A Modern Puritan

Lost in wonder, love and praise. Follow along as we seek to uneclipse Christ in our lives.


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Bury the Workman

Steven was a deacon in Jerusalem
They dragged him out those city gates to try and quiet him
When Steven preached those Pharisees started throwing stones
Before he died he raised his eyes and saw Jesus on the throne

He said, You can bury the workmen but the work will go on
And you can silence the voices but you can’t stop the song
When the Spirit’s moving, His will will be done
You can bury the workmen but the work will go on

James was sent to Heaven at the edge of Herod’s sword
And Peter he was crucified like his beloved Lord
The Roman Colosseum, the lions and the fires
The gates of hell did not prevail, they fanned those flames higher

Cause you can bury the workmen but the work will go on
And you can silence the voices but you can’t stop the song
When the Spirit’s moving, His will will be done
And you can bury the workmen but the work will go on

And then they lowered Jesus, they laid Him in a grave
They thought that it was over, that His name would fade away
But Jesus wasn’t listening, no, He rose to life again
Cause God is not persuaded by the arrogance of men

So you can bury the workmen but the work will go on
And you can silence the voices but you can’t stop the song
When the Spirit’s moving, His will will be done
And you can bury the workmen but the work will go on

And you can bury the workmen but the work will go on
And you can silence the voices but you can’t stop the song
When the Spirit’s moving, His will will be done
And you can bury the workmen but the work will go on
Yeah you can bury the workmen but the work will go on

-Unspoken


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The King of Glory – Psalm 24

In honor of Earth day: 

“A Psalm of David.

The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof,a
the world and those who dwell therein,

for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
And who shall stand in his holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.

He will receive blessing from the LORD
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah

Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle!

Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
he is the King of glory! Selah”


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My God, Consider My Distress

My God, consider my distress,
Let mercy plead my cause;
Though I have sinned against Thy grace,
I can’t forget Thy laws.

Forbid, forbid the sharp reproach
Which I so justly fear;
Uphold my life, uphold my hopes,
Nor let my shame appear.

Be Thou a surety, Lord, for me,
Nor let the proud oppress;
But make Thy waiting servant see
The shinings of Thy face.

My eyes with expectation fail,
My heart within me cries,
“When will the Lord His truth fulfill,
And make my comforts rise?”

Look down upon my sorrows, Lord,
And show Thy grace the same
As Thou art ever wont t’afford
To those that love Thy Name.

-Isaac Watts, The Psalms of David, 1719.


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The Day of Resurrection

The day of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness, the Passover of God.
From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over, with hymns of victory.

Our hearts be pure from evil, that we may see aright
The Lord in rays eternal of resurrection light;
And listening to His accents, may hear, so calm and plain,
His own “All hail!” and, hearing, may raise the victor strain.

Now let the heavens be joyful! Let earth the song begin!
Let the round world keep triumph, and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen their notes in gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord hath risen, our joy that hath no end.

-John of Damascus, (675-749) (Αναστάσεως ήμέρα); trans­lat­ed from Greek to Eng­lish by John Mason Neale, 1862.


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Lord, We Are Blind

Lord, we are blind, we mortals blind,
We can’t behold Thy bright abode;
O ’tis beyond a creature mind
To glance a thought half way to God!

Infinite leagues beyond the sky
The great Eternal reigns alone,
Where neither wings nor souls can fly,
Nor angels climb the topless throne.

The Lord of glory builds His seat
Of gems insufferably bright,
And lays beneath His sacred feet
Substantial beams of gloomy night.

Yet, glorious Lord, Thy gracious eyes
Look through and cheer us from above
Beyond our praise Thy grandeur flies,
Yet we adore, and yet we love.

-Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707-1709.


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In the Cross of Christ I Glory

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o’ertake me,
Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
Never shall the cross forsake me,
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming
Light and love upon my way,
From the cross the radiance streaming
Adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
By the cross are sanctified;
Peace is there that knows no measure,
Joys that through all time abide.

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.

-John Bowring, Hymns by John Bow­ring, 1825. There is a sto­ry (prob­ab­ly apo­cryph­al) about the in­spir­a­tion for these words. The tra­di­tion is that Bow­ring was sail­ing past the coast of Ma­cao, Chi­na. On the shore were the re­mains of an old, fire gut­ted church. Above the ru­ins, he saw the church’s cross still stand­ing. The ti­tle of this hymn was carved on Bow­ring’s tomb­stone.


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10 Reasons Big Easter Giveaways are Unwise

 

By Jared C. Wilson

We are nearing the day many Christians look forward to all year. Yes, there’s the somber reflection and penitence of the Passion week, culminating in the resurrection of Jesus to celebrate on Easter Sunday, but there’s also some fabulous cash and prizes. Every year some churches seek to outdo themselves — and their local competition — by luring unbelievers (and I suppose interested believers) to their Easter service(s) with the promise of big shows and in some cases big giveaways. One guy in Texas made national news for giving away new cars. Another church has dropped prize-filled Easter eggs out of helicopters to gathered crowds below. Local churches with more modest budgets sometimes promise door prizes like iPods or iPads or gift certificates to local restaurants.

I think this is profoundly unwise and in many cases very, very silly. I want to offer ten general reasons why, but first some caveats: I’m not talking about a church giving out gifts to visitors. Gift cards, books, etc. to guests can be a sweet form of church hospitality. What I’m criticizing is the advertised promise of “cash and prizes” to attract people to the church service. Secondly, I know the folks doing these sorts of things are, for the most part, sincere believers who want people to know Jesus. But I don’t think good intentions authorizes bad methods. So:

Ten reasons luring people in with cash and prizes is not a good idea.

1. It creates buzz about cash and prizes, not the Easter event. When the media takes notice, nobody wants to interview these pastors about the resurrection. They want them to talk about the loot.

2. It identifies the church not with the resurrection, but with giving toys away. It makes us look like entertainment centers or providers of goods and services, not people of the Way who are centered on Christ.

3. Contrary to some offered justifications, giving prizes away is not parallel to Jesus’ providing for the crowds. Jesus healed people and fed them. This is not the same as giving un-poor people an iPod.

4. It appeals to greed and consumerism. There is no biblical precedent for appealing to one’s sin before telling them to repent of it. This is a nonsensical appeal.

5. Yes, Jesus said he would make us fishers of men, but extrapolating from this to devise all means of bait is not only unwarranted, it’s exegetically ignorant. The metaphor Jesus is offering here is just of people moving from the business of fishing to the business of the kingdom. There is no methodology being demonstrated here. (But the most common one would have been throwing out nets anyway, not baiting a hook.)

6. It is dishonest “bait and switch” methodology. Sure, the people coming for the goodies know they’re coming to church. But it’s still a disingenuous offer. The message of the gospel is not made for Trojan horses.

7. It demonstrates distrust in the compelling news that a man came back from the dead!! I mean, if nobody’s buying that amazing news, we can’t sell it to them with cheap gadgets.

8. It demonstrates distrust in the power of the gospel when we think we have to put it inside something more appealing to be effective. What the giveaways really communicate is that we think the gospel needs our help, and that our own community is not attractive enough in our living out of the implications of the gospel.

9. The emerging data from years of research into this kind of practice of marketing/evangelism attractional church stuff shows the kind of disciples it produces are not strong. I have no doubt these churches are going to see decisions Easter weekend. They’ll herald them on Twitter and on the blogs. As questionable a practice as that can be, I’d be extra interested in how discipled these folks are in a year or two years or three. Hype has always produced “decisions.” Would anyone argue that after 30 years or so of the attractional approach to evangelism the evangelical church is better off, more Christ-centered, more biblically mature?

10. What you win them with is what you win them to.

-Jared C. Wilson, Read Jared’s original post here.


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Lord, Thou Wilt Hear Me When I Pray

Lord, Thou wilt hear me when I pray,
I am forever Thine;
I fear before Thee all the day,
Nor would I dare to sin.

And while I rest my weary head,
From cares and business free,
’Tis sweet conversing on my bed,
With my own heart and Thee.

I pay this evening sacrifice:
And when my work is done,
Great God, my faith and hope relies
Upon Thy grace alone.

Thus, with my thoughts composed to peace,
I’ll give mine eyes to sleep;
Thy hand in safety keeps my days,
And will my slumbers keep.

-Isaac Watts, Psalm 4, The Psalms of David, 1719.


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Hosanna, Loud Hosanna

Hosanna, loud hosanna, the little children sang;
Through pillared court and temple the lovely anthem rang.
To Jesus, who had blessed them close folded to His breast,
The children sang their praises, the simplest and the best.

From Olivet they followed mid an exultant crowd,
The victor palm branch waving, and chanting clear and loud.
The Lord of men and angels rode on in lowly state,
Nor scorned that little children should on His bidding wait.

“Hosanna in the highest!” that ancient song we sing,
For Christ is our Redeemer, the Lord of heaven our King.
O may we ever praise Him with heart and life and voice,
And in His blissful presence eternally rejoice!

-Jenette Threlfall; based upon Matthew 21:15,16.

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