Christian Carnival CVII

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity

Today is Wednesday, so Christian Carnival CVII is up, hosted by Attention Span. This week's theme: the Winter Olympics.

This week's carnival features my first ever contribution! I am listed under the bobsled: "a few posts to help smooth the run for you."

OYB February 1

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Exodus 13:17-22, Exodus 14, Exodus 15:1-18
NT: Matthew 21:23-46
Ps: Psalm 26
Pr: Proverbs 6:16-19

Today´s notable verse:

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Exodus 14:14 (NIV)

This verse reminds me of the words of Paul to the Ephesians:

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:13 (NIV)

It is encouraging to remember that it is the Lord who fights for us - when we are confronted by Satan or his evil schemes, our primary responsibility is to stand firm in our faith. It is the Spirit who contends for and through us. God demonstrated this principle to the Israelites as they were pursued by the Egyptians and hemmed in by the sea. God told them to be still, and in their faith, He delivered them. The same principle is still true for us today.

The One Year Bible Blog asks:

Comments from you & Question of the Day - Back to my reflections above on music from the song in Exodus 15 ...I guess I struggle with being in the world and not of the world – and what is the line of listening to / enjoying secular music, versus it literally being bad for you? Please let me know your thoughts on secular music - do you listen to it? Do you avoid it? Are you cautious about it in any way?

I think that one could make an analogy between secular versus Christian music, and Christ's treatment of clean versus unclean food:

10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' "...17 "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "

Matthew 15:10-19 (NIV)

What I mean is this: secular music is not inherently evil, just as "Christian" music is not inherently righteous. Either may affect us for good or for evil. Our conscience can and will - if we let it - guide us as to the "line"; though, in general, we should not pursue a "line" between righteous and sin, but should instead pursue holiness in all things. I will leave you with the following standard:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

I know lots of "secular" music that meets these criteria, and lots that doesn't; at the same time, I can say the same thing for lots of "Christian" music.