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PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re: Somebody take out the violins and hankies please

There's many, many songs that touch upon this very thing: the acceptance/refusal and/or hypocrisy by church goers. Frankly, it doesn't move me one way or another because these complaints are so banal and cliche and often voiced by people who have no desire at all to know God. At the end of the day, it's not about which church accepted which whino, etc. Knowing God isn't at all contingent upon being accepted by a local congregation with open arms, and I don't even believe such a thing can help a man know God. All it really demonstrates is the reality of a non-judgmental and philanthropic body of believers (which we should be). In truth, there are many churches like this, ministries which are unassuming - and, of course, there are others that aren't. The ones that aren't are the ones that get songs written about them to make people believe all of them are like that. It's all subjective, anyhow, and ultimately interpreted by the seeker. I have seen people bend over backwards to accomodate a poor sinner who is down and out, and the first time the believer fails to give more money or empathy, the believer is now a hypocrite. Suddenly, the sinner is able to call to mind a plethora of Bible characters who wouldn't "treat me this way" or - as in this song and a hundred others - would be treated the same way on account of their poverty and long hair and sandals and camel skin and leather belts, [i]ad nauseum.[/i]

It's a wordly lament that really doesn't hold clout with a spiritual man or woman. I do not turn away those whom the Lord brings, but I also will not overly preoccupy myself with appeasing the needs of a man or woman who just wants money or sympathy and is not after God and repentance. I do not know of any true, God-filled believer who would turn away a poor man on account of his/her appearance. The body of believers in all these songs represents a disingenious assembly, a decoy church in an attempt to soil the true church, and often the songwriter doesn't even know what he/she is doing. Elvis Presley is a very bad representitive of Christianity, so is Merle Haggard and Cash and Paycheck and George Jones and Waylon Jennings and everyone else who wrote songs about followers of Jesus and the church, whether in a positive or negative light. How desperately we need discernment in these matters. These types of songs are written by men who do not know God - men who are enemies of God by wicked works and alienated from Him in their minds - and yet they would subconsciously shift the liability of their state, in part, to a certain hypocritical (and oftentimes hypothetical) body of believers, in order to get woe from their godless listeners. Paycheck probably wrote this song to elicit some sappy pathos in a good 'ole country western tradition (even if he had sincere intentions), but it doesn't work with me. The song got its airplay and he and the band went right along chugging the beers and cashing the royalty paychecks (no pun intended).

Sorry to ruffle things up here a bit, Steve. You know I love you. I await your response, brother; we can go toe-to-toe on this topic if you like (I draw the line at two-steppin, tho)!

:-D

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2008/10/13 13:55Profile
rbanks
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Joined: 2008/6/19
Posts: 1257


 Re:

On the other hand we have reached a day in this church age where people have lost respect for God and his people. I believe when people get saved there is such a change in their life that causes them to want to do better.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with wearing a suit and a tie for the leadership of an assembly or for anyone else for that matter. I do think it is wrong to have a better than thou attitude. I think that if a truly born again believer is dressing nicely and he sees someone who is dressing poorly, different than him, or even expensive attire he/she should be able to see past the outward appearance with the love of God toward our fellowman.

I believe we as true Christians should be showing the love of God toward people no matter how worldly or ungodly they dress. I also think it is a shame for people who call themselves Christians and yet not care about their outward appearance. We are ambassadors for the King and our outward image should reflect his holy character within.

I think it is sad when we let people with a self righteous attitude reflect on our behavior as true Christians. I hear people say well God don't care how you dress because it is only the heart that counts. This is not true for we have been bought with a price and we are His temple and we are to glorify God in our spirit and body.

 2008/10/13 14:05Profile









 Re:

Paul... while you know I certainly do not approve of churches becoming worldly in order to reach people (i.e. seeker sensitive churches)... I do see in this song a problem that faces the church today. That is a disconnect with those whom the Father wants us to minister to. True religion is what? Taking care of the widows and orphans.

Many churches throw money at these things. They have ministries to the poor and widows and prisons, but the closest most believers get to an actual orphan or prisoner is a check they drop in the plate. Most believers dont get their hands dirty.

Most are content to sit in literal ivory towers... and imagine the good the money could do that went to build those ivory towers. It isnt just non-believers who see this, many of us see it too.

No, we shouldnt make the church into what the world thinks it should be. I agree... but it doesnt take a rocket scientist (or a believer) to see that many churches in America are not as they should be either.

Krispy

 2008/10/13 14:53
murrcolr
Member



Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Maybe you could compose something Paul.

Could be something in reply to Mr Paycheck song. :-P


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Colin Murray

 2008/10/13 15:19Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
Many churches throw money at these things. They have ministries to the poor and widows and prisons, but the closest most believers get to an actual orphan or prisoner is a check they drop in the plate. Most believers dont get their hands dirty.



I agree totally. But is this really the concern of Johnny Paycheck? There are myriads of programs and groups (secular and otherwise) that cater to this. Hollywood celebrities give millions to Sri Lanka and Indonesia and tons of money and clothes and food flow from churches in the United States into Mexico and Central and South America. What are his qualms? It seems in this song he was slighted because he saw stained glass windows that cost a fortune (they do!) and a hungry whino sleeping in the gutter.

This shouldn't be the real focus of religion, though I can certainly see it from an unconverted point of view. It's basically a "Look! Hypocrisy!" charge by a man seeking to shift culpability. What concern is it of his how much stained glass windows cost and the ratio of the poor versus the amount? Why doesn't he have the same concern over sin and the condition of his own soul? We who are the sons and daughters of God know of all the hypocrisy that masquerades itself in the supposed "church", I'm really not impressed or enlightened or care to "amen" a man who doesn't care a hill of beans for what really counts - Jesus Christ and his own eternal salvation.

This is the diversion. Take all the attention off what really matters and put it on something that is in no way a fair representation of how true Christians live and love and behave. These are smokescreens behind which men and women who want no part of God will shoot from to make their point. I say, let Paycheck first live it, and then he can earn the right to tell us what we already know.



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Paul Frederick West

 2008/10/13 15:31Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
Maybe you could compose something Paul.


Ha! My country-western days are long over. I used to love Merle Haggard. The only music I compose nowadays is classical.
Quote:
Could be something in reply to Mr Paycheck song.


Hmmm...I can direct him to another famous songwriter named Charles Wesley. Mr. Wesley wrote a few pretty good responses, which I think address very well what true Christianity is.

;-)


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2008/10/13 15:37Profile









 Re:

Quote:

PaulWest wrote:
Quote:
Maybe you could compose something Paul.


Ha! My country-western days are long over. I used to love Merle Haggard. The only music I compose nowadays is classical.
Quote:
Could be something in reply to Mr Paycheck song.


Hmmm...I can direct him to another famous songwriter named Charles Wesley. Mr. Wesley wrote a few pretty good responses, which I think address very well what true Christianity is.

;-)



Amen, wouldn't it be great if this Mr. Paycheck guy decided that these people were probably not saved if this were thier attitude and then decided to get saved himself, not be a hypocrite by judging them but decided to make a difference instead by allowing God to use Him in order to show them what true christianity is. Happens all the time to alot of whinos, homeless, former drug addicts, prostitutes ect...

I'm still waiting for my greatest critics to show me how it's done. ;-)

 2008/10/13 16:14
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:

I certainly agree that using church hypocrisy as a reason to reject Christ is often a ruse. The thing that bothers me is when those that are less then socially desirable do come to Christ, they can still be rejected by a church.

I've seen this and it bothers me. (Not everywhere obviously...just too close to home.) (edit: I realize this is a difficult subject. Without sarcasm, I do realize that it is hard to incorporate all levels of a society under one roof. To be fair, Christians perhaps are more generous within their own social context then any other 'community'.)

MC


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Mike Compton

 2008/10/13 19:19Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
The thing that bothers me is when those that are less then socially desirable do come to Christ, they can still be rejected by a church.


I know what you mean. The reason I have so very little compassion (and please understand, I am not a calloused monster in this regard) is because basically when God gets a hold of a man - truly gets a hold of him - no devil can pluck him away and certainly no judgmental congregation of believers can zap him out of Christ either. In fact, when a person gets truly born-again these types of congregations [i]will[/i] reject him - boots and long hair and tattoos or no.

God takes care of His own children, and He leads them to the right place time after time after time. But the man in this song is different; he's not apprehended by God nor does he want to be. He's driven away from a phony assemblage because of his appearance, and this song would paint a broad stroke of all organized Christian congregations acting like this toward an "undesirable" person wanting to sit for a service.

You know, brother, when I got saved it was reversed! God led me to a Spirit-filled biker church! The Pastor was an ex-green beret Vietnam vet with long hair and tattoos. He wore a leather vest and had a redneck accent that would put Jeff Foxworthy to shame. I was all socially refined, from a very wealthy family upbringing, a tournament chess player, classical guitarist specializing in J.S. Bach and 16th century renaissance lute music, a writer, college educated in Boston, a Russian-Italian polyglot and world traveller and accomplished composer...and here God sent me to a long-haired Bubba sitting on a Harley. But this Bubba knew God very intimately and I suddenly realized I knew absolutely nothing, and that all my knowledge was vain and that I would give it all up in an instant to get what he had. And since that day, a deeper and deeper knowledge of God has been all that I've wanted. I say this because since that day I have also experienced much hypocrisy and prejudice and rejection, but all those things really do is strengthen your life-line to Jesus Christ...that is, if you're truly saved and your heart's right with God. If not, you'll complain and gripe and write songs like this and incessantly bemoan the woeful state of organized Christianity.

It can be so humbling! Right from the start (from when I met Pastor Bubba) the Lord taught me to never, ever go by appearance. A fantastic object lesson! He uses the foolish to confound the wise, and it all makes absolute sense [i]if God already has a hold on you[/i]. If God doesn't have a hold on a man, there will be nothing but criticism and bitterness when he sees that everyone falls way below his expectations. "[i]These are supposed to be Chrtistians?[/i]" he will ask himself, as he begins to ennumerate each flaw. I've had people fall in love with me in church when I was a youth pastor...until I forbade unsaved kids to play the guitar and drums during praise and worship. Then I was "judgmental" and unchristlike in denying kids the chance to worship God. And on and on it goes.

We are to reflect Christ in all we say or do, but when we reflect Christ we mustn't superimpose His image over the expectations of the world or even societal etiquette. Mixtures kill.




_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2008/10/13 20:31Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Amen, wouldn't it be great if this Mr. Paycheck guy decided that these people were probably not saved if this were thier attitude and then decided to get saved himself, not be a hypocrite by judging them but decided to make a difference instead by allowing God to use Him in order to show them what true christianity is. Happens all the time to alot of whinos, homeless, former drug addicts, prostitutes ect...



Unfortunately... he's dead.

Krispy

 2008/10/13 21:31





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