Know Your Bible

VOL. 13                                                                                                                          July 13, 2014                                                                                                                            NO. 19



They both were women. They both were royalty. They both were fair to look upon. They both were called upon to display themselves before reveling men on feast days. But, that's where the similarities end.

One woman refused to display herself and lost her position as queen. The other danced and "pleased" the king, causing him to cut off the head of a righteous man. One woman has served through the centuries as an example of purity and modesty; the other as an example of lasciviousness.

Queen Vashti, wife of the Persian King Ahasuerus, was commanded to show off her beauty in front of the nobles and princes of the Medo-Persian Empire - all of which were drunken. She refused to come and was deposed from her throne (Esther 1:9-12,19).

The daughter of Herodias danced before King Herod, his lords, the high captains, and the chief men of Galilee. Herod was so "pleased" with her lasciviousness, he swore that she could have anything she wanted, up to half the kingdom. After a conference with her mother, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Herod reluctantly and sorrowfully kept his oath (Mk. 6:21-29).

Today, all women have the same choice - to display or not to display. "Daughters of Herodias" are all around us in the world - especially now that it's summertime. More than tans are being flashed. Bodies are being placed on public display! Where are the "Vashti's"? Surely they can be found among those professing to be God's children.  But, alas, so many times, this is not the case!

Christians, both women and men, should dress "modestly, with shamefacedness and sobriety" (1 Tim. 2:9). Ask yourself just one question, "If in a pinch, with no time to change clothes, would I be ashamed to wear the clothes that I wear in other public places to worship services?”  If the answer is yes - soul searching is in order. To display or not to display? To be a "Vashti" or “Daughter of Herodias"? Only YOU can decide!

—Alan Jones

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1. Always Be Consistent with Teens. Don't compromise your standards just because they wear you down with asking.

2. Live What You Expect of Your Teens. Don't expect something of them you are not willing to do yourself.

3. Don't Throw Up Your Hands When You Fail. Like adults, teens can be tempted. Evil companions corrupt good morals. It takes lots of time, love and understanding to raise up a child in the way of the Lord. When you fail, pick yourself up and go on.

4. Don't Be Afraid to Say "I Was Wrong." Oftentimes that is the hardest thing to do but parents are human and teens will respect you for it.

5. Last, and Certainly Not Least, Pray! What parent goes to bed without praying for his/her children? Prayer is one of the most important things to help parents make it through the teen’s years.

—David Pratt

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Many churches today have what they call "special singing". What is meant is that they are going to have anything from a soloist to a choir to be doing the singing. Most of the time they are in the form of quartets. While the New Testament authorizes "singing" in worship to God, can this singing be done by a select few while others look on and listen?

We read in Ephesians 5:19: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." In Colossians 3:16, we read: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." The "teaching", "admonishing", and "singing" spoken of in these             passages are not separate, unrelated activities. All three show how we are to "let the word of Christ dwell in you richly". When Christians assemble and engage in singing TOGETHER, they are teaching and admonishing "ONE ANOTHER".

The New Testament is very specific with regard to singing. In addition to authorizing only congregational singing, we are restricted in the KIND OF MUSIC. While we know there are different kinds of music, namely vocal and mechanical, the New Testament only authorizes VOCAL when it says "singing". We are also restricted in the STYLE OF MUSIC. While there are bluegrass, classical, rock, country, and etc. that are recognized as different styles of music, the New Testament only authorizes "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs". When it comes to singing there can be any number of things that serve as the OBJECT OF MUSIC. It might be a wife or husband, girlfriend or boyfriend, parents, places, and etc. However, the New Testament has restricted the object of our music to singing "TO THE LORD". The New Testament also has restricted the ATTITUDE OF THE SINGER when it teaches that we are to be "singing with GRACE"; that is, we must have gratitude when we sing. Also the New Testament has restricted the INSTRUMENT INVOLVED in singing. We are to sing using our "HEARTS".

When we sing we are "speaking to yourselves" and "teaching and admonishing one another". "One another" is a reciprocal pronoun which simply means that the action being done is mutual or done by all. I cannot ‘teach and admonish' you unless I am ‘speaking'. Neither can you ‘teach and admonish' me unless you are ‘speaking'. Singing, in these two passages, teaches ourselves and everyone else who participates.

Those who wish to change singing in worship to using a soloist, duet, trio, quartet, or choir want to put the emphasis on "LISTENING". Yet,  neither in Ephesians 5:19 nor Colossians 3:16 can you find the word "listening". The truth in the matter is this: LISTENING TO OTHERS SING, WITHOUT JOINING IN THE SINGING TOGETHER, IS UNAUTHORIZED; THUS UNSCRIPTURAL!

In reality, why would a church want "special music"? Why set apart a specialized person or group of singers who perform on their own in the   assembly? There can be no doubt that the real reason is because there is a great desire to want to be entertained in religion rather than worship God as He directs! God seeks us to "worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). "In truth" would be according to His Word because God's Word is    truth (John 17:17). To worship "in spirit" is to worship Him with our minds consecrated upon worship directed TO GOD.

May God help us to resist the hype and glitter that is characteristic of our day and age. Let us not be fooled by the emotionally-stimulating distractions that only create an artificial sense of spirituality.

—E.R. Hall, Jr.

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Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

--- E.R. Hall, Jr.





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