Fish linked to an article on WORSHIP. It is a fact that the ONLY worship concept for the Church of Christ (the Rock) in the wilderness and in numerous PATTERNS in the New Testament and for centuries of church history is to "Give attendance to the public reading of the Word for COMFORT and DOCTRINE. It is a fact known in the Church of the Cave of the Bear Clan that musical "noises" destroys the COMFORT and forces you to worship the performer and their performance. Fish endorses the false claim that:
Jesus says in John 4:23-24, "But the hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." It doesnt say we can worship God anyway we want, but we "must worship Him in spirit and in truth". The word "must" makes it absolute. There is no other way we can worship God and be acceptable to Him. The word "must", according to Webster, expresses "an obligation, a requirement, a necessity, a certainty, and something that must be done". When "must" is used it means that it is not optional. Here the word "must" is expressing that in spirit and in truth is the only way to acceptably worship God.
The MUST or LEGAL demand is not that we must WORSHIP but from reading 101a: because God IS Spirit or MIND you must worship IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH. There goes those prepositions again.
John 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
John 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; PLACE
<font color="#FFFFFF">.....and ye say, that IN JERUSALEM is the PLACE .....where men ought to worship.
John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh,
.....when ye shall neither in this mountain, PLACE
.....nor yet at Jerusalem, PLACE worship the Father.
John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is,
.....when the true worshippers shall worship the Father
in spirit PLACE
.....and in truth: thy WORD is truth
.....for the Father SEEKETH such to worship him.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him
.....must worship him in spirit PLACE and in truth.
Paul COMMANDED this pattern to Timothy and a disciple cannot misunderstand. I can say with certainty that the preacher DOES NOT obey the direct command from the Church in the wilderness onward:
Acts 15:21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that PREACH him, being READ in the synagogues every sabbath day.
Charles Spurgeon asked: Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?
Then again, "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers .., for the work of the ministry" (Eph. 4:11-12).
Where do entertainers come in?
The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.
Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his apostles. What was the attitude of the church to the world?
Ye are the salt" (Matt. 5:13), not the sugar candy---something the world will spit out not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance,
"Let the dead bury their dead" (Matt. 8:22) He was in awful earnestness.
Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into his mission, he would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of His teaching. I do not hear him say,
"Run after these people Peter and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching.
We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick Peter, we must get the people somehow."
Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them.
In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of this gospel of amusement! Their message is,
"Come out, keep out, keep clean out!"
Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.
After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the church had a prayer meeting but they did not pray,
"Lord grant unto thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are."
If they ceased not from preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments.
Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). That is the only difference!
Lord, clear the church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods.
Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to effect the end desired. It works havoc among young converts.
Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the church met them halfway, speak and testify.
Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent!
Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment has been God's link in the chain of the conversion, stand up!
There are none to answer.
The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of the hour for today's ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality,
the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.
Spurgeon and others defines the role of the ASSEMBLY as teaching THE WORD. You remember that the Spirit OF Christ in Isaiah 58 defined the future REST from rituals