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By In Worship

The Weapons of Our Warfare: Children in Worship

Romanino Girolamo (Italian artist, c 1484-ca 1559). Presentation of Jesus in the Temple - 1529.The enemies of Jesus don’t like it when children get involved, because God has designed them as a weapon and as a reminder of God’s strength. If children are increasing, and if they are present amongst the worshipers, then they spell the coming doom of God’s enemies. They display the faith of his people, both in being faithful hearts themselves, and in showing off the trust their parents have in God. They are a tangible threat to godlessness. This is attested in multiple instances in scripture.

Let’s look together at a short Psalm (Ps 8) that helps us to see down into the inner workings of the war to build God’s kingdom – we will find out that one of the largest gears in the mechanism, one of the most powerful and necessary components in the wheels of the church, is the presence of children in God’s service of worship.

I expect this Psalm to be a good tool for talking to your children about their special job in the church service – and that job is: “to silence the enemy and the avenger.”

Before we can get a hold of this Psalm, we need a moment’s look at how God instructed rulership and kingdom expansion to come about in the first place – so turn to page one of the Bible and look down at verse 28.

God’s first command for his King, Adam, on how to rule was through a process of childbearing, and working with your children to bring the world under God’s reign.

Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth,” (Gen 1.28).

See this list of five:

  1. be fruitful
  2. multiply
  3. fill the earth/land
  4. subdue
  5. rule

 

PSALM 8 – The Weapons of Our Warfare

Psalm 8 is a worship song which is all about this very passage. Psalm 8 is about Genesis 1.27-28. Psalm 8 is about creation (“the work of your fingers,” v.3). It specifically mentions the principalities made on day 4, the moon and the stars, which Genesis 1 says are made over the earth to “rule over the day and night.” This is no coincidence: they are symbols of dominion, and the theme is all about dominion and ruling over the earth in this Psalm. Verse 6 says, “You have given [man] dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet…” And then it lists land, sky, and sea creatures. Just like Gen 1.28 does! This is a Psalm about taking God’s majesty and the glory of his name and his rule outward to the whole earth!

But remember, in Genesis 1.28, in order to rule, you have to be fruitful and multiply. In order to take dominion, the church has to have babies. And Psalm 8 dives right into baby-having as the first related action to the bringing of the kingdom of God’s majestic name:

“O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.”

God gets the war for his glory underway this way – when the doctor spanks the newborn covenant member, that first gasp for air and the subsequent screaming – that is holy music. It shuts the devil up.

He can hear the majesty of God’s covenant name displayed over another life, and he is dumbfounded.

And we, like David, who sang to shut the mouth of the demons of the king of Israel, we sing. We sing David’s words to shut the mouths of the demons. We sing David’s words in Psalm 8 about the dominion of Genesis 1. And when we sing in church to make his name glorious with Psalm 8, then we confess in music that our babies are made as the work horses of the front line.

Tell your kids they have a job. That God has chosen them for glorious array in battle. That he has spectacles to make of enemies, and mouths of devouring adversaries that need to be shut. Tell them that they are needed in the Lord’s service of worship, and that no one else can take their place, and tell them that this we know for the Bible tells us so.

And if your toddlers are too young to follow the words of the Psalms in church, then have them make a joyful noise and hum. And if your babies are too young to hum along to the tune, just bring them to show them off. Show off your faith, and show off God’s promise. And don’t worry, they’ll make plenty of noise. You won’t have to manufacture that part.

Oh church! Oh holy dominion takers – open your ears for battle, listen as the kingdom comes at the noise of covenantal invaders, born to take up seating space in the sanctuary with car seats and diaper bags. Born to take up space in the worship of the King, edging out darkness with the chosen praise, ordained for your Sunday morning brush with the power of God saving the world.

And if you are unable to have children, or more children. If you are older, or widowed. If you are caught lonely and wondering what to do – then pray that the Lord would bring the kingdom, and that he would send a blessing of childbearing to your church. Help the parents of children to feel comfortable with the hard process of teaching babies to get a little more mature each Sunday. Help them not to fear the noise their children make.

Oh church, the noise of children in the sanctuary has at times been treated as a little lower than the angels. But let’s make it our job instead to crown it with glory and honor, as we hear the kingdom come.

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Luke Welch has a master’s degree from Covenant Seminary and preaches regularly in a conservative Anglican church in Maryland. He blogs about Bible structure at SUBTEXT. Follow him on Twitter: @lukeawelch<>реклама в интернетераскрутка а дешево

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By In Theology

Judas Played a Reversed Role

 

Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

– John 13.26-30

Judas, be hasty. Take this unleavened bread, dipped in bitter herbs. Be hasty. Leave at night. Plunder me of my silver

11 In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night…

None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians…

33 The Egyptians were urgent with the people to send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.” 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their cloaks on their shoulders. 35 The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. 36 And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

– Ex 12.11-12, 22-23, 33-36

Israel, be hasty. Take this unleavened bread, dipped in bitter herbs. Be hasty. Leave at night. Plunder me of my silver.

Judas is playing to the same instructions as Israel had in Egypt, in some sense. Jesus is Egypt, he is the firstborn who dies.

But on the other hand, Judas left the house during the meal. God had strictly forbidden leaving the house during the meal. Had he done that in Egypt, he would have met the destroyer in the street.<>game mobileпродвижение москва

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By In Theology, Worship

Paedocommunion: Calvin Misunderstood “Discerning the Body”

by Luke A Welch

CALVIN IS FLAT WRONG BECAUSE HE MISSED THE CONTEXT
Calvin fears that, in paedocommunion, tender children will poison themselves by being intellectually incapable of having a formed mental opinion about the presence of Christ in the elements. Paul is actually just saying that we can’t use the unity meal to despise the church by ignoring the weaker or lesser members while we eat. But Calvin misses all the context (see my post containing a quote of Calvin’s treatment in the Institutes).

 

dives_lazarus_Bonifacio VERONESE

Dives and Lazarus – Bonifacio Veronese

 

If Calvin is right about the meaning of 1 Cor 11, then children have no business at the table, but this is contextually impossible in a section that repeatedly tells us that all the baptized are also unified in the eating of the meal. Calvin has missed tying the phrases in question (“discerning the body,: and “eating in an unworthy manner”) to their immediate context, and to the context of the surrounding chapters. If you have time to wade through a few reasonably simple arguments, I beg you to stick around through the end of this. I believe this post, and the future post on self-examination, to be able to remove the obstacle of 1 Cor 11 from giving all covenant members their due invitations to the meal of the Lord. So we start here: (more…)

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By In Theology

Ability to Eat – Calvin’s First Argument Against Paedocommunion

 

baby eating stuff

 

I’ve been writing about Calvin’s treatment of Paedocommunion. I wanted to explain in a list what Calvin’s arguments are in that passage. So I ran the passage through a high tech analytical tabulation engine (complete with exegetical calculatrix) and it spat out this list of “prerequisite for eating test topics”:

Calvin says anyone who will eat the Lord’s meal must be able to…

  • A – EAT,
  • B – DISCERN,
  • C – SELF-EXAMINE,
  • D – PROCLAIM,
  • E – REMEMBER, and…
  • F – INQUIRE

Let us focus on the first point:

A – “Must be able to Eat”

From Calvin: (more…)

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By In Culture

Eau de Vie – The Last Wisdom – A Poem by Luke Welch

by Luke A Welch

dédier à Francis Foucachon

 

Eau de Vie

This is a long poem. To read’s a decision
To find how the French have searched every last wisdom
of when to place white, and the rose, and the red,
and then when comes the cognac in meal that you’re fed?

And what of those drinks without place at the table?
They have their own place in this poetry fable.
With them we begin with their red, sweetness shown
And a trip to drink tea, miles far from Lyon.

We left the Lassaigne house, Roanne to see.
My friend met a friend so we stopped in for tea.
O each trip has a time for a mild tisane,
and the hard liquor poured in that house in Roanne.

Once went to a wedding for friends in the Lord,
the first time I had had the iced drink that they poured:
O don’t be surprised, for in France, here’s the truth
ask for a Martini, get sweet, red vermouth.

On a hot Lyon afternoon, mussels and fries
are paired up with a koolaid-red beer and comprise
the single course poem I eat ‘neath the walls
just outside of the theater of the Three Gauls.

But a tea, or a beer, or vermouthy surprise (more…)

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By In Culture, Family and Children

Bill Banning Homeschooling Proposed in French Senate

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Recently a bill was introduced into the French senate that proposes banning homeschooling in France, except for in the case of disability. The bill was registered with the senate on December 18, 2013.

In the above picture, the motto of the French Republic is visible for those entering, or perhaps exiting a doorway, and this is not an uncommon place for placing such a political and philosophical reminder. However much liberty may be called upon by the walls and friezes of French institution, if this bill is passed, then liberty is diminished for a false version of “equality.” Maybe everyone can have equal say about his neighbor’s children and their education. Or maybe it is false fraternity. We are all brothers. No man is a father, and no child is a son. Fathers are masters over sons. In this case no man is master over his son, but every man is a collective master over his neighbor’s son.

The bill, found here, gives this “collective” reasoning:

Education is for socialization which (more…)

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By In Theology

The Sections of Calvin’s Argument

 

Recently, I started a trail of thought on Calvin and Paedocommunion, here:

Finally Discussion Paedocommunion for Real

And followed it up with a long quotation from Calvin directly upon giving communion to children, here:

One of the Most Un-Well Reasoned Things Calvin Ever Said

In that clipping from Calvin’s Institutes, a section that I posted in full in the last post against Paedocommunion, Calvin himself summarizes his reasons for rejecting paedocommunion, and then he elaborates. (more…)

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