Monday, March 17, 2014

Should Church Music Ministers be Paid?  Part 2


Pros and cons:  paid vs. not paid.

You may find yourself thinking, "Wow, if I could only be paid to pursue this musical calling upon my life!"  Well I would encourage you to reshape your thinking first of all and speak faith.  As in, "I cannot wait until I am being paid to pursue this musical calling God has placed over my life."

But realize the Levites - the music ministers of the old testament - were under much responsibility to the priests and God as well.  Lest we become carried away with thoughts of riches and grandeur, we must be reminded that by being added to a church payroll we may be treated differently than a non-paid minister of music.  Why is this so?  It is so because people tend to expect more from someone who is paid versus a volunteer.  What special requirements were the Levites under that non-Levites - everyday 'saints' or church attendees were not?

I Chronicles 23:28-32 mentions these temple duties:

  • be in charge of the courtyards
  • be in charge of the side rooms
  • purification of all sacred things
  • be in charge of the bread set out on the table
  • be in charge of the flour for the grain offerings
  • be in charge of the unleavened wafers
  • be in charge of the baking and the mixing
  • be in charge of all measurements of quantity and size
  • stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord
  • stand every evening to thank and praise the Lord
  • stand and thank and praise the Lord whenever burnt offerings were presented to the Lord on Sabbaths, New-Moon festivals, and appointed feasts
While the Bible indicates Levites were broken up into groups in order to focus on various duties (described throughout I Chronicles 23, 24, 25, and 26), undoubtedly each Levite was familiar with each task performed in the support of priests.

What is my point in all this?  We must realize that the Levites led a very conservative and disciplined life - and their lives were focused on ministering both to the priests and to the people in the congregation.  Due to their position in the church much was required of them.  Levites could not do as they pleased on a daily basis.  They were committed to the schedule of the church.  Consider that if you choose to pursue part-time or full-time music ministry as a paid servant, you may need to adjust your lifestyle accordingly.  Want to join friends and family on that holiday vacation?  How about attending that great concert next Sunday morning/night?  Do you have the sudden urge to take your children camping or surprise your significant other with a weekend getaway?  Your first call may need to be to your boss (pastor) to ask for permission to plan that activity.  And if that great idea of yours involves a Sunday or a day your church conducts their midweek service, expect your employer (pastor) to say no!  Your pastor is investing time and money into you and he probably needs you in service to minister to the congregation and be a strength to him as well.

If you have children this reality will be even more difficult.  The fact is that by accepting payment for your services, you are placing yourself under even more authority to your church leadership than if you were a volunteer.  Plan on your life becoming busier and sacrificing time during your week and your weekends to serve in whatever level of commitment you have committed yourself to.  I am not attempting to paint a negative picture of paid music ministry - as we now know, it is ordained by God.  And the blessings you receive from being deeply involved with your local congregation are rich and many!  A life of ministry and dedication to the house of the Lord is something to be desired.  I only wish to make you aware that with greater commitment comes greater sacrifice.  Weigh the pros and cons carefully prior to launching into a deeper level of commitment.  And consider if you/your family will be able to commit to part-time or full-time requirements that come with the compensation.  

What should I do if my pastor/deacon board/finance committee do not see the need to compensate me?

So you feel strongly that the Lord is leading you in the direction of paid ministry, and that your church should compensate you.  What now?  First off, begin spending time in focused prayer about the situation.  Money is a sensitive issue in most churches.  Sooner or later you will need to meet with your pastor to discuss your vision for the church's music department and to share your burden.  But prior to speaking with your pastor, set aside a number of weeks or even months to prepare your mind and heart and spirit to receive what he will have to say.  Remember that although you have biblical understanding and precedent for your request, you are still (and always will be) subjected to your pastor - the shepherd God has placed in your life.

Your pastor may or may not understand God's model as explored in part 1 of this blog.  Remaining humble and patient will go a long way here.  Going into the meeting with your pastor, I recommend writing up a simple outline with supporting scriptures.  You may need to take on the role of humble teacher here, as many pastors have never studied this compensation concept from a biblical standpoint.  Present your case in a non-threatening, non-demanding manner and be prepared to leave the meeting without an answer.  If your pastor does not commit to you or even if he disagrees, that is okay.  He/she needs time to consider your petition in prayer and they also may need to review the church finances, and/or meet with members of a finance committee.  If you are rejected outright, accept it with grace and humility.  Then go home and continue praying for God to have His way in the situation.

I experienced this very situation in my young adult life.  After my wife and I spent a season in prayer and fasting, we approached our pastor and explained our burden to devote more time to our music ministry.  We explained how income from the church would potentially enable my wife to resign her secular job and focus on tasks of musical nature.  Most of all, we reasoned, monthly payment from the church would allow her to leave secular work and free up much-needed time to advance our musical goals and vision.  That first meeting closed with a kind but firm "no".  So did the second meeting, three months later.  But during the third appeal I carefully presented the scriptural precedent behind our request.  And guess what?  Jesus honored our prayer, fasting and perseverance and shortly after the third meeting we became paid staff in the music department.  Praise the Lord!

On a side note, the pastor who implements this practice places him/herself in position to receive additional blessings from the Lord.  This is a study in and of itself though and I will not begin that study today.

And if you put yourself through the paces and experience permanent rejection?  Take a step back and examine yourself.  What are your motives for desiring to be paid?  Do your motives match up to what God wills for your life?  Are you living a sin-free/overcoming lifestyle which allows God's will to be done in you?  If God shows you that you pass the "you" test, you may need to pray for the Lord to open opportunity elsewhere.  Somewhere around the state/country/world you live in is a pastor praying for God to send them a dedicated, passionate music minister to bless their congregation.  God is in the business of introducing godly desire to His intended destiny!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Should Church Music Ministers be Paid? Part 1

Should Church Music Ministers be Paid?  Part 1

Greetings from blogland!  Our discussion today combines the biblical with the practical; ancient customs and scriptures versus twenty-first century application.  I know of pastors who follow this blog and if you are a pastor reading this, please proceed with an open mind.  I understand opinions on this subject vary dramatically and I believe I am able to be objective as I write this as I have lived on both sides of the fence: paid and not paid.  I am certainly not asserting that my opinion is the final word on this topic:  I am only presenting my findings after much research and experience.  Having said that, let us delve into the question at hand to learn what the Bible says regarding compensation for music ministers.

Who in the Bible was compensated for church music ministry?

The tribe of Levi!  We commonly refer to them as the Levites.  This tribe of Israel was hand-picked by God.  The Levites are our biblical model for this topic and the Bible has a lot to say about their significance.

Aaron was the individual chosen by God to act as the head of the Levites.  Aaron was a Levite (Exodus 4:14) and we read of his ordination in Leviticus 8:1-12.  Aaron's sons and extended family would multiply and serve as ministers of everything found in the church, including music.  (Numbers 18:1-6).  God was teaching his people how to worship him.  To do so, he needed ministers to oversee the operations of the tabernacle.  These men were called priests and Levites, and they could only be members of the tribe of Levi.

In I Chronicles 6:31-47 we have documentation of David appointing temple musicians.  Verse 31 and 32 clearly tell us:  "These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the Lord after the ark came to rest there.  They ministered with music before the tabernacle".  (NIV)  The men named in verses 33 through 46 were all Levites.  I Chronicles chapter 23 names the men David appointed (all Levites) and we learn in verse 5 he appointed (four thousand) musicians.  Wow!  And I Chronicles 15:16-28 tells us David appointed signers and musicians to join him in leading the procession of the ark of the covenant.  Now that we have established that the Levites were the chosen people to minister in music let us discover how they were paid.

How were the Levites compensated?

Okay, this is the fun part.  Show me the money!  Numbers 18:21-24 answers the question  of the blog - yes the biblical model as prescribed by God does order music ministers to be paid.  The original model in the old testament has music ministers paid from the offerings collected of the Israelites.

Not only did a Levite's compensation come from offerings, they were also provided housing!  In fact whole cities (48 cities in all) and suburbs were designated by God to be set aside just for Levites.  God provides the details to Moses in Numbers 35:1-8.

Additional supporting scriptures

Lest I only reference old testament scriptures let's take a look into the new testament also.  In Luke 10:7 Jesus says "...the labourer is worthy of his hire."  Jesus told his disciples to accept hospitality graciously because their work entitled them to it.  Ministers in the church deserve to be supported, and our responsibility is to make sure they have what they need.  There are several ways to encourage those who serve God in his church.  The church should support ministers emotionally, by showing appreciation, and through financial support.

In I Corinthians 9:4-10 and verse 13 Paul discusses the compensation of Christian workers by the church.  The church has the responsibility to care for its pastors, teachers, and other leaders.

Who gets paid?

The answer to this question as it relates to your local congregation is varied.  First we must realize the Levites had the support of an entire nation and therefore they enjoyed an enormous 'bank' from which to withdraw from.  In our current-day world of Christianity in which Christians are very segregated due to many denominations, your pastor's 'bank' or resources from which to compensate you with may be severely limited.  In the day of the Levite musicians and singers, the entire nation of Israel was of one group or 'denomination'; thus the land was unified in its compensation to the Levites.

Add to this the fact that most leadership in Christian denominations today (on a country-wide level) do not implement organized compensation for their pastors, let alone music ministers.  This is very unfortunate and a topic of discussion in and of itself.  In fact the reason God instituted the model of compensation in the manner He did shows us the importance He placed on music; God gave instructions to Israel regarding payment for music ministers and priests together and in the same breath.

Nevertheless in our churches today a local congregation may only be able to afford to pay one individual - usually the head coordinator/director of the music department.  Larger congregations with more resources may choose to pay multiple people - singers and/or musicians both.  This seems to follow reason:  more resources provide more options to leaders and financial decision makers of a church.  And after all other costs need to be addressed besides just clergy and the music ministry.  As it is natural for a dedicated church musician to understand the biblical precedent for compensation and so desire it, many vocalists and musicians find their way to large congregations that are able to more freely offer payment for services rendered.  Note to people who criticize singers and musicians who may relocate to one of these larger congregations: this does not necessarily mean the music minister has "sold out" or given in to the love of money.

Remember, as established earlier in this discussion, the seek such support (from the church) is rooted in biblical precepts.

In Part 2 we will discuss two more vital questions pertaining to this discussion.  Stay tuned!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Highlights of Musical Use in Scripture

Our post today is regarding highlights of musical use in scripture.


I encourage you to use any and all of these references to present to your music departments or singers/musicians/drama teams/liturgical dance teams/signing teams, etc.  I believe it is important for us all to understand the scriptural basis for how/why we minister as we do.  If someone was to ask me today why my church music department does certain things, would I be able to show some sort of biblical basis to it all?  Or do I do things in my ministry out of traditions passed to me by others?


Music in Bible Times


Paul clearly puts forth the Christian's view that things are not good or bad in and of themselves (see Romans 14 and I Corinthians 14:7, 8, 26).  The point should always be to worship the Lord or help others by means of the things of this world, including music.  Music was created by God and can be returned to him in praise.  Does the music you play or listen to have a negative or positive impact upon your relationship with God?


Highlights of Musical Use in Scripture


Jubal was father of all musicians. . . . .  Genesis 4:21
Miriam and other women sang and danced to praise God . . . .  Exodus 15:1-21
The priest was to have bells on his robes . . . . Exodus 28:34, 35
Jericho fell to the sound of trumpets . . . . Joshua 6:4-20
Saul experienced the soothing effect of music . . . . I Samuel 16:14-23
The King's coronation was accompanied by music . . . . I Kings 1:39, 40
The ark was accompanied by trumpeters . . . . I Chronicles 16:6
There were musicians for the king's court . . . .  Ecc. 2:8
From David's time on, the use of music in worship was much more organized.  Music for the temple became refined . . . . . I Chronicles 15:16-24; I Chronicles 16:4-7; II Chronicles 5:11-14
Everything was to be used by everyone to praise the Lord . . . . Psalm 150


In the New Testament, worship continued in the synagogues until the Christians became unwelcome there, so there was a rich musical heritage already established.  The fact that music is mentioned less often in the New Testament does not mean it was less important.


Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn . . . . Matthew 26:30
Paul and Silas sang in jail . . . . Acts 16:25
We are to sing to the Lord as a response to what he has done in our lives . . . . Ephesians 5:19,20; Colossians 3:16; James 5:13


As indicated previously in this post, these scriptures are but highlights - I will post many more scriptures dealing with music ministry in the months ahead.  Now go share this information with your fellow ministry friends!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Common Questions about Worshiping Jesus Part Five

In the final portion of this series I list four commonly asked questions relating to worshiping Jesus.  You will notice aspects of worship that we routinely think of as a part of our respective music ministries.


1.  Why are many church worship services boring and not like the worship we find described in Revelation?


In Revelation we see such things as singing, musical instrumentation, brilliant lighting, and visual imagery incorporated in the worship of Jesus.  Elsewhere in scripture we also see that the worship of God includes God's people bowing and kneeling (Psalm 95:6), clapping and shouting (Psalm 47:1), and raising their hands (Neh. 8:6; Psalm 28:2, 63:4, 134:2, 141:2, 143:6, Lam 3:41, I Timothy 2:9).  In comparison, many churches today seem committed to being as boring as possible. Others seem just as committed to doing the latest cool thing and you may wonder who they are actually worshiping.


Nonetheless, in being reconciled to Jesus we are also reconciled to his people and made part of the church.  So it is our responsibility as Christians to find a congregation of people who are devoted to real Jesus-directed worship and join them.  While the style of architecture and music may be important, what is most important is that you connect with both Jesus and his people.  But remember, worship is about Jesus, not about us.


2.  Is singing all that there is to worship?


Not at all.  Coming together with God's people to proclaim the wonder of Jesus is important.  But probably the most sincere worship is how we live our life after we leave the church building.


In Isaiah 1 the Lord became angry at Judah.  They were going to church, singing songs, spreading their hands in prayer, even giving tithes.  But the Lord wouldn't receive their adoration.  The rest of their life wasn't glorifying to him.  They needed to do whole life worship and not just a few hours one day a week.  So God commanded them to remove the evil of their deeds from before his eyes, cease to do evil, learn to do good, seek justice, correct oppression, bring justice to the fatherless, and plead the widow's cause as acts of true worship (Isa. 1:16-17).  Serving people in the name of Jesus and in the character of Jesus is the most satisfying form of worship ever.


3.  Why does God need all that praise?


Worship isn't about meeting God's needs. Worship is first of all about direction for our lives.  Worshiping God means honoring or valuing him above everything else.  Someone who worships Jesus will refuse to give honor to anything that dishonors Jesus.  They will not purposely do things that don't promote his character and honor.  Worship is also about devotion or relationship.  From the beginning, God made us like himself (Gen. 1:26-28).  He made us for relationship with each other and with him.  When we build the relationship between God and ourselves, then we are doing worshipful things.  Because we were made for worship, God allows us to worship him both for his glory and our good.  Through the worship of God we are liberated to live freely and joyfully without worshiping people and things that would make us miserable.


4.  Why does God jealously require that we worship only him?


God is like a home in a tough neighborhood.  The loving parents in the home tell their kids to finish their homework and to do their chores.  There are others in the neighborhood who would never make their children finish their homework and do their chores.  Instead they would allow or even encourage their children to sin and spend their time drinking, doing drugs, having sex and making trouble.  The reason godly parents ask for exclusive obedience and worship is not that they have insatiable egos that need constant stroking, but that they are the only ones who really love the kids, who want to give good things to them for the kids' deepest pleasure.  Likewise, God is a jealous God who wants only the best for us, his children, and his jealousy is nothing but his love seeking our good.  Hence, Exodus 20:3-5: "You shall have no other gods before me. . . . You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God."


This concludes this five-part series about why we should worship Jesus.  I pray it has been a blessing to you and that you have been able to share it with your music department.  Please feel free to contact me with any comments you have.  God gets the glory?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Why Should We Worship Jesus" Part Four

Why Should We Worship Jesus?  (Part 4)

Worshiping Through Jesus

Though we bought the serpent's lie that we can be our own god and live for our own glory, we remain worshipers.  As such we are sometimes inwardly focused toward ourselves and the "me" syndrome.  But because Jesus lived the perfectly sinless life of unceasing worship, his life, death, and resurrection alone can reconcile us to God.  Therefore, only through the power of God can we be made worshipers instead of idolaters and glorify Him.  Romans 6:4 teaches that our worship includes a new life lived to the glory of God and patterned after the life of Jesus:  "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should also walk in newness of life."  (KJV).

Worshiping Like Jesus

Not only do we worship through Jesus, we must also worship like Jesus.  Jesus lived a life of perfect glory and thus we can look at everything in His life - from the ordinary to the extraordinary - as born out of a life of ceaseless worship that glorified God.  Jesus' life destroys any notion that worship is a sacred thing we do at a special time or place.  Cutting our grass and cleaning our dishes can be as sacred and God-glorifying as raising our hands in church.  Jesus himself modeled this.  He spent roughly 90 percent of his earthly life doing chores as a boy and working a carpentry job as a man.  All of life is to be lived as ceaseless worship.  I Corinthians 10:31 reinforces these statements with this:  "Whether therefore ye eat, drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." (KJV)  I Corinthians 6:20 also supports a life or worship:  "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (KJV).

Worshiping Jesus 

Through the worship of Jesus Christ alone there is joy, freedom, holiness, and life.  Only by worshiping God our creator are we free to enjoy creation by rightly eating, drinking, sleeping, playing, working, laughing, loving, weeping, marrying, parenting, living, and dying to the glory of God.  I am a Christian because I want to be happy and, after trying lesser things, I am convinced that my desires are from God and can find their satisfaction in Him alone.

Why Should We Worship Jesus? Part Three

Why Should We Worship Jesus?  Part 3

Example of False Worship

According to the first two commandments there is only one God, and that God alone is to be worshipped (Exodus 20:1-10).  Martin Luther once said that we break the rest of the commandments only after we have broken the first two.  I believe that what he meant is that if the one true God is my only God, and I worship only that God, then I will not end up committing idolatry by worshipping my job (and not taking a Sabbath), worshipping my anger (and becoming violent), worshipping sex (and committing adultery), or worshipping success (and coveting what other people have).

The opposite of worship is idolatry, or the worshipping of something or someone other than the one true God of the Bible alone.  In fact the theme of worship versus idolatry is in some ways the theme of the entire Old Testament.  Before I touch on some examples of false worship, here are some questions we may ask ourselves to understand if we have idols in our lives:

  • Who or what do I make sacrifices for?
  • Who or what is most important to me?
  • If I could have any thing or experience I wanted, what would that be?
  • Who or what makes me the most happy?
  • What is the one person or thing I could not live without?
  • Who or what do I devote my spare time to?
Our human hearts are idol factories for anything and everything: political causes, hobbies, recreation, sports, etc.  This is so because since God created us to worship Him, we will always have a desire to worship.  And if we choose not to fill this innate desire with God we will instead fill it with worldly desires as mentioned above.  Okay - on to some examples of false worship.

Some men worship automobiles and houses and spend all of their time and money to renovate them while neglecting time with God and the people He has called them to love, such as their wife and children.  Some women worship their beauty and spend so much of their time, energy and money on their looks that they are prone to neglect God and others such as their husband, children, and friends.  Others are prone to worship their favorite band and even spend hours every day online gathering the latest news, downloading the latest songs, tuning in to the latest interviews, buying the latest merchandise, and even traveling around the country and world to catch the latest concert.

Do you worship modern technology?  Smart phones have revolutionized the world during the past five years and millions of people all over the world - actually hundreds of millions now - are so consumed with emails, text messaging, and social media websites that they no longer can find time to read their Bibles fifteen minutes a day or pray daily.  Are you more worried about what happens daily with those on your "friends" list than you worry about your interaction today with God?  It may be time to log off and plug in to the Creator.

Finally, do you participate in our culture's worship of naked crazy-making?  In Paul's day, he accused some people of worshipping their stomachs as their god, and in our day it appears that our god has simply moved a short distance south.  Americans alone spend more money each year on pornography than country music, rock music, jazz music, Broadway plays, and ballet combined.  We spend more money on pornography than we do on professional baseball, basketball, and football combined!  Clearly, perversion is a major American pastime and a ten-billion-dollar business.

The annual rentals and sales of adult videos now top four billion dollars annually.  Eleven thousand porno movies are made every year, twenty times the number of mainstream movies made by Hollywood!  The porn industry now claims over 30 percent of all video rentals in America.  Nationally there are over 3,000 strip clubs. On the Internet, the top word searched is "sex", with "porn", "nude", "Playboy", and "erotic stories" also in the top twenty.  Seventy percent of porn traffic occurs between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. while people are sitting at work unable to focus on their job because the god of Eros continually beckons.  The top research priority in the pornography business is getting good quality porn to a cell phone or mobile device so that everyone can feed any twisted desire anytime and anywhere.

By their graduation date, students will have watched fifteen thousand hours of television, compared to only twelve thousand hours in the classroom.  While watching television, they will see fourteen thousand sexual references every year, with only 165 of those occasions mentioning birth control, self-control, abstinence, or mentioning anything about the risk of pregnancy or STDs.  Undeniably, people are worshipers and will worship someone or something.  Thankfully, Jesus came to enable us to worship the Creator instead of the creation.

Stay tuned for Part 4 !!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Why Should We Worship Jesus? Part Two

Why Should We Worship Jesus?   Part 2

What Worship Is

Worship is living our life individually and corporately as living sacrifices to the glory of a person or thing.  Please pay close attention to the following concept as it is key in building a case for what worship is.  A couple sentences ago I tied worship to the glory of a person or thing.  This connection between glory and worship is clear in verses such as Romans 11:36 - 12:1, which says,  "For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To him be the glory forever!  Amen.  Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship."  (NIV)

In this section of scripture Paul connects a number of vital truths regarding worship.  First, we hold a person or thing in a place of glory.  Second, we then worship that person or thing.  Third, our worship of that person or thing we hold in glory is done by means of making sacrifices.  You may be asking yourself, "Why do you insist that I worship anyone or anything in my life?"  Or, "Why do you insist that I should start now?"  The answer is this:  the Lord, through His written word (the Bible), requires our worship.  If you have any doubts about this please read the following scriptures:  Exodus 34:14; Psalm 22:27, Psalm 29:2, Psalm 45:11, Psalm 66:4, Psalm 86:9, Psalm 95:6, Psalm 99:5, Psalm 132:7, Matthew 4:10, John 4:23-24, John 9:31.

Glory means weightiness, importance, priority, or that which is our greatest treasure, deepest longing, and fountain of hope.  In a functional sense, what we hold in the place of glory is in effect our real god.  Whether we realize it or not we can and do hold various people and things in a position of glory and then worship them by making sacrifices.  Because we have limited resources (time, energy, money), we must allocate those things to what we consider most important or glorious to us - and in doing this we make sacrifices to our functional god.  Whatever we hold in the position of highest glory is by definition our god(s).  Practically, worship is making sacrifices for what we are living to glorify.

Also, the biblical word for worship is sometimes translated "sacrifice".  This insight is helpful because what we make the greatest sacrifices for reveals what we truly live to glorify and worship.  Ouch!  I know these are strong, sober words.  But they are truth and I myself, while writing this, am forced to take a critical look at my own set of priorities in life and how I perceive worship from the perspective of someone called to music ministry.  Let us dig a little deeper. . .  Let us look at some real-world examples of this concept of glory and worship.  If we eat and drink in excess, we are worshipping our stomach and sacrificing our health.  If we sacrifice relationships with God and people for a hobby (sport, music, craft), then we are worshipping that hobby.  If we are giving our bodies to sexual sin, we are worshipping sex and/or another person whose glory is our highest aim, sacrificing holiness and intimacy with God in the process.  In short, we give our time, energy, body, money, focus, devotion, and passion to that which we glorify most - and we make sacrifices to worship that person or thing.  Because we were made for the express purpose of worshipping God, everyone is a worshipper.  The only difference is who or what we worship.

As we work through this series of discussions on worship please feel free to share these thoughts with others in your music department.  I believe this type of honest, self-critiquing study is benefiting and necessary to the spiritual health of all church music departments.  I will also be the first to admit this understanding has become real to me only after learning the hard way, through trial and error.  And by stumbling, making mistakes and rising again to press forward in Jesus' name.  Stay tuned for part three of this series, when we will discuss examples of false worship.