Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Think on these things (part 5)

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Phil. 4:8)

Every Christian is to exhibit elements of virtue and praise in his life. Virtue means 'moral excellence' (Thayer). It's not just doing things right, but rather doing right things in the right way. I am a firm believer in rehearsals and practice simply because they help ensure of doing things excellently. A common mistake among Christendom is this attitude that things done for Jesus does not have to be 'excellent.' If we look at God for an example, He gave us His best, He gave us His only begotten Son. When we seek to serve the Lord, we ought to give back to God what is our best. We ought to strive for moral excellence. The Bible does teach us to add to our faith, virtue (see 2 Peter 1:5). God desires us to immediately add to our faith that which is morally excellent, and He certainly deserves that.

Another common mistake is to think that so long as "Jesus" is tacked to a thing, that regardless of the base, lewd, sordid quality of that thing, that that perhaps becomes acceptable. And so in the music industry we have what is labeled as "Christian" Contemporary Music. BUT this is not moral and certainly not 'excellent' since it violates Scriptural principles of separation. On the other hand, you can listen to a completely secular classical music piece by a potentially unregenerated composer such as Mozart or a Chopin and they still demonstrate music that is virtuous. Dr. Sargeant in his Systematic Theology book said: "Secular does not mean worldy." What an observation! and how true that is.

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