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Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA)
Rev. David Yoran  |  Locust, North Carolina
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What Is BIBLICAL Worship?
PERMANENT NOTICE
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
Worship wars rage all across the US. Even in a single denomination, one church existing just a few miles from another church of the same faith might have entirely different worship styles, or let's just say it...different theologies of worship.

Is there a "right" way to worship or should we simply trust that the intentions of our heart will be adequate before the Lord?

There are a couple of places that come to mind in the Bible where we can see some directions for worship. Admitedly they are brief but the content is thick.

The first occured when Jesus was speaking to the woman from Samaria or as she is often called, the woman at the well. She was asking questions on worship because the Samaritans worshipped in a different place than the Jews. She wondered who was right. Jesus responded that genuine worship isn't a matter of place, it is a matter of condition. We must worship in "Spirit and truth." It is humerous to me that many take "spirit" in the same way as we hear cheerleaders encourage us to get loud for our team and so many think that genuine worship is essentially "getting loud for Jesus!" Rather, Jesus was teaching that genuine worship is spiritual worship and that only those who are in union with him by the Holy Spirit will be offering acceptable worship. Our first principle in worship is that it is authentic when believers endwelled by the Holy Spirit offer their worship to God in Christ.

The second aspect is that it must be according to Truth. Here is where Presbyterians excell! We know all about a good Bible study seeking answers and Truth. Jesus was telling her that the way of worship can't be found in the imaginations of men or the trends of society but that they are established by God in eternity and revealed in His Word. Eli's sons discovered this when they had the bright idea of adding a little ensence to the fire during their priestly duties. They were struck dead by God for irreverence. This is summed under the category of the Regulative Principle of Worship. That is a principle that expects the patterns of worship found in the scriptures to be carried forward into the Church making the adjustment for those aspects fulfilled in Christ such as the sacrifices of animals.

Turning over to Hebrews we find a couple of other features of Worship that are essential. We are told we must worship with Reverence and Awe...because our God is a consuming fire! Obviously this reminds us of Eli's sons who were consumed by fire for their creativity in worship. Reverence is the feeling of being beneath or less than something/someone when it is the appropriate feeling to have. In Christian theology we can say it is the Creator/Creature distinction. In other words, He is God and we are creatures. That is more than saying "He is God and we are not." The issue isn't that we aren't God, that much is obvious. It is that we are something entirely different. We are creatures. He is spirit and has existed in all eternity. We are made of dirt and our bodies can't do anything but return to dirt. He is omnipotent, all knowing, all seeing, and everywhere present. We are local, usually running late and would forget our names if we didn't have it on our drivers license. We must LEARN to be in awe of God. We must LEARN to be reverent. These dispositions and habits of the mind are difficult and take time to cultivate through education, meditation, and experience. We are educated by the study of God's Word, we meditate by taking time for personal reflection, and we gain experience (this brings us back to our subject) in worship.

Worship is critical...let me say again, worship is CRITICAL in cultivating the virtue of reverence. Where else will we learn it except when we are coming into the presence of God in the sanctuary of the House ofGod with the people of God who together are formed into the body of Christ?

What does this worship look like. We could look at the Tabernacle and the temple flow of worship and draw great parallels but since this is getting a bit long, allow me a different tact.

The outline for Evangelism Explosion is

God

Man

Grace

Christ

Faith

I think we can see a basic flow that reflects a solid liturgy in that outline. Granted, the outline wasn't crafted to teach a liturgy of worship but since worship is the Gospel presented in dramatic form, the outline is pretty close to being a basic liturgical model for worship.

First we consider God, his perfect righteousness and transcendance. Like Isaiah when he entered the Temple in Isaiah 6, we are overwhelmed with a view of God as worship begins. That is captured as best we can in the opening of worship. We begin with themes in song and prayer that lift up the mighty acts and person of God. He is high above all and perfect in his being.

Secondly, we are reminded that while God is awesome...we aren't. That leads us to confess that we are poor sinners, wretched and undeserving to be in the presence of God.

The First and Second are the God and Man portions. That leads to the third, Grace.

After we confess our sins, we are given the scriptural assurance of our pardon in Christ. We are promised that on account of Christ, our sins are forgiven and we are accepted in his presence.

The fourth is the ministry of the Lord who is the Word of God. That Word is once for all delivered in the Scriptures so that we might know the mind of God as the Spirit of Christ, i.e., the Holy Spririt, has delievered it to us through the Apostles. In other words, this is where we read the Bible and preach the sermon.

Finally, our faith is renewed, and we receive the blessing of the benediction to go out and serve.

That's it in a nutshell. The service of worship is the Gospel presented in dramatic form. Just as taking a text message in the middle of giving a prayer would disrupt the entire prayer, we must be careful of what we consider injecting into the flow of worship lest it show that we are more distracted than focused on the act of worship we have begun.

Michael Cannon Michael Cannon

Pastor Michael Cannon is a native of Spartanburg, SC. Married to Bevalie in 1983, Michael has served as a Chaplain on both active duty and in the Army Reserves...

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Category:  Worship/Sacraments

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Means of Grace (Briefly Stated)
PERMANENT NOTICE
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
Most conflicts in the Church have to do with worship. Understanding the Means of Grace will solve most before they start.
Means of grace: do you remember the story of Daniel & his 3 friends? They were taken into a special program & provided with luxurious meals but Daniel refused the opportunities & ate only as the Lord directed. As a result, his color & health was noticably better than the pampered folks around him. The means of grace are those "means" that God has established to communicate the spiritual benefits of his grace. They are Word, Sacrament, and Prayer. These must be the center of gravity in our worship and before our eyes in the sanctuary.
Our temptation is to be impatient with the slow growth in grace that comes from days and ages of faithfulness. Instead we want a mountaintop religious experience today. If we will wait patiently on the Lord and grow from milk to meat, we will have more than a great experience, we will have union, communion, and an assurance with the Lord. Building Christ-likeness is like a journey. The miles that seperate carnal man's habits from holiness and righteousness are many. Science fiction has helped us imagine moving from one spot to another instantly but crafting a life of Christlike obedience to the Father, of the mortification of sin in the body, and of glorifying God with selfless ambitions to serve Him take a lifetime rather than a single mountaintop experience.

What that means is that in the limited time we have together in corporate worship, everything must be done on purpose and with a purpose. The songs, the message, the prayers, the Lord's Supper, and everything in between.

Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA)
Rev. David Yoran | Locust, North Carolina
www.sermonaudio.com/carolinapca

Category:  Worship/Sacraments

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7 Attributes of a Strong Leader
PERMANENT NOTICE
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
This isn't original with me but I'm not sure to whom the credit should go.

Very good read however.

7 Signs of Faithful Leaders
Faith is one of the cornerstones of authentic leadership. Together with energy and vision, they form the leadership triangle. Faith is about believing no matter how difficult situations are. It is about having full trust in the self, in others, and in the Source. Faith has an important role in an authentic leader’s life. Without faith, trust is a strange word. Without faith leadership is not complete. Having faith helps the leader move forward by giving him/her the confidence he/she needs to take risks and trust the invisible. It helps the leader see the final destination clearly without being bothered by obstacles.
You may ask how a true faithful leader can be recognized. You may also ask how others would see you as a leader who is truly faithful. The following are 7 signs of faithful leaders. These signs can help you distinguish those leaders who have faith in the Self, in others, and in the Source.
They embrace change
Faithful leaders are change agents. They embrace change without being worried about the outcomes because they have full trust in the process and are sure that everything will be alright. To these leaders the word ‘can’ (we can do this) has no meaning. To them ‘will’ (we will do this) and ‘must’ (we must do this) are the right words. They take the word ‘sometimes’ (I am sometimes hopeful) and its synonyms out of their dictionary. They only use ‘always’ (I am always hopeful) and its synonyms in their vocabulary.
They stay strong and unshakable
Leaders who are faithful do not breakdown during tough times. They stay strong and unshakable even in the face of the wildest storms and the strongest earthquakes. To them everything happens for a reason. They take full responsibility for what happens in their personal and professional lives. They see the Source as their ultimate guide and are not attached to anyone or anything. They are always hopeful and make others hopeful as well.
They have a strong presence
Since they are detached, faithful leaders have strong presence and live at the moment. As such, their souls shine out and create a very powerful yet peaceful and vibrant energy around them. By radiating their powerful, positive, and peaceful energy to the outside world, they attract other souls to cherish their presence, follow them, and listen to what they have to say.
They follow God’s vision not people’s opinions
God has a great vision for humanity. He is the Leader of all leaders. Faithful leaders look up to the Source for guidance. They follow His vision and do their best to fulfill it. They patiently listen to people and their opinions. However, if their opinions are not in line with God’s vision they do not follow them. This may sound strange but to the leaders who are soul-conscious and spiritual this is the absolute truth.
They have strong will power
Another sign of leaders who are faithful is that they have a powerful mind and because of that they have strong will power. When they decide to do something they focus and do not give up until they get the job done. They do their bests and leave the rest to the Source because they have faith in themselves and the Source. Their will power and their faith in others will draw others to join them in getting the job done together.
They are truthful and trustworthy
Faithful leaders are honest. They say the truth in any situation. They do not play politics. As such, others may take advantage of them but they will not go far because truth always wins although it may take some time. Since these leaders are truthful they become worthy of full trust and people believe in them and follow them.
Their thoughts, words, and actions are the same
Integrity is one of the biggest signs of leaders who are truly faithful. They have integrity in their thoughts, words, and actions. They say what they think and they do what they say they will do. Their integrity is not limited to their career but also to their family, friends, and community. Truly faithful leaders are symbol of integrity in leadership.
So, remember the seven signs of faithful leaders: They embrace change; they stay strong and unshakable; they have a strong presence; they follow God’s vision; they have strong will power; they are truthful and trustworthy; and their thoughts, words, and actions are the same.

Category:  Worship/Sacraments

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     PAST BLOG ENTRIES     

James H. Thornwell on the proposed PCA BCO Pay to Play Amendment
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2010
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
!--end meta--> I have learned that it is best to put the bottom line up front and then follow with the rational for any who are interested in reading the justification. 1. I am concerned that if passed, the “fee” that will be owed...
[ abbreviated | read entire ]

Michael Cannon Michael Cannon

Pastor Michael Cannon is a native of Spartanburg, SC. Married to Bevalie in 1983, Michael has served as a Chaplain on both active duty and in the Army Reserves...

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The Soldier's Catechism
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2010
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
Michael Cannon has served for many years as a Military Chaplain, and has both seen the need for this Manual and acted to meet that need. He has done tremendous research in gathering materials for this "Soldier's Catechism" including the...
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BOOKS
Books authored by Michael Cannon

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NEW BOOK ON JOHN 17, THE HIGH PRIESTLY PRAYER
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2010
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
This is an indepth exegetical and analytical study of the greatest prayer in the scriptures. While most call the prayer Jesus taught the Disciples which starts, "Our Father which art in heave..." as the Lord's Prayer, John 17 may more...
[ abbreviated | read entire ]

Michael Cannon Michael Cannon

Pastor Michael Cannon is a native of Spartanburg, SC. Married to Bevalie in 1983, Michael has served as a Chaplain on both active duty and in the Army Reserves...

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Church History Answers Pt 1
SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2009
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
What document nailed to a door in Wittenberg is credited with officially starting the Reformation?The 95 thesis What were the 5 Solas of the Reformation?ScripturaFidaGratiaChristusDeo Gloria What cardinal doctrine of the protestant church emerged...
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Church History Answers PT 2
SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2009
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
What term is used to describe those Protestants who returned to England from their exile under the protection of Elizabeth between 1558 and 1603? They were known for their hope to finish the reformation in England by making worship, doctrine, and...
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Can Protestants Celebrate Maundy Thursday?
SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2009
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
I have been asked to explain why we observe Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. First, those are good questions since those dates are associated with the liturgical calendar used by Roman churches as well as Lutheran, Methodist and others. I do not...
[ abbreviated | read entire ]

Michael Cannon Michael Cannon

Pastor Michael Cannon is a native of Spartanburg, SC. Married to Bevalie in 1983, Michael has served as a Chaplain on both active duty and in the Army Reserves...

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How Well Do You Know Your History
SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 2009
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
I will be happy to email you the answers after you give this your best effort. See how you do!What document nailed to a door in Wittenberg is credited with officially starting the Reformation?What were the 5 Solas of the Reformation?What cardinal...
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Rapture Bulletin Insert
MONDAY, APRIL 27, 2009
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
1 user comments
This is the information that I shared when teaching on the Rapture.The Rapture - What does the Bible say? I. IntroductionA. Once we come to faith in Christ our task is take a close look at the Scripture and begin to line our thinking up with the...
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The Rapture: Christian Drama at it's best!
MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2009
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
1 user comments
Aaaah the Rapture. Nothing gives the Christian more comfort than to know that when the going gets tough, the Christians will get going courtesy of God's massive evacuation plan. But, can we really expect to be carried off for a 1000 years and then...
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After Life
MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2009
Posted by: Carolina Presbyterian Church (PCA) | more..
What happens in the moment just after you die? Don't we all wonder about that? We talk a lot about eternity but not so much about the time just after we breath our last. Will we be disembodied spirits floating about somewhere in space or inbetween...
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