You can ask any of the members of the church I serve and they will tell you that one of my pet peeves is the ridiculous things people say in church! I am really disturbed by many the sayings and clichés that people put forth as “gospel truth” but in reality, are not the “gospel” and neither are they the “truth!” Let me show you what I am talking about: How many times have you heard someone say at a funeral in reference to the person who died, that God just picked a flower for His garden? Or how about the case in which a young person is murdered and somebody says, in a vain attempt to comfort the family: “God don’t make mistakes, the Lord just took him!” I mean, seriously! Think about it! I know it is an attempt to make the family feel better, but such sayings are really on the verge (if they are not already) of blasphemy! For one thing: God doesn’t cause people to die, just to beautify his “garden” in Heaven! (The Bible talks about Heaven as a city with pearly gates and streets paved with gold, but I have yet to find scriptural references for the heavenly gardens! Perhaps it may be a veiled reference to the ultimate Garden of Eden, but even then, I can’t see God “killing” people to beautify it!). And how can someone’s murder be an act of God? It is the enemy that wants us to die early! The Lord wants us to stay here as long as possible so that we might be witnesses for Him and cause others to be saved! We really are more useful to God, doing His will on earth than being “up there” sitting around the throne or singing in the Heavenly Choir!
But I am really annoyed by some of the songs that are being sung by choirs and quartet singers with their lyrics constantly repeated by preachers, deacons, and other church people as the “God-ordained” truth who should know better! Try to count how many times you have been in a worship experience and heard the words: “When (the) praises go up; (the) blessings come down!” I’ve even heard preachers and deacons say: “Everybody Praise the Lord! You ought to praise Him because when praises go up, the blessings come down!” I mean, seriously? Where is that idea found in the Bible? Not only is that idea not found; it is not even remotely implied! If you were to do a search on all of the Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible that are translated as “praise” and are associated with the concept of praising the Lord and/or God, you would not find one single occurrence where anybody in the Bible praised the Lord in an attempt to get a blessing! In fact, you would discover that in the Bible, people didn’t praise God to get Him to do something; they praised God for what He had already done! People didn’t praise God to get something from him; they praised him for what he had already given them! In the Bible, praise was always the response to the goodness of the Lord! People in the Bible didn’t praise God to get a blessing; they praised Him because of the blessings he had already given! We can’t “bribe” God with our praise! He is not some “cosmic slot-machine” in which we pull the “praise-lever” and He sends down the “blessing-coins!” NO!!! If the Lord doesn’t do anything else for us, He’s already done more than enough for us to praise Him throughout all eternity! PRAISE THE LORD EVERYBODY! PRAISE THE LORD EVERYBODY! CAUSE. . . .HE’S BEEN, AND HE IS. . . MIGHTY GOOD!!!!
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All I can say is….you are so right! Praise Him for who He is! Amen!
Pastor Miller, thank you for this timely post which causes me to think before I speak. Keep posting! Praise The Lord!