I Love the Old Hymns

(by Glenn Christopherson)

I may as well just admit it. I love the old hymns.

And I love the old hymns for much the same reasons that some so vehemently dislike them.

Just to be clear; it is not a style thing. It’s not because every thing old is better or because I’m just an ancient relic or a fossil from another age. (Despite what my kids may tell you)
And it’s not because I was raised with this music and it brings back fond memories of childhood pleasures. In fact I was saved later in life from a non Christian upbringing and did not discover many of the hymns until well into my Christian walk.

Now, indeed some contemporary Christian music can be uplifting and inspiring and God honouring, (Keith Green as an older CCM for example) and some may well become the hymn classics of the future. Time will tell, but…I love the old hymns and I love them because:

They are filled with doctrine.
Good, solid, Biblical, Christ focussed doctrine. There is not the obvious, shallow appeal to emotions that much contemporary religious music reveals, (although hymns can and do affect the emotions of the sincere worshipper.)

They have a high view of God and a Scriptural view of man.
The old hymns tend not to make man the measure of all things but rather God and His word. Much of the language is heaven directed with a focus on Thou and Thee more than I and me.

They reflect a sincerity of heart in the author. There is often the sense that the hymnist knows Whom he has believed and that the new birth is a living reality and that Christ has captured the heart and mind and will of hymn writer.

And finally the old hymnists maintained their testimony to the end.
Today we have CCM artists buying into the latest heresies with gusto, caving in to the militant gay agenda with craven compromise and pushing social justice rather than God’s justice and the Calvary provided mercy.

Sure, some of the current “Christian artists” are genuinely using their talents to exalt the LORD, but I fear too many have used the techniques of the world to establish a “Christian music” career…and many of the recent proposed additions to the Church’s sacred Psalmery may well be forgotten by next years top ten songs in the Contemporary Christian Music genre…and that’s probably a good thing.



The Voice of God

by Glenn Christopherson

Psalm 29(selected verses)

The voice of Yahweh is over the waters; the God of glory thunders. The voice of Yahweh is powerful and full of majesty. The voice of the Yahweh breaks the cedars, shakes the wilderness and strips the forests bare and in His temple all cry, “GLORY!!”

Matthew 7:28-29

And so it was when Jesus finished these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Two books claiming conversations with God have been best sellers in the last few years.

One called “Conversations with God” (CWG) and one by the name “The Shack”

Many gifted Christian apologists and researchers have done brilliant work in exposing the lies contained in both these books, and I have never felt any desire to read them my self…until recently.

A friend very taken with CWG insisted I read his copy to better understand what was written and to more effectively debate him on my concerns. I flicked through it, noted this “god’s” view of the Bible and of Christ and didn’t need waste any more time on that.

The other book , “The Shack” has had a more profound impact on the people of God with many Christians endorsing and promoting the writings of William Paul Young and his universalistic views. As some close to me had been so impressed I though I would flick through it as well and I found something very interesting. Apart from the doctrinal failures in both books the voice of the “god” supposedly involved in conversation is the same voice. There is a whiny, supertolerant, almost desperate to be liked tone in both the voices that claim to be God and I wondered how so many supposedly Bible believing Christians could be taken in by the decidedly un Godlike voice found in both these manuscripts.

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob does not sound like a first year philosophy major.

There is no echo of eastern mysticism in His words.

The Alpha and Omega does not indulge in pop psychology, or downplay His own written word to make men feel better about themselves.

The wishy-washy, man centred theology of both these books reveal for the alert believer just who is behind both of these gospel denying, religious books… and it’s not the author of The Book.

Of course there will always be satanic counterfeits to the only saving faith. The devil is a liar and the father of lies. And of course those who do not know the God of Glory will be taken in by seductive deceptions, but why do those who claim Christ as Saviour fall for the obvious errors promoted by the ancient serpent?

Far too often church leaders tell us what they think the Word of God should say instead of what it does say. This is one of the reasons many struggle to read the scriptures. They are constantly told pleasant-sounding half-truths (or blatant untruths) and then they open the Book to find it doesn’t reflect the things they’ve been told. As it is impossible to believe two contradictory facts at the same time, they go with the supposed authority of men rather than the perfect authority of God.

This makes people ripe for delusion. It is only a short hop between what is taught in many churches to what Walsch and Young have portrayed in their religious conversations.

A ‘god’ without standards. A ‘deity’ without authority. A humanity without sin. A feel good gospel with no forgiveness. An unnecessary cross. A heaven for all. A denial of Hell

This may make people feel good. But God is not primarily concerned with making us feel good. The true gospel does indeed lift men out of the mire and put a new song in their mouths…but first it brings them low. There is a profound, eternal joy for those who follow Christ. The joy of personal sin and rebellion forgiven and covered by the sacrifice of the lamb.

Peace, liberty and hope are all part of the inheritance of the child of God. But only when they have had revealed first that they were a child of the devil and headed for the same place of judgement.

The voice of God to His people can be and often is gentle but it’s a gentleness with the deep rumbling of authority. God is love and His love is wrapped in a mind numbing majesty.

The weak and powerless pseudo wisdom of the voice in both these books leaves me cold and unmoved. My God does not speak like Gandhi or the Dalai Lama. His uttered words that are not light and wispy. His words speak universes into existence, He doesn’t waste them on low-level philosophy.

When the Ancient of Days speaks, men don’t respond with a distracted, “How nice.” Rather they are rendered silent or else simply declare, “GLORY!!” Men lost in sin don’t find the words of God comfortable even though, if they will lay down their arms against Him, they will find comfort.

God’s voice is rarely wasted telling us how wonderful we are. Rather those who hear the voice of the good Shepherd are forever speaking how wonderful He is. They have lost interest in their own supposed value.

How interesting it is that the voice of the conversational ‘god’ in both these man-pleasing books should sound identical. The same tendency to use many words when a few would do. The same emphasis on man as the measure of truth. The same weak riddles repeated from new age gurus. The same downplaying of God’s holiness. The same sidelining or ridiculing of Yahwehs Book. The same weakly offered hope to men lost in sin.

I believe in conversing with God. It’s a covenant conversation called prayer, to the living God who knows better than me. I bring my requests while submitting to His infinite wisdom. I approach Him with confidence… not in my inherent value but on the eternal value of Christ’s provision on the cross. My God hears my voice and responds as He does with all His twice born children. I hear His voice rumble through the pages of His book and reverberate into my heart by His Spirit and I rejoice. There are many voices today claiming to be God. There are many “deities” questioning “Did Yahweh really say??”

There are many writing books with new revelations of God.

Some will choose the “god” of Neale Donald Walsch over the Holy One of Israel. What a tragic folly.

Some will settle for a fictional deity in an imagined shack rather than bow to the living God who sits on the throne surrounded by an uncountable multitude of worshipping angels . What a loss.

As for me I’ll take Jesus’ word on what He is like. I may only be a sheep but I’m one of the sheep of His pasture. And those in the sheepfold know the voice of the Shepherd and we will not listen to another.

My God

by Glenn Christopherson

Church folks, and others, often tell me what their god is like. They tell me, “My god doesn’t judge people”, or ,”My god wouldn’t send people to hell.”etc. I tell them ,”You are right. Your god wouldn’t send people to hell because your god doesn’t exist. He/she/it is just a figment of your imagination. A vain hope and a frivolous faith in wishful thinking. (I usually say it nicer than that)

But for the benefit of those who invent gods instead of worshipping God; let me tell you of my God

My God is the living God, the Most High, the Holy One of Israel.

The god spoken of in many churches today is not my God. Their likeable god safe and unthreatening leaves me cold and unmoved. My God is not in heaven wringing his hands in fear that men won’t like Him. My God doesn’t bow to the carnal desires of carnal men. His goal is not to make us happy, prosperous, successful or influential. His goal is our holiness and a better resurrection.

My God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

He is the God of the prophets, the apostles and the martyrs. The God of the Bible.

My God hates sin… and defines sin….and forgives sin; if we ask.

Whether men agree or disagree with His divine perspective worries Him not at all. He simply commands all men everywhere to repent. No amount of tantrums, no amount of politically correct preaching, no positive confessions and no arrogant decreeing or declaring will change what He has declared and decreed.

My God dwells in unapproachable light and then provides a way to approach. He lifts men by calling them to their knees. He deals with our low self-esteem by rebuking the pride behind such thoughts.

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To the Pilgrims of the Dispersion

by Glenn Christopherson

Not everyone will “get” what I am trying to say here, but I pray it is an encouragement to those who do.

All across the globe, but especially in the west, long serving saints of the Most High God are finding themselves driven out of the assemblies they have attended for years, in some cases for decades.

Many have testified with broken hearts how they found themselves out of favour and out of fellowship for the sin of questioning a new purpose driven agenda or an emergent emphasis or refusing to sit silently by while their church was hijacked by prosperity heresy.

They find themselves a part of the 21st century diaspora.

Refugees from a modern Babylonian invasion.

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