship services as long as it is not condemned in scripture." [Normative]

I believe BOTH are aiming for something good. The Regulatives [Reformed folks basically] don’t want Scripture to be silenced. They want to take textual authority seriously. They don’t want Scripture to be a dusty set of standing orders that only functions to rule out certain things. I understand that and applaud them for it!

While the Normatives [Congregationalists basically] don't want to tie the hands of the Holy Spirit in leading us into new expressions of worship that can produce a legitimate hearing from the culture and might even give means to the Body of Christ expressing their giftedness. My understanding and applause continues!

But, as you can imagine if you know me at all, I think BOTH may be missing it a bit, and as a result congregations are being led into methods and means that may very well ROB them of adequately FULFILLING the scriptures themselves AND/OR manipulating them to have an experience that is just a bit short of being entertained. [Maybe not short of it at all!]

I'm convinced BOTH the Regulative AND the Normative may very well be MISSING what I see as the most important New Testament principle of worship which, for the lack of a better term, [I actually read it somewhere] I would call the EDIFYING PRINCIPLE of worship. This Principle is introduced to us from the text and gives us a freedom to be both creative AND discerning and would MAXIMIZE the gifts, talents and abilities of MEN AND WOMEN who are in the fellowship. Now I'm REALLY APPLAUDING!

This would allow us to get back to the textual guidance for the original purpose of corporate worship which is, as I see the text, NOT for a vertical emphasis, where it's all about FORGETTING each other and focusing on GOD ALONE, but , as the text shows, IS for a horizontal emphasis, [still talking about Corporate Worship here] where we focus on all the "ONE ANOTHER'S" of the scriptures and God is GLORIFIED [honored, experienced and seen to be present] in it all. You can see I believe that the "worship hour" may wind up having very little difference from "small groups," whether they're called community groups or flocks or___whatever! Corporate Worship is to be a congregational experience and NOT an Old Testament High-Priest experience! 

More to come later.

Monday, January 02, 2017


I've been busy with the holidays and have had little time to write. So here is a somewhat short, maybe even a bit simple but I trust an on target statement, about application of the scripture when it is being taught.
I like real application of scripture when it is taught. I am NOT talking about the kind of application that most Christians think of, as in "What should I DO for God?" I mean the APPLICATION that leads one to say, "I hear and am OVERWHELMED by what GOD HAS DONE FOR ME and will respond!"

This is because,

UNTIL__ a Christian realizes they don't HAVE to do ONE thing for God, OR try to change themselves to obtain the FAVOR of God, OR make any commitment, promise or vow to God to earn that favor, and UNTIL__ a Christian knows GOD ACCEPTS THEM and LOVES THEM just as they are because HE HAS ALREADY DONE FOR THEM WHAT THEY CANNOT DO themselves, namely, forgiven and cleansed them, is present within them to progressively empower and change them, given them every spiritual blessing they will ever need to live life which has come by Grace through Christ__their FOCUS will be on the WRONG place [their sins] instead of the RIGHT PLACE which is their spiritual portfolio IN CHRIST! THAT'S where you START with application!

[THAT is a long sentence and may well need reading AGAIN!]

Most people read the Bible as if it is a rule book for behavior, when in reality God gave us the Bible as a love letter declaring the good news that He requires NOTHING of sinners and describing in that love letter what has ALREADY been provided sinners precisely and completely, IN CHRIST JESUS! [Remember, the Old Testament is the ROOT and New Testament is the FLOWER both pointing to the ONE PERSON of CHRIST]

If we don't understand this, when we fail, and we will, we would simply grit our teeth and try harder to DO good and NOT DO bad and would wind up being discouraged, defeated, and maybe even disillusioned.

Whereas, when TRUE APPLICATION [What He's ALREADY done on our behalf] is made when the scriptures are taught, we then can FAITH IT TO BE SO and we then can choose to do or live IN RESPONSE to His Grace and Mercy. That's obedience [serving] birthed out of faith and love BECAUSE we know He FIRST LOVED US!

Paul B.