Beef Jerky In Church?
The beef jerky parallel - acceptable worship.
Whatever we do as worship must be by the authority of Jesus.
As it pertains to the Lord’s supper would beef jerky be acceptable to add?
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Colossians 3:17)
It’s very telling what command precedes that warning. That warning that says whatever we do must be by the authority of Jesus.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16)
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17
So sing, teach, and admonish. Whatever we do must be by the authority of Jesus.
Singing is a divinely regulated act of worship. Just as is the Lord’s supper.
Take the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine to remember Jesus’s body and blood.
Any deviation from that which Jesus authorizes is called vain worship.
“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9)
God does indeed look at the heart. He’s looking for a heart of humble submission. He expects us to give Him the worship that He asks for. He’s looking for true worshippers.
In fact He told us that explicitly.
“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)
To be true worshippers we must worship God by the authority of Jesus. That is worship offered in the way that Jesus authorized.
In spirit is with an attitude/heart of humble submission. In truth is in obedience to that which Jesus has authorized.
Another important point to consider when studying acceptable worship is that it took 700 years for people to add instruments to Christian worship music. That was the Catholics. It caused great division. Then around 1100 years later the Protestant churches added them. Again, great division.
Division alone is enough to make it an error to be admonished.
Now the cause of the division is not the ones who are worshipping by the authority of Jesus. It’s the ones disregarding his authority and accepting the innovations of man.
Quotes from Protestant leaders went something like this...
“I have no objection to instruments of music in our worship, provided they are neither seen nor heard.” ~ John Wesley (founder of Methodism)
“We might as well pray by machinery as praise by it.” ~ Charles Spurgeon (baptist)
Methodists, baptists, Presbyterians, etc were all opposed at first. Sadly they eventually caved.
This specific division can be avoided, healed even! It can if we just sing as commanded rather than casually accepting unauthorized innovations of man.
The reason beef jerky on the Lord’s supper *seems so shocking is because it is unheard of. I use that shocking illustration on purpose.
But... the reason that beef jerky on the Lord’s supper *should be shocking is because God never authorized it for Christian worship.
The reason instrumental music *seems acceptable is because it is so common.
But... the reason that instrumental music *should be shocking is likewise because God never authorized it for Christian worship.
Unity is commanded.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” ( 1 Corinthians 1:10)
Jesus prayed for our unity with He and God.
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:”(John 17:20-22)
I know that’s a lot to digest.
Often when discussing the topic of instrumental music as worship people will say “he never said not to”.
Did God ever say not to add beef jerky on the Lord’s supper? Or do we
just know that when God tells us what He wants as worship that...
1. That rules out all deviations
2. We should prove our love and humble submission by giving Him just what He asks for.
If this is new information to you may I humbly request that you at least pray first, consider the evidence, and then pour over the relevant scriptures with an open and honest heart? Would you willing to submit only to God no matter what?
In all things may God be glorified.
By Paul Mays
All quotations from the KJV
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