Archives For Ministry

I have actively participated in many discussions on Sharper Iron since November of 2018. In this post, I have compiled nearly all my discussion posts on music and worship as well as on other topics.

In addition, I have also listed other discussions that I did not start, but I did participate in them. The numbered listing for my posts on music and worship are in chronological order; those in the second listing are grouped by topic.

Posts on Music and Worship

  1. How does God want Christians to profit concerning worship from Exodus 32:17-20?
  2. Is Exodus 32:17-18 divine revelation about worship music? | SHARPER IRON
  3. Does Job 41:11b apply to all musical styles/genres?
  4. Bible passages that guide us about secular/unbelieving criticisms of Christian worship music/ministry?
  5. What does Scripture teach about all music without words?
  6. Are there any Bible passages that specifically support the use of music to evangelize unbelievers?
  7. Little interest in discussing what the Bible says about music
  8. Does Scripture record that musical instruments were used in pagan worship?
  9. Best books that support the use of CCM, CWM, etc?
  10. Adding Regular Corporate Shouting of Praise in Our Worship
  11. What does Genesis 4:21 teach us about music?
  12. What does Genesis 31:27 teach us about music?
  13. We Must Heed the Vital Message of 1 Corinthians 10:18-20
  14. Did OT Israel create anything new in terms of music?
  15. Who do you think is the most important musician in human history?
  16. “Why a Series on Psalms?” | SHARPER IRON
  17. Does God accept worship from some unbelievers?
  18. What Is the Greatest/Best Sacred Song of All Time?
  19. What Does 1 Samuel 16:14-23 teach about music?
  20. Who do you believe is the greatest songwriter of all time?
  21. How many classes of *living* beings exist that produce music?
  22. What Does 1 Corinthians 2:14 Teach about What Unbelievers Cannot Know?
  23. Does Romans 8:19-22 apply to music without words?
  24. What Do Daniel 3:5, 7, 10, and 15 Reveal about Worship Music?
  25. Wrong Views, Disunity, and “The Worship Wars”
  26. Does God love all kinds of music because He invented it all?
  27. The Bible and Music: What Does God Want Us to Know, Believe, and Do?
  28. Was Jesus of Nazareth the Greatest Singer and Musician of All Time?
  29. Divine Selectivity in Worship: What Should We Believe?
  30. Shamanism, Percussion, and First Corinthians 6:12
  31. Did the Israelites Use Drum-Like Instruments in The Worship in the Solomonic Temple?
  32. Are Some Kinds of Instrumental Music Objectively Better Than Others?

Posts on Other Topics or Other Discussions That I Did Not Start

Steve Pettit and the Skillman Family

Public worship and Exodus 28:42: “from hips to the thighs”

Golden Calf in Psalm 106

How Acts 7:39-41 Illumines A Proper Understanding of the Golden Calf Incident (GCI)

Is food good but amoral? | SHARPER IRON

Why is 1 Timothy 5:23 in the Bible?

Does Scripture teach that cremation is an acceptable practice for believers?

“Is Cremation Christian”?

How does God want Christians to profit concerning evangelism from Acts 22:14-15?

Toward a More Accurate Theology of Evangelism

Ezekiel 40-48: National Israel, the Church, or something else?

How are you going to keep yourself unspotted from the world?

“Assailment-by-Entailment”

Does *the Bible Itself* “Use” Guilt by Association (GBA)?

Two Important Insights from the Biblical Record about Manasseh

What perspicuity of the Scripture does not mean

What Is Sound Doctrine concerning the Doctrinal Importance of Narratives in Scripture?

Was Solomon a true believer who “lost his salvation”?

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Friends, I’m looking for thoughtful feedback on the possible pros and cons of the following train of thought:

I have been studying the subject of the Bible and music intensely for the past twelve years. I have been working on a book on that subject for several years now.

Because I want to profit as many people as possible and as soon as possible with all my work in this area, I am considering disseminating the material of my book in a lengthy series of blog posts instead of an e-book or a printed book.

Doing it as a series of blog posts allows me to instantly make my work available all over the world and gives me total control of everything about how that material is formatted and does so at no additional cost to me. It also allows me to continually revise anything in my work on an instantaneous, ongoing basis.

It also removes inherent limitations that other formats have with what can be included (for example, printed books cannot provide live links to other articles on my site as well as on other sites; illustrations by necessity have many limitations that would not be true on a blog post).

Thoughts?

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Today, I finished teaching my part of the second half of an adult Sunday School series, “Written for Our Admonition: A Survey of the Old Testament.” Reading books of the Bible repeatedly was a key part of my preparation for teaching that series.

The following table shows how many times I read each of the books that I covered in the series and the dates when I finished reading them.

1 Chronicles 6/19; 11/4 2
2 Chronicles 7/6; 11/5 2
Ezra 8/19; 11/10 2
Nehemiah 8/21; 11/24; 11/28; 12/1 4
Esther 8/24; 11/22; 11/25; 11/26 4
Isaiah 4/17; 9/19; 9/23 3
Jeremiah 5/25; 10/14 2
Lamentations 6/3; 10/14 2
Ezekiel 8/6; 10/20 2
Daniel 8/10; 10/26; 10/28; 10/29 4
Joel 7/31 (2x); 8/20; 8/24; 8/25; 8/28; 8/31; 9/1; 9/2 (2x); 9/3; 9/4; 9/7; 9/8; 9/10 15
Obadiah 8/9; 8/24; 9/4; 9/7; 9/10 5
Jonah 8/12; 8/24; 9/5; 9/7; 9/11; 9/15 (2x) 7
Micah 8/12; 9/25; 9/26; 9/29; 9/30 (3x); 10/1 8
Nahum 8/13; 8/24; 9/5; 9/7; 9/11; 9/15 (2x) 7
Habakkuk 8/13; 9/25; 10/2; 10/3; 10/4; 10/5; 10/6; 10/7; 10/8 9
Zephaniah 8/13; 9/25; 10/2; 10/3; 10/4; 10/5; 10/6; 10/7; 10/8 9
Haggai 8/13; 11/10; 11/12 3
Zechariah 8/14; 11/17; 11/18 (2x) 4
Malachi 8/15; 11/25; 11/29; 12/2; 12/3; 12/4; 12/7; 12/8; 12/9; 12/10 10

This fall has been the most concentrated time that I have ever had in reading the Minor Prophets. I found this intense time of reading these books to be very profitable and highly recommend using such an approach to studying them.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Scripture teaches us that all that is written in it has been written for our learning:

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Here are 12 keys to profiting fully from what is written in Scripture for our learning.

1. Read the book repeatedly.

Deuteronomy 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: 20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Concerning the importance of reading a book of Scripture repeatedly, I have read the book of Psalms 100 times because God has burdened me to saturate my mind with His own thoughts about music.

2. Prize it supremely and expect to work hard in studying it diligently.

Proverbs 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

3. Pray fervently for illumination.

Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

Proverbs 2:3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

Ephesians 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

4. Mark your Bible and take notes.

Consider, for example, how marking certain key statements in 1 Samuel 12 helps in understanding how what is written has been divinely structured:

Marking your Bible and taking notes is crucial for fully understanding what God has said:

5. Keep in mind that the whole book is the context of anything that is in the book.

When God originally inspired the books of the Bible, there were no chapter breaks or verse divisions in them. The context of anything that is in a book of Scripture therefore is the whole book itself and not just some smaller part of it.

6. Note the beginning and the ending of the book.

How God has chosen to begin and to end each book displays His infinite and perfect wisdom. We must pay special attention to what He has inspired to be written at the beginning and at the ending of each book of Scripture.

7. Note the names of God and the truths about God found in the book.

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

8. Look especially for commands.

Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

9. Note repetition, connect ideas, and do cross referencing.

Concerning repetition, consider, for example, the vast number of times “the LORD” occurs in 1 Samuel 12:

As an example of connecting ideas, note how Paul does so concerning what Scripture says in different books of Scripture:

1 Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

10. Think about what you have read, believe it, and memorize what God specially brings to your attention.

Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

11. Praise Him for what He has inspired to be written and pray about the instruction that He has given in the book.

Psalm 119:164 Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

12. Do what is written in the book and teach others.

Ezra 7:9 For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. 10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

When it comes to music, when it comes to that kind of thing, really, all that change starts with a philosophy that says that sound is not an issue to God. Text is an issue to God, not sound. You take a Bible governor off the sound. Well, now, the sky’s the limit in terms of what can be done as long as your viewpoint is, “Sound is not an issue to God.” It just becomes then a matter of personal preference and taste.

–Pastor Mark Minnick, Sunday PM message, “Preachers and Missionaries UK 2023,” 8/20/23

I believe that these statements very insightfully express what really is at the heart of so many of the worship music issues in our day.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Book Update 7.22.23

July 22, 2023

I am getting closer to finishing the first draft of my book, “The Battle for Kingdom Music: A Call to Worldwide Consecration”!

Here is the current layout of the book:

Section Page Numbers Total Pages
Title Page i 1
Preliminary ii-iv 3
Table of Contents v-xi 7
Introduction 1-3 3
Part I 4-12 9
Part II 13-32 20
Part III 33-60 28
Part IV 61-76 16
Conclusion* 77 1
Appendices 78-104 27

The page counts are for 8.5×11 pages, font size 12. The total length is 42,527 words on 115 pages.


*I have not done very much with this section yet and plan to work on it a good bit more.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Praise God that He directed brethren in the FBFI to speak out in resolve concerning music that is acceptable to God!

97.10 Regarding a Commitment to Godly, Christ-honoring Music:

The FBF rejects the notion that music is not a matter of separation. Clearly, we would separate from a pastor or church that used rock music either to attract a crowd or-God forbid-in worship. Therefore, we recognize that it is a separation issue. The encroachment of “CCM” or Contemporary Christian Music as a musical genre has been ignored too long. It is wrong to judge motives subjectively, but it is essential to discern the implications of methods, particularly in music. Fundamentalists should be able to agree that we must be committed to Godly,
Christ-honoring music. With sufficient prayerful discussion with Fundamentalist musicians, and necessary study of the subject by our preachers we will be able to move toward a consensus of what is meant by ‘Christ-honoring’ music in practice. We call for Fundamentalists to cease defending tastes in music as a matter of “preference” and begin to expound the principles whereby those who need guidance on this issue can be truly helped. We assert that those who boast of their “balance’ and ‘objectivity” while rejecting the teaching of biblical principles concerning music are compromising the means whereby this issue can be resolved. Neither tradition nor taste are the issue. The Bible communicates principles of music that is acceptable to God that can and should be known and taught.


This resolution is from the PDF “Past FBFI Resolutions: 1946—Present” available at the bottom of this page: https://fbfi.org/positions/

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Book Update 12.31.22

December 31, 2022

I have been studying what the Bible teaches about music for more than 11 years now. I have also been working for several years on writing my book The Battle for Kingdom Music: A Call to Worldwide Consecration.

On December 23, I began an extended time off from work. My goals for this time were to do at least 30 hours of work on my book and read the Psalms through twice while doing so to saturate my mind with God’s own thoughts about music.

This morning, I finished my second time going through the Psalms since December 22!

This afternoon, I finished working 30 hours on my book since December 23! God has given me tremendous progress on my book during this time!

It seems that I am getting close to having the rough draft of the book done. Lord willing, I hope to complete the book and have it published by September 2023.

Praise God for His faithfulness!

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Book Update 3.30.22

March 30, 2022

I have been working on writing my book “The Battle for Kingdom Music: A Call to Worldwide Consecration” since January 2020. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been more than two years since I started.

January 2022

I took the first full week of 2022 off from work so that I could devote much concentrated time to writing my book. Because of illness at the beginning of the week, I was not able to do as much work on it as I had wanted to do.

I made major revisions and expansions to a key section in Part I of the book. Parts I and II are near completion now!

I praise God for the tremendous progress that He granted me on my book that week!

Total Pages: 67 (as of 1/7/22)

Time Spent 1/3/22 to 1/7/22: 23.5 hours

Notes

1. I discovered that you can remove all the hyperlinks in a Word document by selecting all the text and then hitting “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “F9.” This discovery saved me a lot of time going through certain sections and removing the links one at a time.

2. I read the book of Psalms as part of my work on my book but did not count that reading time as time spent working on the book.

March 2022

I took three days off from work last week (March 23-36) so that I could have some concentrated time to work on my book.

I was able to make extensive revisions on several sections in the book, and I fixed a key formatting problem.

God be praised for the substantial progress that He gave me last week!

Total Pages: 86 (as of 3/30/22)

Time Spent 3/23/22 to 3/26/22: > 24 hours

July 2022 (tentatively)

I hope to have a whole week off from work in July. Lord willing, I would like to be close to finishing the first draft of the book that week.

Ongoing Prayers Requested

Thanks to any who have prayed with me about this book! I would appreciate ongoing prayers for consistent, Spirit-filled progress on the book and for the timely completion of it.

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

In God’s providence, He has directed me to spend a decade or more studying each of four different subjects. These subjects have been quite diverse.

Stewardship of the Physical Body

Prior to becoming a Christian, I earned a bachelor’s degree in Fitness Instruction and a master’s degree in Human Performance. After I was saved, God used that background to open up a graduate assistant position while I worked on a Masters in Bible.

After finishing that degree, He led me to serve on full-time staff for many years in helping believers be good stewards of their physical bodies.

During those years of coursework and ministry, I studied intensely everything that the Bible teaches about health, exercise, nutrition, and stewardship of the body. God gave me numerous opportunities over that time to speak to believers on these subjects.

Evangelism and Discipleship

Soon after I was saved, I became very active in evangelistic ministries successively in the two local churches that I have been a member of during my lifetime as a believer. All through those years, I studied intensely all that Scripture reveals about evangelism and discipleship ministries.

God gave me many opportunities to preach and teach on these subjects for a number of years, but it has been quite some time since I have had such opportunities. It’s puzzling to me that I have not had more opportunities to edify God’s people in this area.

Christ as God’s Judicial Agent

After having served for many years in ministering to believers about stewardship of their bodies and about evangelism and discipleship, God dramatically redirected me to return for seminary work in a doctoral program. During those very hard years of working on that degree, God directed me to study with a passion everything that He has revealed in Scripture about Christ as His judicial agent.

During the years of working on that degree and for about a year afterwards, God gave me many opportunities to preach and teach on passages concerning the topic of my dissertation. Remarkably, however, I have had very few opportunities to do so in the past decade.

Acceptable Music for Corporate Worship

For at least the last decade, God has dramatically shifted the focus of my studies and ministry opportunities to an exhaustive study of everything in the Bible about music and worship. He has directed me to immerse myself profoundly in the book of Psalms during these years, beginning in 2012.

God has led me to write numerous articles about what Scripture reveals about music and worship and has given me several opportunities to speak multiple times on these subjects in a few churches. I am also writing a book about what God has given me in this area of study over this past decade.

Conclusion

Reflecting on how God has directed me during my Christian lifetime, I find it striking that God has led me to so intensively study these four different subjects during that time. Seeing how God has dramatically changed the focus of my studies and ministries more than once in my life makes me wonder what God may have in store for me in whatever years He has left for me to serve Him in this life.

God has been faithful in all these things in spite of much unfaithfulness on my part throughout these years. To God be the glory for all that He has done for and through me!

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2011-2024 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.