I’m not a theologian. But I’ve been a Christian for years and still attend church. Lately, I’ve had three questions about the theology of the part of the service usually referred to as the praise and worship. I’ve noticed that we sing a number of songs that beg God to come and be with us. This has me confused. Isn’t God already there when we assemble? Since He lives is us, we bring the presence of God to the service. I just want to thank Him for His presence and for indwelling me. So why do we spend so much time begging God to come?
Second, we sing songs telling God how bad and needy we are. Doesn’t the One who created us already know this. I certainly know I need God. Without Him, I would be a mess. That’s one of the reasons I am in church, to be mindful of my need of God on a regular basis. We do need God and the freedom He brings to our lives. A Sunday ago, we sang a song about freedom. It was a moving song that said, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” But the worship leader kept saying, “God we need your freedom, please bring your freedom. Bring down the walls so freedom can come.”Over and over we pleaded for God to bring His freedom yet we were singing, “where the spirit of the Lord is (He was right there), there is freedom.” Again, I was confused. God’s spirit was moving in that place. Freedom was available if people surrendered to the freedom giver. God did not have to be ordered to bring freedom. God was already doing what we sang, ‘Showering us with mercies and grace.” But the leader was shouting for the walls to come down in order for freedom to reign.
Third, most of the song lyrics are about me, my struggle and my need. I’m ready to sing to God, enough about me. I want to declare how great He is, sing about His majesty, power, holiness… The more I focus on who God is, the deeper I go in worship. The more I worship Him, the more I am healed, changed, and see my sin. It seems that by the time we get to a song that actually talks about God, the time is gone.
I know worship leaders deal with criticism all the time so I rarely say anything. My husband was a worship leader for 16 years and heard everyone’s complaints about everything! But the theology of what we do and sing during that part of the service should be biblical. And as someone who has been in the faith a long time, I often find myself confused by the leading and lyrics of some of the songs. I’m not sure how this should be addressed since no one is asking my opinion. But my concern is that we don’t leave people thinking that God has to be begged to come to us, needs to be reminded of how needy we are, and that the focus should be on us.
A number of years ago, I found this on a website, Thirdage.com. It’s simple but true.
This is what happy couples do…
- Go to bed at the same time.
- Cultivate common interests
- Walk hand in hand or side by side.
- Make trust and forgiveness your default.
- Focus on what your partner does right not wrong.
- Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work.
- Say “I love you” and “Have a good day” every morning.
- Say goodnight every night regardless of how you feel.
- Do a “weather” check during the day.
- Be proud to be seen with your partner.
Are you a happy couple?
When John left his wife for another woman, his wife was shocked. She saw pictures of his lover on her on Facebook and could not believe it. She was not attractive. What was going on that he would leave her for this woman?
The stereotype is that men leave their wives for hotter, younger women as a sort of trophy wife, but the stereotype doesn’t hold true in most cases.
Here is what typical happens: Most men do not cheat with women younger or women who are more attractive than their wives. What they look for is a woman who is more interesting than their wives, more caring, more passionate, and a good listener.
The same is true for women, except women do tend to look for men who are fitter than then their husbands or partners. But when it comes to men who listen, care and show passion, women are even more likely to choose these qualities. And maybe surprisingly, women want more sex.
All of these findings were based on survey data of 4538 members of an infidelity site by Victoria Milan. So these are what actual cheaters say. Affairs are more complicated than having sex and this data, whether scientifically sound or not, speaks to a trend I have seen in clinical practical. Cheaters do not usually go for someone more attractive than their spouses/partner. Yet, when men and women discover an affair, they tend to get fixated on the appearance of the other person. However, the affair is less about appearance and more about feeling cared about, listened to and creating moments of passion and friendship.
A prevention then is to keep the marital friendship alive and active. Show fondness and admiration regularly to your partner. And keep the fire of romance going by doing new things together and having date nights. Listen, care and keep love alive!
We have this ongoing debate in our household. Do people really use the amount of profanity we hear on TV and in media?
My teens seem to think media reflect the culture. I think media push the boundary and makes it appear as if people use constant profanity. In my work world, I do not hear this level of profanity. Maybe I am naive or not exposed to the average person who swears all day. I don’t know, but my daily life (lived in the secular world) is not filled with profanity.
According to the Parents Television Council, a nonpartisan educational organization advocating responsible entertainment, the amount and gravity of free broadcast network television profanity is higher than ever. Compared to a few years ago, broadcasters have deliberately unleashed profanity onto the public. A decision July 2010 by the Second Court of Appeals ruled that expletives on late-night TV could fly freely and do not violate decency laws. Profanity on prime time television (8-11p.m. ET) increased 69% since 2005. While the language may not violate decency law, it violates my sensibilities.
My question is WHY do we need to hear all this profanity?
Are we at a loss for words? Do people really have trouble thinking of other ways to express themselves? Or does media love the shock value and constantly push the boundary of decency?
And what is the end goal here? So our kids can sound like little trash-mouthed adults? This is something we want? Honestly, I don’t get it.
Profanity is crass and indicates a limited use of the English language. It offends. It often objectifies women and is degrading. Nothing good comes from desensitizing us to vulgarity.
So why do you think profanity is so prevalent in media? What is the end goal of ramping up the vulgarity?