Weeding Out Less Edifying “Christian” Songs

The key to maturity is time and community.  Discernment takes time and a lot of godly input spanning generations and ethnicities.  There’s a reason why the Psalms have been sung for thousands of years, and why many young people still know “Amazing Grace,” even if they barely know “Shine, Jesus, Shine” and have never (happily) ever heard of “In the Garden.”  A consensus of believers in churches over a few generations has a way of weeding out the less edifying songs.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 63

If You Are Always Looking for an Impact, Legacy and Success…

We do not find success by trying to be successful or happiness by trying to be happy.  Rather, we find these things by attending to the skills, habits, and – to be honest – the often dull routines that make us even modestly successful at anything.  If you are always looking for an impact, a legacy, and success, you will not take the time to care for the things that matter.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 57

If We Fail to Mature, This is a Real Danger…

To be young is to be restless.  Yet as we mature, we learn God’s Word and importantly, as noted above – “powers of discernment trained by constant practice.”  Growth involves leaving behind this restless spirit, learning disciplines that lead to maturity in the faith.  If we fail to mature, apostasy is a real danger (Hebrew 6:1-12).

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 50

It Was More Like American Idol than the Body of Christ

Paul tells the church of Corinth that one of the marks of a child is a certain level of restlessness that leads to a lack of depth – a shallow and self-centered spirituality.  At Corinth, instead of building each other up, gifted personalities took the stage, asserting themselves above others.  It was more like American Idol  than the body of Christ (I Corinthians 3:1-5)

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 48-49

Is the Church’s Obsession With Youth Ministry Beneficial?

So it’s not surprising perhaps that, like the culture generally, many churches deemed most “alive” and “cutting-edge” reflect a near obsession with youth.  My mentor, James Montgomery Boice, used to say that instead of the more biblical pattern of children growing toward maturity, churches were turning adults into children.  Positively, this youthful orientation provided energy and zeal, but it also changed our spiritual ecology.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 46-47

Even the Christian Needs God’s Law Applied to Their Life Completely, Consistently and Continually

Q. “Since no one in this life can obey the Ten Commandments perfectly, why does God want them preached so pointedly?”

A.:  First, so that the longer we live the more we may come to know our sinfulness and the more eagerly look to Christ for forgiveness of sins and righteousness.  Second, so that we may never stop striving and never stop praying to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, to be renewed more and more after God’s image until after this life we reach our goal: perfection.”

– Heidelberg Catechism

Even in the Christian life we need this first use of the law to drive us out of ourselves to cling to our Savior.

– Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 43-44

Look At the Orientation of the Ten Commandments To See What God Desires From Us

And notice that all of the Ten Commandments are oriented toward others: God and neighbor.  Much of our piety is focused on “me and my inner life.”  Just look at the Christian Living section of the average bookstore.  Yet God’s commands are focused on what it means to be in a relationships with other: to trust in God alone and to love and worship him in the way he approves and to look out for the good of our fellow image bearers.

– Horton, Michael, T; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 43