Plain Song

Worship003“The use of singing with instrumental music was not received in the Christian church as it was among the Jews in their infant state, but only the use of plain song”

~Justin Martyr

A Comparison Between Christianity, Catholicism, Mormonism, and Jehovah’s Witnessses

Watchtower Bible & Tract Society (world headquarters)

I found this chart on CARM to be helpful:

https://carm.org/comparison-grid

What Is Bibliomancy?

Bible and Key Divination

Question: “What is bibliomancy?”

Answer: Bibliomancy is the practice of divination by means of a book. Generally speaking, bibliomancy involves turning to a random page in a sacred book in order to find the answer to a question posed. In ancient times, the works of Homer and Virgil were used. Now, bibliomancy often refers to fortune-telling by means of the Bible. But, by no means is the Bible the only book sometimes used in bibliomancy. Other books sometimes used are the I Ching, the Mahabharata, and the Qur’an. The process of bibliomancy involves asking a clear question, opening the book to a random page, and trailing a finger in slow circles until “the spirit” says to stop. The verse where the questioner’s finger points supposedly contains the answer.

The story is told of a man who wanted to find out what God had for his future, so he closed his eyes, opened the Bible randomly, and stuck his finger on the page. He opened his eyes and read Matthew 27:5, “Judas . . . went away and hanged himself.” Not liking that answer, the man tried again. This time, his finger landed on Luke 10:37, “Go and do likewise.” Again, not liking that answer, the man tried again. This time his finger landed on John 13:27, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”

All joking aside, bibliomancy is not biblical. God’s Word condemns all forms of divination in no uncertain terms (Deuteronomy 18:10; Acts 16:16-19). Occult practices are not made less evil simply because the Bible is being used in the process. Yes, God speaks to us through His Word. Yes, God leads us to specific Bible verses that will speak to us in a time of need. Yes, God sometimes causes us to stumble on a verse at precisely the time we need the message the verse contains. But God’s Word was meant to be studied, understood, and applied. We are to study God’s Word intentionally, not randomly. Ours is a reasonable faith, not one based on esoteric interpretations of random verses. Our wisdom comes from God (James 1:5).

Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/bibliomancy.html

Commit Yourselves To Him In All Things

Eighty-eight Butterfly (Diaethria anna)

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 77:

Seeing he alone is the absolute Sovereign Lord of all things, – seeing he has passed a determination upon all things, and accordingly they must be, – and seeing none can turn him from his way, – O then, Christians, learn to commit yourselves to him in all things, both for this life and the life to come! Why are ye so vain and foolish as to depend and hang upon poor, vain, depending creatures? Why do ye not forsake yourselves? Why do ye not forsake all other things as empty shadows? Are not all created powers, habits, gifts, graces, strength, riches, &c., like the idols in comparison of him, who can neither do good, neither can they do ill? Cursed is he “that trusteth in man,” Jer. 17:5. There needs no other curse than the very disappointment you shall meet withal.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/88928-Learn-to-commit-yourselves-to-Him

No Raw Half-Wishes In God

Arco da Via Láctea sobre Corumbá

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 75:

There are no raw half-wishes in God. Men have such imperfect desires, – I would have, or do, such a thing if it were not, &c. He wavers not thus in suspense; but what he wills and desires, he wills and desires indeed. He intends, doubtless, it shall be, and what he intends he will execute and bring to pass; therefore his will in due time applies almighty power to fulfil the desire of it; and almighty power being put to work by his will, it cannot but work all things “according to the counsel of his will;” and whatsoever his soul desireth, that he cannot but do, even as he desires, seeing he can do it. If he will do it, and can do it, what hinders him to work and do?

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/88911-No-raw-half-wishes-in-God, Comment #1

Thy Medicine Is Greater

Augustine, Confessions, X:

William Hemsley Sickness and healthHow hast Thou loved us, good Father, who sparedst not Thine only Son, but deliveredst Him up for us wicked ones! How hast Thou loved us, for whom He, who thought it no robbery to be equal with Thee, “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; He alone “free among the dead,” that had power to lay down His life, and power to take it again; for us was He unto Thee both Victor and Victim, and the Victor as being the Victim; for us was He unto Thee both Priest and Sacrifice, and Priest as being the Sacrifice; of slaves making us Thy sons, by being born of Thee, and serving us. Rightly, then, is my hope strongly fixed on Him, that Thou wilt heal all my diseases by Him who sitteth at Thy right hand and maketh intercession for us; else should I utterly despair? For numerous and great are my infirmities, yea, numerous and great are they; but Thy medicine is greater. We might think that Thy Word was removed from union with man, and despair of ourselves had He not been “made flesh and dwelt among us.”

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/88899-Both-victor-and-victim, Comment #1

Sabbath, The Day Changed: The Sabbath Preserved

Dr. A.A. Hodge:

Szilágyippi ref templomDIFFERENT Christian nations and different denominations, and each denomination at different periods of its history, have entertained very various sentiments and followed very diverse customs with respect to the observation of the weekly Sabbath, as well as with respect to every other Christian ordinance and practical duty. Notwithstanding this fact, however, the whole historical Christian world, Catholic and evangelical, has always been agreed as to the truth of the following propositions:

1. The institution of the Sabbath rests upon the physical, moral and religious nature of man, as that nature exists under the conditions of his life in this world.

2. In conformity with this fact, God instituted the Sabbath at the creation of man setting apart the seventh day for that purpose, and imposed observance as a universal and obligation upon the race.

3. After the resurrection of Christ, instead of abrogating an old and introducing a new institution, God, through his inspired agents, perpetuated the Sabbath, re-imposing it upon Christians with increased obligations, and by changing the day from the seventh to the first day of the week enriched it with new and higher significance…

Read more: http://www.apuritansmind.com/puritan-worship/the-lords-day/sabbath-the-day-changed-the-sabbath-preserved-by-dr-a-a-hodge/